Girls on bench

The University has reached an agreement in principle with KPMG to join its ground-breaking school leavers’ programme, which will offer the complete package of University degree, professional accountancy qualification and relevant work experience. 

Under the scheme, students will enter onto a six year programme in which they will gain work experience at KPMG, take a BSc honours degree in Accounting and Finance at Birmingham Business School and gain a professional accountancy qualification – all this whilst also receiving a salary of around £20,000 (in London) and having all of their tuition fees and student accommodation paid for by KPMG.

It is anticipated that the University of Birmingham will offer 50 places initially on the scheme from September 2012 onwards.  Students who meet the A level entry requirements and successfully apply to do their degree at Birmingham will then study for the ICAS (Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland) chartered accountancy qualification. The full proposal for this new programme is currently undergoing full programme approval and consideration by the University of Birmingham.

KPMG envisages that in due course its school leaver programme may account for the majority (in excess of 400) of its annual trainee chartered accountant intake.  Birmingham joins the Universities of Durham and Exeter in being one of the three universities who will partner with KPMG to provide the programme.

Graham Neale, head of audit at KPMG in the Midlands, said:

“We are delighted that Birmingham, a top-class university, is planning to work with us in this scheme.  We believe that our proposition offers a truly innovative model that will help to broaden access to the accountancy profession.  We want to increase the diversity of the intake into the profession and this scheme is central to our plans to make that happen.  At a time when the affordability of higher education is uppermost in many people’s minds, this scheme clearly offers an alternative route that should see students emerge not only with first class qualifications but also a positive bank balance.  We very much look forward to working with Birmingham to make the scheme a success.”

Professor Andrew Lymer, Head of the Department of Accounting and Finance at the Birmingham Business School, said:

“As a School we have strong relationships with many large employers of our graduates. In particular, we have a longstanding relationship with KPMG as one of our key recruiters. This new programme however, takes forward this relationship in providing a unique opportunity to the next generation of accounting students at a critical time in the history of provision for undergraduate degrees. It is a unique offering in this field in the UK and we are therefore confident it will enable us to continue to attract the very best students to Birmingham to study for an accounting and finance degree.”