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KPMG University?

Well, sort of.

If you’re thinking something similar to Deloitte’s sprawling campus down in Texas, then you’d be mistaken. The British firm has decided to recruit “school leavers, not university graduates” and will sponsor them to get accounting degrees, reports the FT:

From next year, KPMG will take in 75 school leavers, and then meet the cost of a four-year accountancy degree from Durham university and an accountancy qualification. Trainees on the six-year scheme will start on up to £20,000 a year. In 2012-13, the maximum university tuition fee, now £3,290, will rise to £9,000. At the same time, subsidies are being withdrawn from the sector and rules loosened to allow new entrants into the market and innovation in course design. As a consequence, such schemes could become more attractive to universities.

You could reason that this is a good thing because of the money it will save the students but our concern lies with their university experience. Or, the lack thereof:

KPMG said it could eventually take “in excess of 400” of these trainees a year, more than half its intake. The scheme is therefore expected to replace much of its traditional graduate recruitment. KPMG trainees will not join a conventional degree course. They will, instead, attend special classes to allow them to spend most of their time working at one of the company’s offices.

So, maybe we’re misinterpreting the Queen’s English but that sure sounds like recruits spending their college days sporting business casual, undermining interns/new associates for gofer duties and nothing to do with binge drinking, drug experimentation, gaining the freshman 15 (50?) or sinking themselves into debt. Is nothing sacred?

KPMG to fund young recruits’ degrees [FT]