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Students graduate in a world first for Professional Accountants

The inaugural cohort of students from the world’s first integrated MSc in Professional Accountancy, delivered through an innovative partnership between the University of London and the Association of Certified Chartered Accountants (ACCA), has graduated in a special ceremony at Senate House, home of the University of London.

Cohort of students attending MSc Professional Accountancy graduation
Donna May Wheeler: ‘The learning process gave gave me great insight into global issues currently, which has enhanced my knowledge tremendously.'

The graduation event, held over two ceremonies on Saturday 11 November, was attended by students from 39 countries around the world, including Hong Kong, Canada, Nigeria, Ireland and the UK.

The ground-breaking MSc programme enables students to study for their University of London award at the same time as completing their professional qualification with ACCA, as well as accommodating those that have already completed their professional qualification.

In his opening speech, Professor Sir Adrian Smith FRS, Vice-Chancellor of the University of London, said:

This unique study programme … has been built on the excellent reputation of both the University of London and ACCA, and what this reputation will do, is to single you out as an ambitious and driven professional. In other words, it will get you noticed.

He added:

We thank University College London (UCL) and its academics in the School of Management for their support in developing the MSc. Without UCL’s programme direction and commitment, the MSc might not have been such a global success.

Donna May Wheeler, who graduated on Saturday and studied for her MSc in England, said of the course:

The program was challenging, but the learning process gave me great insight into global issues currently, which has enhanced my knowledge tremendously.

She added:

Following this course, I am in a much better position to further my career, as I now understand how business, society and government work together to mould the world we live in … I see a bright future due to this achievement. Thank you very much ACCA and University of London for this opportunity.

The keynote speaker at the graduation ceremony, Mr Robert Stenhouse, Vice-President of the ACCA Council, and Director of National Accounting and Audit at Deloitte UK, said that the ACCA qualification was a 'badge of trust'.

He continued: 'Add to this a Master's qualification from the University of London, a trusted international institution, and you are showing that you possess a combined academic and professional expertise that equips you well for today's workplace.'

In her closing speech, Dr Mary Stiasny OBE, Pro Vice-Chancellor, University of London, spoke about the global reach of the programme, and that this was: 'testament to the vision of our predecessors who negotiated for the first University of London examinations to be held overseas - in Mauritius on 10 July 1865.' She added: 'I am sure you will all join me in paying tribute to them for the foresight they demonstrated over 150 years ago, from which all of you have profited from today.'

Notes to Editors

Contacts: Binda Rai

Head of External Relations, Media and PR
University of London International Programmes
Mobile: 07920 476483

About the University of London

  • The University of London was established in 1836 by Royal Charter. It is made up of 17 Member Institutions, and nine research institutes.
  • The University of London is the world’s oldest provider of academic awards through flexible learning, dating back to 1858, when the University of London was awarded a Royal Charter by Queen Victoria.
  • Charles Dickens described the University of London as ‘The People’s University’ when its 1858 Royal Charter extended access to degrees to those who could not come to London to study.
  • Today, students of the University of London International Programmes can choose to study from a suite of 100+ academic programmes either through self-study or through support from local teaching institutions.
  • The University of London, through its International Programmes, is the ‘world’s largest classroom’, with 51,000 students in 190 countries, and over 1.3million learners studying its short courses through the Coursera online platform.

ACCA – Association of Chartered Certified Accountants

  • ACCA is the global body for professional accountants.
  • It offers business-relevant, first choice qualifications to people of application, ability and ambition around the world who seek a rewarding career in accountancy, finance and management.
  • ACCA supports its 170,000 members and 436,000 students in 180 countries, helping them to develop successful careers in accounting and business, with the skills required by employers.
  • ACCA works through a network of 92 offices and centres and more than 8,500 Approved Employers worldwide, who provide high standards of employee learning and development.
  • Through its public interest remit, ACCA promotes appropriate regulation of accounting and conduct relevant research to ensure accountancy continues to grow in reputation and influence.
  • Founded in 1904, ACCA has consistently held unique core values: opportunity, diversity, innovation, integrity and accountability. It believes that accountants bring value to economies in all stages of development and seek to develop capacity in the profession and encourage the adoption of global standards.
  • ACCA’s core values are aligned to the needs of employers in all sectors and it ensures that through its range of qualifications, it prepares accountants for business. ACCA seeks to open up the profession to people of all backgrounds and remove artificial barriers, innovating its qualifications and delivery to meet the diverse needs of trainee professionals and their employers.