Last week the world’s leading accountancy body and one of Wales’ most respected universities celebrated a remarkable half-century educational partnership.

ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) and the University of South Wales (USW) came together for a special event at the Newport City Campus on 26 October to mark 50 years of training finance professionals in south Wales.

Since introducing the ACCA course in 1973, the University of South Wales has become an ACCA Platinum Approved Learning Partner, the highest level of accreditation that a tuition provider can obtain, in recognition of its excellent pass rates and support for students. In recent years, four students from the ACCA programme at USW have received prizes from ACCA for achieving the highest mark worldwide in their ACCA examinations.

Led by lecturers with real world practical experience and technical expertise, USW’s tuition includes all the syllabus content, question practice, and revision sessions needed to prepare students for the ACCA exams, as well as introducing students to the Ethics & Professional Skills module and the Practical Experience Requirements to become an ACCA member.

ACCA course alumni from across the 50 years of the partnership joined senior figures from the university and ACCA, current students – Welsh and international, ACCA members, local employers and partners at the event, sharing their experiences of how the ACCA Qualification has given them the skills to succeed in any sector, and in any industry because it’s recognised and respected all over the world.

Paul Matthews, ACCA course alumni and now chief executive of Monmouthshire County Council, said: “It’s a privilege to be a small part of such a special evening. This university and the ACCA programme changed my life and the lives of many others for the better. It’s a tough accreditation to achieve but the rewards of having such a globally recognised qualification make all the efforts worthwhile. Well done on the first fifty years, on to the next!”

Helen Brand OBE, chief executive of ACCA, said: “It’s such a pleasure to be here as we celebrate 50 years of USW offering the ACCA Qualification. In that half-century we have seen so many cohorts of gifted accountants emerge from USW, and they have gone on to contribute so much, in so many ways, to the worlds of finance and business in Wales, across the UK, and across the world.”

Dr Ben Calvert, vice chancellor of the University of South Wales, said: “This course epitomises what USW stands for – working with the profession and industry locally and globally to bring industry needs into the classroom and train professionals who will be at the heart of organisations throughout their careers. It is a course that has achieved sustained successes and has contributed to the subject area winning ‘Public Sector College of the Year’ four times since 2010 at the PQ Magazine Awards in London.”