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ICAEW Manchester honours memory of past president with expanded student support scheme

Author: ICAEW Manchester

Published: 07 Nov 2022

ICAEW Manchester has announced plans to expand its programme of student support. The scheme will also be named in memory of David Illingworth, a past president of both the district and ICAEW, who sadly passed away this summer.
Rod Sellers and Bhawana Gupta

The programme of support was originally launched in 2020 by ICAEW Manchester as one of a number of initiatives to mark the 150th anniversary of the society.

The scheme has already provided funding support and mentoring for two postgraduate students from Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) to complete dissertations on corporate governance comparisons between the UK and Luxembourg and the progress of Islamic finance in the UK.

The latest beneficiary of the initiative is a current MMU postgraduate student, Bhawana Gupta. She is working on a dissertation that will explore the need for measurable and verifiable environmental, social and governance (ESG) information in organisations’ annual reports.

ICAEW Manchester has taken the decision to expand the scheme to cover a number of other higher educational institutions in Greater Manchester. In addition to working with MMU, the programme will now be extended to provide support to a postgraduate student at the University of Salford, and also to a postgraduate at Alliance Manchester Business School (AMBS) – in the first instance helping a student from AMBS develop a completed dissertation into a paper suitable for publication. The extended scheme will henceforth be known as the David Illingworth Memorial Scholarship.

Mr Illingworth was president of ICAEW Manchester in 1992-93 and president of the ICAEW in 2003, a year in which the profession was preparing for the significant changes that accompanied the adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and the introduction of Practice Assurance in the UK. He travelled widely, promoting the accountancy profession worldwide, and also maintained close connections to the Manchester professional community throughout his life.

Rod Sellers OBE, president of ICAEW Manchester, said, “David was a figure of huge importance to our profession nationally and internationally, but he was also a great supporter of all that we do at ICAEW Manchester, and even made the effort to attend our most recent AGM in May of this year, despite increasing health problems.

“A modest, quiet but determined man, David always sought to encourage those around him. I hope that naming our programme of student support in his honour will provide a fitting tribute and help maintain his legacy among a generation who did not have the privilege of meeting him.”

All three students so far to have received support with their dissertations from ICAEW Manchester were selected from shortlists of eligible candidates who then went on to carry out five-minute pitches explaining their ideas in more detail. Once selected they received a modest bursary and access to real-world advice and insights from ICAEW Manchester and its members.

Mr Sellers said, “The most important aspect of the support we provide is to offer real-world insights that take students’ work beyond the academic and enable them to create something truly meaningful. They are also able to carry out surveys of our membership, many of whom hold senior positions in business, to give real depth to their work.

“ICAEW Manchester has always sought to nurture strong relationships with the local student community, and we hope the David Illingworth Memorial Scholarship will help us build on this in future, hopefully encouraging a new generation to consider training as ICAEW Chartered Accountants.”