New national opportunities for school leavers

University of Exeter announced as KPMG school leavers’ scheme partner

The University of Exeter Business School has reached an agreement in principle with professional services firm KPMG to become a partner in its ground-breaking school leavers’ scheme.

Under the scheme, first announced by KPMG in January, students will enter onto a six year programme in which they will gain work experience at KPMG, take a relevant honours degree and gain a professional accountancy qualification from the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Scotland (ICAS), whilst also receiving a salary and having all of their tuition fees paid.

The University of Exeter will join Durham University in taking students onto the programme from this September. It is anticipated that around 40 students will join the degree course at Exeter this year.

The Accounting programme at Exeter is already recognised as one of the best in the country and is currently ranked in first place in the Times Good University Guide 2011. 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. The news comes as KPMG reveals that over 5,000 young people have already registered their interest in the scheme. KPMG’s application process is due to go live later this week.

Professor Richard Lamming, Dean of the University of Exeter Business School said “This will enable even more bright young people to access our highly regarded accounting degree. The Business School has been enjoying an unprecedented period of significant growth and investment, much of it focused on delivering a fantastic student experience. Partnership within a truly innovative programme such as this fits perfectly into our entrepreneurial philosophy. The Business School is well known for its strong relationships with many leading graduate employers, including KPMG, and I’m delighted that this has been recognised with this new scheme. My Accounting colleagues and I are very much looking forward to welcoming our first KPMG students later this year.”

Oliver Tant, Head of Audit at KPMG, said “We are delighted that another 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 Exeter to make the scheme a success.”

Date: 7 March 2011

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