A new initiative, due to launch in September, will allow anyone in Hong Kong or anywhere in the world to study business for free at a renowned UK university, thanks to a collaboration between global accountancy body ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants), the University of Exeter Business School and online learning platform FutureLearn.
Together, they are launching a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) –Discovering Business in Society – which is free to study and open to anyone in the world with access to the internet. The aim of the eight week course is to give anyone interested in learning the principles of business, including prospective undergraduate students, working professionals without a background in business, people looking to return to work after an absence, or anyone seeking to further educate themselves. And for those interested in entering the finance profession and seeking a route to ACCA membership, the MOOC can be a starting point.
Jane Cheng, head of ACCA Hong Kong, said: “The whole point of this MOOC is that it is all encompassing. Yes, it can be a way for someone looking to begin their journey into the finance profession with ACCA, but equally it could be useful to anyone in Hong Kong or any other country seeking to start a business to get a better understanding of what's involved, or a parent looking to return to work with a new set of skills. It’s not unusual today for those people already in work to look to change career, and this gives them a taster of what it might be like in a business environment. It’s open to anyone, anywhere, of any age who wants to do it.
“Because it is entirely online, anyone in the world with access to the internet can study it, even though it is delivered by a prestigious UK university. Even if those who study it choose not to use it to further their careers or become entrepreneurs they will have a deeper understanding of how business is relevant in society.”
The Discovering Business in Society MOOC will cover a range of topics, including:
- Purpose and types of business organisation
- The changing world of business
- Environmental and regulatory factors
- Economic factors
- Internal organisation and governance
First steps to accountancy
For those who complete the course and choose to take the optional assessment at the end of the course, which does have a fee attached to it, it could be the first step on the ladder to becoming a qualified ACCA accountant.
Those who are successful in completing the optional examinations can claim exemption from the ACCA F1 paper, Accountant in Business.
Clare Minchington, ACCA Executive Director, said: “The option is there to get that first part of the ACCA qualification under your belt should you decide a career in accountancy is for you. However, we didn’t launch the MOOC just to give people the opportunity to study our globally recognised qualification. Those who study it are under no obligation to take the examination at the end. When we say it is open to all, we don’t just mean those looking to become ACCA accountants. Our ethos has always been open access and this MOOC is testament to that thinking.”
Register for the ACCA-sponsored MOOC at Discovering Business in Society
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