As our nation becomes more tightly integrated into the global economy, Sri Lankans are faced with a dizzying range of options, opportunities, and challenges. In order to successfully navigate these challenges and make the most of our opportunities, we must make the best choice out of the almost limitless educational options we face. Indeed, given that investment in education is an investment in our future, it is imperative that we give ourselves the best foundation for success.
CIMA is, quite possibly, the most employable qualification in Sri Lanka. Approximately 98% of CIMA members and students are working in the industry of their choice, with the remaining 2% pursuing higher studies. With such an astounding success rate, it would have been understandable if the Institute had decided to continue with its current curriculum; indeed, CIMA – Sri Lanka is renowned for the caliber of its members and lecturers, with Sri Lankan tutors being routinely recognised as the best in the world. For example, in the last year alone, Sri Lankan CIMA tutors have been both the winner and runner-up in the international awards for the best tutor in the world.
Instead of resting on its laurels, however, and in keeping with its reputation for thought leadership, CIMA partnered with the University of Bath and conducted a £500,000 survey of employers around the world to determine how best to position the CIMA curriculum in a rapidly evolving future. Indeed, as a consumer-driven Institute that continually evaluates the benefits it offers to its stakeholders so as to maximise their strategic advantage, CIMA is fit for purpose.
Equipped with results that illuminate what global business will look like in five years, CIMA set out to redesign its curriculum to reflect what the corporate world of the future will demand. The result? An ambitious, innovative next-generation qualification for the business leaders of today and tomorrow. Emphasizing the fact that the CIMA qualification is focused on strategic management and finance, CIMA Regional Director for South Asia and the Middle East, Bradley Emerson noted that only a third of the syllabus is devoted to accounting.
This is in keeping with the need for business leaders who have the vision to understand the larger global picture and the management skills to seize success. It’s no surprise then that the CIMA qualification opens doors throughout the world. A CIMA qualification is fully equivalent to qualifications offered by a range of international educational institutes including the Society of Management Accountants of Canada (CMA), CPA Australia, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), and ACCA, meaning that members are automatically entitled to membership of these institutions without needing to sit any additional examinations. Indeed, an investment in CIMA is an investment in a totally global profile.
CIMA members, though they are globally recognised, need not travel abroad for better prospects. As one of the key contributors of highly skilled employees to the nation’s economy, CIMA is heavily involved in helping to build a more attractive destination for investment. In accordance with national plans to showcase Sri Lanka as a business process outsourcing (BPO) hub, CIMA is committed to helping the nation keep moving up the BPO value chain by ensuring that its members have the skills necessary to prosper in the global arena.
The Institute’s forward-thinking philosophy is apparent in its decision to partner with KaleidoSource, a BPO organization, based out of Australia and specializing in Finance and Accountancy outsourcing, to offer students the skills they need to succeed in the industry. Known as Finance Accounting Outsourcing Core Competency Development (FAOCCD), this innovative 80-hour programme ensures that students get hands-on training in a simulated BPO work environment that is as close to the real thing as they can get. From data entry to management analysis, CIMA is committed to giving the country the resources it needs to plug into the lucrative BPO industry specifically, and the finance management field in general. Indeed, the Institute recently reduced its fees by a staggering 60%, giving more Sri Lankans than ever the opportunity to become a member of the most successful qualification offered in the country.
Another example of CIMA’s dedication to help its members move up the value chain can be seen in its educational partnerships. The Institute has tied up with three prestigious British universities to offer top-up degrees, including both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, which complement its professional qualification. Through an exclusive CIMA degree pathway, CIMA-qualified students can earn a B.A. (Hons.) from Northumbria University simply by studying three additional modules and completing a project. CIMA members can also earn M.Sc. degrees from the University of Gloucestershire and Birmingham City University by embarking on a research programme that typically takes up to an year.
Having successfully positioned itself as the next generation strategic management professional qualification, CIMA is confident that it gives its members and students the knowledge and skills necessary to thrive in the global marketplace. Renowned for developing today’s business leaders, CIMA looks forward to building the business leaders of tomorrow.
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