I have a huge axe to grind with the above Institute, as I believe it has lost its initial value, and is in danger of becoming extinct unless radical measures are urgently enacted and the emphasis directed differently.
The existing members (I am a member of the ICAEW since 1981) appear to rubber stamp the various proposals that look good on paper, and ensure the longevity of their exclusivity! The massive new building for which I am sure there is a considerable loan that needs to be repaid is just an example of the extravagance, and Empire Building, and the Degree Awarding status is just a ruse to expand the power without adding value. Why compete with hundreds of other programs, and maintain yours is the best, when you have every opportunity to design a more equitable course to benefit those unable to pass the Institute Exams as shown below. That will be a real service to your failing students who can now pass!!!
The Institute have over 20,000 students, but they have made the exams so hard, that fewer than 5% of those will end up as qualified Chartered Accountants. This is not going to preserve your exclusivity in the club, as the main reason this happens is that the papers get tougher, NOT better. I was talking to an accountant a few days ago, who said that the CIMA students have a far more practical and meaningful syllabus that is relevant to the workplace of today. The employers know this, and the stock of the CIMA qualified product has gone up considerably. This would have been anathema in my day, as the stock of the Chartered was so much higher, but it is the Institute only to blame for being behind the times in their syllabus, and relevance.
The above two issues taken to together mean that the Institute owes it to these students to find an alternative way out of their predicament. I propose, the setting up of a subsidiary qualification for public accounting, as the current Govt. public accounting qualifications are unreliable and not catering to the needs. If the institute has their own qualification, I can assure you the Govt. qualification will naturally disappear to be replaced with the Institute version, and the students who find the Chartered too difficult can be diverted to this and have a ready opening of employment in the public sector.
This will kill two birds at once, by finding an opening for thousands of intelligent accounting students to qualify in a profession, and provide the public sector with capable accountants able to clean up the mess in their accounting systems and make the departments and ministries more efficient in their use of resources.
Students it is time for you to speak up and make a sound proposal so that all stakeholders will end up in a win win situation. You can bump up the considerable egos of the Institute's governing bodies in order to enact your ideas, which will help the accountancy profession as a whole, and the quality of the resulting output, by improving efficiencies in the public sector and maybe upgrade the Institute's syllabuss so at to be relevant for tomorrow and thereafter.