Reading University collaborates with institute to address skills gap

Wing exchanges mementoes with Protherough.

KUCHING: The University of Reading Malaysia (UoRM) has signed a memorandum of agreement (MoA) with The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) to address key hiring trends and skill set gaps that employers have identified as critical in the near future.

UoRM provost and CEO Prof Wing Lam and ICAEW learning and professional development executive director Mark Protherough signed the MoA witnessed by Henley Business School Malaysia head Prof  Teck Y Eng and ICAEW Southeast Asia regional director Mark Billington at the UoRM campus in EduCity, Iskandar Puteri, Johor.

A press release said based on feedback from employers, three key qualities that have been identified as desirable in accountants are strong IT skills, good analytical skills, and astute commercial insight.

As technology plays an ever-increasing role in accounting and finance, employers have expressed a need to hire professionals who possess a good understanding of data and modelling skills, as well as the ability to actively drive revenue through value added initiatives for their organisations.

The Henley-ICAEW Programme (HIP) aims to produce professionals with an honours degree-level education in accounting and finance, as well as the ICAEW Business and Finance Professional (ICAEW BFP) designation, who are expected to join the workforce in 2022.

The ICAEW BFP is an international recognition of technical competency, ethical awareness, and commitment to ongoing professional development.

“Henley Business School’s BSc (Bachelor of Science) Accounting and Finance programme is responsive to changes and demands in the industry. As thought leaders in the accounting profession, our collaboration with ICAEW
reflects our commitment to high standards of education and relevance of our programme. The HIP will enhance our student experience and their employability by closing the gap between theory and the real world of actual practice,” said Teck.

Wing said it is UoRM’s responsibility to produce high calibre, professional, future-proofed graduates equipped with good ethics to feed to the industry, as these components would make them stand out.

“I believe the HIP programme will be a flagship accounting programme in Malaysia under Henley Business School, which is one of the leading business schools in the country,” he said.

ICAEW head of Malaysia Loh Wei Yuen added, “ICAEW works closely with employers in Malaysia and around the world to enable practical approaches that meet the needs of the industry. Strategic initiatives such as
HIP are one of the many ways we share knowledge, insight and values to develop the accounting profession and ensure trust in business. We believe that accountancy is a force for positive economic change and we support our professionals throughout their career so they can make a difference.”

HIP is a four-year full-time programme that includes compulsory completion of ICAEW’s Ethics Learning Programme.

Graduates will also be on track to attain the ICAEW Chartered Accountant (ICAEW ACA) qualification, a highly-respected professional competency in business and finance.

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