Accounting and Business students were given a boost this week after four top accountancy firms made sponsorship pledges to the University of Ulster.
PwC, Ernst and Young, ASM Professional Services and CIMA Ireland are to sponsor six new awards in the Department of Accounting’s Annual Student Awards for High Achievement, beginning in 2012.
Dr Gillian Armstrong, Head of Accounting at the Ulster Business School announced the new sponsors at this year’s Awards ceremony held in the Belfast campus last week.
“We are delighted to welcome the new sponsors who will be joining our well established supporters of these Awards, which recognise outstanding academic achievement among Accounting and Business Studies Undergraduate students,” said Dr Armstrong.
“The new sponsored Awards - totalling over £5,000 over the next four years - is a mark of the confidence these companies have in our students and highlights a bright future for accountancy students in the workplace. The new Awards will cover a range of emerging areas including Forensic Accounting, which begins this year and the new BSc Hons Accounting and Law programme”.
Dr Armstrong thanked current sponsors, which included: KPMG, Henry Murray and Co, Baker Tilly Mooney Moore, the First Trust Bank, Bedford Consulting and the Professional Accounting Bodies – Chartered Accountants Ireland (CAI), the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and the Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Ireland (ICPA).
Guest speaker, Kieran Donnelly, Comptroller and Auditor General of the Northern Ireland Audit Office, praised the calibre of students at Ulster.
He said: “This University provides much more than high quality vocational qualifications. Just as important, perhaps more so, is the huge emphasis that the University puts on the personal development of students, the emphasis on teamwork, confidence building and an awareness of the needs of others in society.
“As an employer of the University of Ulster graduates, my organisation the Audit Office, has benefited enormously from the investment the University has made in the personal development of students. I have had the pleasure of working with a number of recent Ulster Accounting and Business Studies graduates and what I see is confident and creative citizens with a commitment to life-long learning.”
Also speaking at the prize-giving event, Dean of the Ulster Business School, Professor Marie McHugh, said: “Ulster students and graduates of Accounting and Business Studies can take their place on the world stage - in the most recent examinations of ACCA, Ulster students have recorded some of the best performances in the world. That is certainly something for us to celebrate. Alongside this, we are very proud of our achievements in the most recent National Student Survey which secures the Ulster Business School’s position as Northern Ireland’s leading provider of Business, Management, Accounting and Finance education.”
Award winners and sponsors for 2011 were:
Henry Murray Cup – Best Overall Student in Year 1 - Rachel Picken from Carrickfergus – sponsor, Henry Murray and Co;
CPA Prize – Best Student in Career Planning and Personal Skills Development Module - Stephen McKee from Belfast (not attending) – sponsor, Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Ireland (ICPA);
KPMG Prize – Top Three Students in Year 2 – third place, Paul Moag from Lisburn; second place, Rui Li and first place, Qingyan Liu, who are both from Dongbei University of Finance and Economics (DUFE) in China – sponsor, KPMG;
HD Mooney Memorial Prize – Best Student in Financial Accounting Year 2 – Qingyan Liu from China – sponsor, Baker Tilly Mooney Moore;
ACCA Prize - Best Performance in Taxation Year 2 - Rui Li from China – sponsor, Association of Chartered Certified Accountants;
First Trust Prize - First Place in Accounting and Finance Specialisation – Lisa Dickson from Armagh, sponsor First Trust Bank;
Ulster Society CAI - Best Student in Business Strategy - Ashley Tyrer from the Isle of Man – sponsor, Chartered Accountants Ireland, Ulster Society;
The Bedford Consulting Prize - First Place in Management of Business Finance Module - Lisa Dickson from Armagh - sponsor, Bedford Consulting;
The Bedford Consulting Prize - First Place in Management Accounting for Business Decisions Module - Kai Wong – sponsor Bedford Consulting;
The Bedford Consulting Prize - Best Business Plan, Final Year, Enterprise Development Module - Rebecca Galbrath from Belfast, Daryl Parke from Newry (not attending), Kathryn Clingen from Newtownabbey, Nichole Dooey from Portrush;
University of Ulster Exceptional Achievement Award - student completed passing all nine ACCA Foundation exams with an average of 79.4% - Qingyan Liu from China and Irene Troughton from Armagh.
Caption: Guest speaker Kieran Donnelly, Auditor General of the Northern Ireland Audit Office (left) with staff from the University of Ulster's Department of Accounting and sponsors of the annual Accounting Awards.