ICAEW joins forces with leading universities, raising quality
of accounting and finance professions

ICAEW (Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales), a world leading professional membership organisation that promotes, develops and supports more than 147,000 chartered accountants worldwide, and a series of leading economic universities in Việt Nam have signed a series of Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs).

Universities such as Ton DucThang University, National Economics University, Thuong Mai University and University of Economics and Business (Vietnam National University, Hanoi) signed agreements to collaborate at ceremonies in Ho Chi Minh City and Ha Noi.

A Vietnam News reporter spoke to Mark Billington, ICAEW regional director, South East Asia, about this collaboration.

1. What is the reason for the cooperation between ICAEW and Viet Nam’s leading universities. And how do you evaluate these MOUs?

The reason ICAEW is working with leading universities in Viet Nam is to jointly develop and train undergraduates so that they are equipped with the skills and knowledge that employers seek, giving them a competitive edge. This is also a step we are taking to support the growing demand for well-trained and qualified graduates in accounting and finance by offering ICAEW professional qualifications to complement the universities’ academic education.

The agreements were signed with a small number of top universities in Viet Nam so that we can focus on providing the best support to each university partner, working closely to support students’ development towards becoming highly qualified accountancy and finance professionals. This is also proof that ICAEW is committed in developing and raising the quality of the accounting and finance professions in Viet Nam.

Mark Billington, ICAEW Regional Director, South East Asia, gives a speech at the signing ceremony of the MOU with Ton DucThang University

2. How does this collaboration benefit Vietnamese universities?

The collaboration means ICAEW will work as a strategic partner with the universities, providing them with the teaching tools, and will share our knowledge in the areas of business, finance and accounting. To enhance teaching, ICAEW also provides a number of learning and networking platforms to our university partners. The collaboration also means that we will be working to support our university partners’ business goals, such as supporting Ton DucThang University with their internationalisation programme from 2014 to 2020 or supporting National Economics University to achieve international standards to become a regionally recognised university in Asia.

3. How do ICAEW qualifications and the cooperation with universities in particular benefit Vietnamese students?

Viet Nam is undergoing rapid growth and intensive international integration. There is therefore high demand for highly-qualified accounting, finance and business professionals. As a world leader in the accountancy and finance profession, ICAEW is ideally placed to help students take the first step in their journey towards a highly rewarding career in accountancy, finance and business.

The ICAEW Associate Chartered Accountant (ACA) qualification is one of the most advanced learning and professional development programmes available and is recognised and respected globally. It gives students an in-depth understanding across accountancy, business and finance and helps them build technical knowledge, professional skills and practical experience needed to become an ICAEW Chartered Accountant.

Other benefits are the potential career and/or internship opportunities with the ICAEW Authorized Training Employers (ATE) network in Viet Nam and across the region.The ICAEW ATE network includes top accounting firms and global organisations in various industries. Students from our partner universities may be given the opportunity to join our ATE as an intern, take part in a talent exchange programme or gain full time employment while training for the ACA. Recently, five Vietnamese graduates were offered training agreements as full time employees, while a final year student was offered an internship opportunity in Malaysia.

Finally, ICAEW also organises various events for students to engage with the profession and expand their skills and experience at both the national and the regional level. For example, ICAEW-Deloitte Breaking the Limit and ICAEW-EY Challenges for Growth are platforms for students to showcase their talents to our ATEs on a national level. Students also have an opportunity to participate and gain greater commercial awareness and meet potential employers at the Regional Business Challenge held annually in Malaysia. All these efforts and opportunities provided by ICAEW are aimed at enhancing employability for students.

Mark Billington and representative of National University Board of Management Prof. Dr. Tran Tho Dat – President sign MOUs

4. I have learned ICAEW not only works with universities to enhance employability of university students, but also has many activities that benefit the lectures of partner universities. Can you elaborate on this?

ICAEW provides university partners with a number of ways to enhance their teaching. It also offers networking opportunities with fellow academics in the region.

One way in which we share our expertise is through technical training offered by ICAEW experts through a series of workshops. They can also gain free access to ourteaching resources and materials online via the ICAEW website. The online resources, technical sessions and train-the-trainer workshops are designed to keep our university partners abreast of the latest developments in the area of business, accounting and finance, and provide the necessary teaching tools.

Partner universities in South East Asia are also invited to send delegates to the Annual Academic or Tutors Conference held in Malaysia. The objective of this event is for participants to learn and be trained on the implementation of teaching standards and the delivery methodology of the ICAEW professional qualifications by professional trainers and experts in the education industry.

5. Besides signing MoUs with these four universities, does ICAEW intend to cooperate with more universities in Viet Nam in the future?

ICAEW has similar agreements with some other leading universities in Viet Nam as part of our commitment towards developing and supporting the accounting and finance professions in Viet Nam. These include British University Vietnam, Hanoi University of Business and Technology, Banking Academy of Vietnam and Academy of Finance, as well as Vietnam National University HCM - University of Economics and Law, and Academy of Finance.

ICAEW is focused on supporting all our university partners in achieving success in the delivery and training of ICAEW qualifications. We are committed to ensuring our university partners are able to produce top quality graduates that are ready to be employed. We may consider additional university partnerships based on viability.

Mark Billington and representative of Thuong Mai University sign an MOU

6. What is the next plan after these MoUs?

The next steps are to review, develop and strategically plan the roadmap for training the ICAEW qualification at each university. We will offer support and share the knowledge and tools that our university partners require to launch the ICAEW programme successfully.

Another part of the plan is to schedule the training calendar for the lectures to enhance students’ learning experience.

Thank you so much for participating in this interview.

Mark Billington delivers a speech at the University of Economics and Business (Vietnam National University, Hanoi)