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Big money boost for accountant hopeful

11 December 2018

Portrait of male undergraduate student

A Cardiff University student has kick-started his bid for a career as an accredited accountant after securing a prestigious bursary from the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW).

Scott MacLean, aged 19 and from Penlan, in Swansea started his degree in Accounting in September when he responded to a call for applications for an ICAEW bursary of £12,000.

He said: “When I told my family and friends about the money nobody believed me. You haven’t won twelve grand, they said. They thought I was having them on...”

“And it took me by surprise too, if I’m honest. The first thing I did was go and buy the new iPhone XS, I don’t think the news had really sunk in!”

Scott MacLean, Accounting with a Professional Placement Year (BSc) student

One of only nine awards made across the UK, the money is part of the ICAEW’s Changing Futures bursary programme which provides funding for talented students from financially disadvantaged backgrounds studying accountancy or finance related degrees at university.

Enthusiasm and commitment

Scott, who completed his A-levels in Accounting, Politics, Law and the AAT Level 3 Advanced Diploma in Accounting at Gower College, has always wanted to study in Cardiff and hopes that his time at university will lead to a graduate job and a career as an accredited accountant.

Amy Nisbet, Scott’s Accounting Lecturer at Gower College, said: “Scott has always shown enthusiasm and commitment to his studies and to pursue a career in accounting.

“At college, he worked with dedication and motivation and proved himself to have a flair for the subject with the appropriate academic skills, personal qualities and a dedication to succeed...”

“We’re extremely proud of Scott’s achievements – he’s an inspiration to current and future Accounting students at Gower College.”

Amy Nisbet, Scott’s Accounting Lecturer at Gower College

Scott added: “I took accounting at A-Level so thought I might have a head start, but there’s so much added onto the degree. It’s very difficult!

“I’m working hard and getting to grips with the basics, things like T Accounts, Income Statements and Balance Sheets - the types of things I’ll do day-to-day when I become an accountant.”

Standout student

Scott is enrolled on Cardiff Business School’s Accounting with a Professional Placement Year (BSc) programme which will see him undertake a one-year work placement at an accounting firm for the third year of his degree.

The sandwich year is an opportunity for students to gain the relevant knowledge and skills for their future careers with the support of the School’s dedicated Careers and Employability Team.

Patrick Wylie, a Lecturer in Accounting and Finance at Cardiff Business School and part of the judging panel for the ICAEW bursary, said: “Scott’s strong academic performance to date and his desire to follow a career in the accounting profession made him the standout student for this award...”

“We’re very grateful to the ICAEW Foundation and the ICAEW Charitable Trust in their continued support of our students.”

Patrick Wylie, Lecturer in Accounting and Finance

Find out more about the ICAEW Changing Futures bursary.

We offer a wide range of degree programmes at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.