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Lesley Gourlay and Wilma Teviodale

Head of Accountancy to influence the curriculum for Accounting and Finance degree courses throughout the UK

The University of Huddersfield’s Head of Accountancy, Wilma Teviotdale, has been invited by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) to join the national review panel that revises the benchmark statements for the subjects of Accounting and Finance.

The panel – which is expected to complete its work within six months – has already convened for a first meeting, at which Wilma helped to achieve greater input from employers. She agreed to ask her business connections to ensure that representatives of accountancy firms and financial practitioners working in industry would make a contribution to the new benchmarks. She has succeeded in co-opting four industry experts to support the QAA’s work.

Lesley Gourlay and Wilma Teviodale

Lesley Gourlay and Wilma Teviodale

“The University of Huddersfield lays stress on the employability of graduates, and it is vital that work skills are embedded in all courses,” says Wilma, who practised as a chartered accountant, working for a large international firm, before joining the University.

She is a member of several professional organisations and recently served as President of the West Yorkshire Society of Chartered Accountants, one of the largest regional bodies of the Institute of Chartered Accountants (ICAEW), which is represented on the QAA panel. She will continue her professional work as an elected ICAEW Council Member, representing over 5,500 chartered accountants in West Yorkshire.

When the new Accountancy and Finance benchmark statements are finalised, they will influence the curriculum for degree courses throughout the UK.

“It will be a revision of the existing standards,” said Wilma Teviotdale. “We are not going to throw the baby out with the bathwater, but we need to be very clear that we are recognising not just the technical skills that people need in accounting and finance, but their employability as well – and that is where the contributions from employers will be vital.”

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