Part-qualified ACCA students can  pick up a BSc (Honours) degree in Applied Accounting from the Oxford Brookes University (OBU) . To gain the degree, students are only required to submit a guided Research and Analysis Project to the university for assessment.  The project comprises a 5,000 word report and a 1,500 word Key Skills Statement. A submission fee of  £50 is required.

Periodically, the UK universities are rated for their research excellence by an independent panel. The results of the most recent exercise were announced in 2001. The OBU is absent from the list relating to accounting and finance research excellence ( click here ).  AABA has been unable to find any entry for the OBU in the Accounting and Finance research ratings for earlier years.

The OBU deal enables the ACCA to mediate some external pressures (click here for the news revealed by AABA in 1999 ).

With forecast of awarding some 10,000 degrees each year, the OBU stands to make considerable money. Students, especially those from overseas, may find that a UK degree for £50, without much additional study, is very attractive. No doubt, thoughtful students would also wish to ascertain whether the degree is recognized and respected by major employers and how it compares with the honours degrees offered by other universities.

In a further twist, the OBU has granted ACCA chief executive, Anthea Rose, the title of  a 'Visiting Professor'. In the UK universities, professorships are normally conferred upon individuals achieving academic excellence through a considerable record of research and scholarship. Their achievements are normally published in refereed scholarly research journals and are open to critique by their peers. Despite considerable efforts, AABA has been unable to locate Ms Rose's papers in refereed scholarly journals. It has also been unable to locate her CV on the ACCa or the OBU websites  so that fellow academics could scrutinize it for her scholarly achievements.

Academics are normally associated with freedom of thought and also respect others' right to speak and critique. On the contrary, Mrs. Rose tried to silence Professor Prem Sikka ( click here for his CV ) by exerting pressure upon his employers ( click here ). ACCA officials also had the audacity to claim that courts could not intervene in its disputes with its own members ( click here - pdf file ).

We leave it to others to judge whether Mrs. Rose subscribes to the ideals, values and achievements normally associated with academics, or has made the appropriate contribution to knowledge to warrant the title of a 'Professor'. However, ABBA openly invites Ms Rose to write a scholarly paper  (say 8,000 words) on some interesting topic and submit it to a leading scholarly journal. It could be on the governance of the ACCA during 1990s, or openness and democracy in ACCA, or advances in professional accountancy education, or censorship of the ACCA in-house magazine, or new economic imperialism, or something else of her choice.  In return, AABA director Professor Prem Sikka promises that he would provide a critique.

Let us hope that Professor  Rose would find the invitation too tempting to decline.  The resulting exchange might be interesting.