I would like to clarify some issues raised in the Whistleblower article entitled "PlBan for instant degrees abandoned" (THES, July 14).
The agreement with Oxford Brookes University will enable students of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants to obtain BSc degrees in applied accounting. Your article may have given the impression that there was a "deal" with Oxford Brookes, whereby the university would award degrees to part-qualified ACCA students without their being required to do any additional work. I wish to make it absolutely clear that this is not, and has never been, the position.
From the outset, it has always been understood that some form of work on top of the ACCA examinations would be necessary for the award of the Oxford Brookes degree, and that Oxford Brookes would be closely involved in the development of the new ACCA syllabus and assessment procedures. As The THES's report made clear, the final contract signed by ACCA and Oxford Brookes in May 2000 confirms that the award of a degree will be subject to passing the ACCA examinations together with successful completion of a research and analysis project assessed by the university.
Although the research and analysis project element of the course may not have been in that form from the start of talks with Oxford Brookes, it is not the case that criticism in The THES led to pressure to involve Oxford Brookes in a direct role in student assessment. The research and analysis project is the culmination of a process of discussion and development that started well before any public announcement by ACCA or Oxford Brookes or, indeed, by The THES.
Anthea Rose Chief executive, ACCA