Accounting for ACCA excellence


By KAREN CHAPMAN

ONE of the largest providers of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) courses in the world, the FTMS School of Professional Accounting and Finance has not gone unnoticed. Thanks to its belief that its courses have to be top-notch as well as producing excellent results, it has been awarded the ACCA premier registered status. 

FTMS business studies director Janendran S. Mariappen said this is similar to the National Accreditation Board (LAN) process where the college's courses and teaching and learning environment are reviewed to ensure that students are getting the best. 

The ACCA website states that premier registered status carries enhanced recognition and is available to tuition providers which offer a specified range of courses, prepare submission documents in accordance with ACCA's requirements and undergo a pre-registration visit. 

Among the requirements it must meet are the appointment of a designated member of staff to deal with ACCA enquiries, the preparation of detailed lecture plans showing ACCA syllabus coverage during the course, ensuring that students are able to contact tutors within normal office hours, ensuring that tutors have access to up-to-date ACCA manuals for each paper, holding annual ACCA course reviews and achieving pass rates which meet the premier worldwide pass rate criteria. 

The School of Professional Accounting and Finance has also received recognition from the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants through its Learning Through Partnership scheme. The award recognises the high standards of teaching and learning at the school, and its commitment to provide flexible delivery to meet the needs of employers and students. 

Says Janendran: ''We believe these two awards speak for themselves as we believe in continually providing the best to our students. Education is a very competitive business and we don't play around with our students' future as we believe we are training tomorrow's professionals today.” 

He adds that finance executives worldwide are being challenged to gain more skills and knowledge to move beyond their scope. ''Globalisation has major implications for the qualifications and education of accountants and finance professionals.  

The growth of emerging markets in the information age also requires these finance professionals to adapt to fast-changing economies.” 

For those unable to attend regular classes, Janendran says FTMS launched its e-learning platform for ACCA courses in 1999. 

''The www.FTMSonline.com has evolved into FTMS's e-learning academy. It provides students from all over the world online access to internationally-renowned accounting qualifications, such as ACCA.  

''The technology is a unique Internet delivery system that offers downloadable audio, text and notes, and bridges the physical distance between students and FTMS campuses,'' he says. Janendran says FTMS has established its presence in places around the world, including Uganda, China, Vietnam, Brunei and the United Kingdom. 

He adds: ''Our school in Kampala, Uganda, is managed by a team of professionals. It offers accounting and finance programmes. 

“In Vietnam, our first batch of ACCA graduates obtained their qualifications in 2001.'' 

Meanwhile, the FTMS School of Engineering and Computing Sciences offers quality, industry-relevant diploma and degree programmes which cater to students who want a career in the information technology and computer industry. 

''The school prepares students for dynamic careers in a changing environment,'' says FTMS-De Montfort University general manager John Schagen. 

De Montfort University set up its branch campus in Kuala Lumpur in collaboration with FTMS a few years ago. It became the second British university to be given branch university status after Nottingham University. 

Schagen says: ''Being a student at the Kuala Lumpur campus is just as good as studying at De Montfort in Britain, minus the living expenses. 

''The FTMS-De Montfort degree programmes here are the same as those in the UK, so students can be assured that quality standards are being met. Assessment is carried out in England, and we have expatriate lecturers based here to provide additional support.” However, before deciding on what course to do, Schagen challenges students to do as much research as possible. 

''Go where your heart is. Don't take up engineering just because a friend is doing it. At FTMS, we welcome students to sit in on various classes before making up their mind about what they want to do,'' he says, adding that some have taken up the offer to try out a class before making a commitment.  

FTMS also ensures its students have access to state-of-the-art facilities. Its classrooms and lecture theatres are equipped with the latest projection systems, multimedia capabilities, smart boards, Internet links and video-conferencing facilities.  

To meet the needs of a high technology world, its computer laboratories are fully equipped with the latest computer terminals and workstations.  

The latest iMacs are also available for students taking lessons related to graphics and design, while computer laboratories are ergonomically designed to maximise students’ learning.  

FTMS has contributed 12 awards worth RM235,000 to the Star Education Fund. 

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