The impediments to the change to UK university accounting education, a comparison to the USA pathways commission

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There is much debate in the literature concerning the changes necessary for university accounting education to meet the needs of the business environment and broader society. In the USA the Pathways Commission has responded by implementing a programme of evaluation and improvement. In the UK there is no formal agenda for change. This paper compares the situation in the UK to that set out in the Pathways Commission. Two research questions are asked. (1) What should be included in a programme of change in the UK? (2) What are the impediments to the change? The questions are answered by reviewing the literature to firstly consolidate the calls for change and secondly to analyse the circumstances affecting UK accounting degrees. The paper calls on the accountancy profession, universities and academics in the UK to embark on a programme of change similar to the USA to agree a core curriculum, an appropriate academic resourcing strategy and a revised pedagogy. It argues that for significant and lasting change to emerge impediments in three areas need to be addressed. (1) The interface between professional accountancy bodies (PABs) and university academics. (2) The impact of institutional policies on accounting degrees. (3) The identity of UK university accounting academics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)576-598
Number of pages23
JournalAccounting Education
Issue number5-6
Publication statusPublished - 22 May 2017


  • UK accounting degrees
  • professional accountancy bodies
  • accreditation
  • identity of academics
  • Pathways Commission

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