KPMG offer complete package for students pursuing an Accounting career

The University of Birmingham has reached an agreement in principle with professional services firm KPMG, to join its ground-breaking school leavers’ programme, which will offer the complete package of University degree, professional 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 Accountancy and Finance at the University of Birmingham’s 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. 

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 Edward Peck, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Social Sciences from the University of Birmingham said:

“This programme will be a truly attractive prospect for those keen to pursue a successful career in accountancy, as it provides the ideal combination of a rigorous academic grounding through our Accountancy and Finance degree with relevant and consistent work experience at a world-leading firm. 

“I’m delighted that agreement in principle has been reached that the University of Birmingham will be one of three universities to provide this programme. The full proposal for this new programme is currently being developed for approval, and I’m sure that places on the scheme will be in high demand given the complete package on offer."

David Willetts, the Minister for Universities and Science, said:

“I welcome the expansion of this innovative scheme, which has already proved very popular among prospective students.  Improving social mobility is at the heart of the Government’s agenda, and providing new routes to the professions is an excellent way of helping people reach their full potential.  So I congratulate KPMG on the expansion of this exciting initiative.”

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.”

The University of Birmingham is one of three universities in the UK that intend to partner with KPMG on the School Leavers Programme.  Durham and Exeter Universities will open their programmes for entry from September 2011, Birmingham will open for entry in 2012.