Blog - March 2016

ABE working with Vietnamese Ministry of Education

 ABE and the Vietnam Ministry of Education ABE was honoured to receive a delegation from Vietnam recently. The delegation was made up of 9 key people representing the Vietnam Ministry of Education and two directors from Binh Minh group. Our Area Manager for Vietnam Hoang Ngoc Tu accompanied the visitors. 

Our CEO Gareth received the group and introduced them to everyone at ABE, then we whisked them off to a nearby venue for presentations and lunch.

Gareth shared ABE’s vision and mission with the delegates. He emphasized our commitment towards building ABE in Vietnam and getting our programmes approved by the Ministry of Education.  He spoke about our focus on being the market leader for Entrepreneurship and Vocational programmes and how this could help the Vietnamese economy and the country.

This was followed by a product presentation outlining ABE’s plans for Vietnam. Next, we explored how Vietnam is becoming ever more digital and  stats about digital. We also talked about our commitment to help the Vietnamese Government with its National 2020 language project.

Mr Ngijyen Dijc Thai, Director of Department of Infrastructures, Ministry of Education and Training, thanked Gareth and the ABE team for hosting the delegation. He promised that they are committed in helping ABE to grow in Vietnam and confirmed that the Ministry of Education will support ABE in Vietnam. He stressed the importance of vocational programmes, short courses and how ABE could fill the gap of providing affordable UK degrees for Vietnamese learners. He suggested that top up degrees and progression pathways are important.

The presentations were followed by a ceremony to sign a Memorandum of Understanding. Gareth signed the MOU with Nguyen Hong Hai, Director of Binh Minh group for collaborative partnership. The MOU will open doors for growing ABE in the Vietnamese market. Binh Minh group have interests in Education, Technology and Agriculture. They have developed their own English programme which is recognised by Hanoi Department of Education and Training and is taught in more than 2000 classes in schools in Hanoi. They now have more than 200 foreign teachers teaching in many districts of Vietnam with thousands of learners.


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Mr Nguyen Hong Hai, Director of Binh Minh group and Gareth sign the MoU

Pilirani Kalizang'oma Zimba, Accountant, Delegation of the European Union to Malawi

I live iPilirani Kalizang'oma Zimban Lilongwe, the capital city of Malawi. I am married to Duncan and I have two beautiful children. My daughter, Mayamiko is 5 years old while my son, Mayankho Matthews is 1 year old.

I work for the Delegation of the European Union to Malawi. It is basically a donor organisation which offers a lot of financial support to Malawi through various programmes. The Malawi office has about 51 colleagues in total.

I am working as an Accountant in the Administration Section. I am responsible for among other things; preparation and management of the administrative budget – making sure we have enough funds and that funds are being used for the intended purposes, preparation of the payroll, processing various payments to suppliers and contractors as well as colleagues and compiling reports for our Headquarters.

I really enjoy my job as I love calculations and sorting out complex issues. Therefore, I really enjoy opportunities where I have to use my initiative to solve potential problems and propose solutions to colleagues. I also love my job as it is not monotonous; I do various tasks.

Having worked as a secretary for two different organisations, I moved on to join the Delegation of the European Union in 2005 where I worked as an Assistant to the Ambassador and Head of Delegation. I felt the need to advance my career and do something different so I decided to start my studies with the ABE. Therefore, I was studying while at the same time working. About 5 years later, when an internal vacancy came up for a Human Resource Assistant, I applied for it and I was given the position due to my ABE qualifications. Shortly after that, another vacancy came up for an Accountant and I got the position as I had by then attained my Diploma in Accounting as well. I have now been working as an Accountant for about 4 years.

I started studying with ABE in 2005. Upon completion of the course, I decided to continue in Accounting as I loved the accounting modules in ABE. I registered with the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) where I was given four exemptions because of my ABE Diploma in Business Administration. I found some of the modules in ACCA easier because of my background with ABE. I hope to finish next year, becoming a Chartered Certified Accountant and attaining my Degree in Applied Accounting. I liked the flexibility of studying with ABE as well as the study resources available. I would have completed my accounting studies some years back but I had personal hiccups along the way (marriage, maternity leave and children).

I would encourage those starting out to go ahead and register with ABE if you are hesitating. If you have already registered, I encourage you to continue. ABE has assisted me in my path to progression and I know it can do the same for you. Their modules are very good and they have all the necessary study resources on their website. Upon completion of the ABE syllabus, you can be exempted some modules in other courses like I was, or you can go on to the third or fourth year of a university degree."

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Naveed Asghar Sheikh, General Manager (Sales & Marketing) YKK Pakistan

It is a great pleasure for me to know that ABE-UK is going to introduce its courses in Pakistan.

I, being a graduate of ABE-UK, know for a fact that ABE courses are very professional and more market oriented than our standard education.  Having had no business education background and despite having a Bachelor’s of Arts degree from Pakistan, I was unable to get admission for an MBA in the UK.

I had checked various options and consulted with people in the field then opted for the ABE qualifications in 1986.  Although new to business education, I found the course very interesting and it proved to be a stepping stone for me for the higher education in Business studies.

I found ABE examination standards were high and learning approach was different from our education system in Pakistan. Its methodology was to enhance problem solving and decision making skills of future business managers.

ABE advanced diploma was mainly focusing on case studies and practical approach to real world business situations which I found really interesting.

Naveed SheikhBased on ABE qualification, I got exemptions from many subjects from the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) and got admissions offers for an MBA programme from various universities.  Therefore, ABE qualification proved to be cost effective and time saving by providing short cut to higher qualifications. I completed all 3 parts of ABE qualifications within 2 years.

I finally did my MBA (with an academic award of excellence) from a USA University at their London Campus as they also given me credit hours against some of their courses due to ABE qualifications.

Since then I had a successful career in England and in Pakistan. Whereas, I have worked at top level for Multinationals ( LG Electronics and YKK ), also for Government Organisations (PCFA and   Export Promotion Bureau, Govt. of Pakistan). 

I owe my success to my learning and my professional training through ABE qualifications and I would be happy to recommend to anyone who is looking for professional business education. Personally, I feel that quality of its course work is better than many taught by our universities for their undergraduate programs.

Atukwase Cleophus, Chief Executive Officer and Head of Secretariat at youth project BARESO -The Lord’s Vessel

Atukwase CleophusThe ABE qualification has proved invaluable in supporting my work as Chief Executive Officer at ‘BARESO - The Lord’s Vessel’, a not-for-profit organisation whose aim is to improve the prospects of the youth in the four districts of the Kabale Diocese.  

With head offices in Kabale, south-western Uganda, BARESO is governed by an independent board of directors and managed by a Secretariat – which I head.  The role of a CEO is obviously demanding and covers several areas of responsibility, everything from human resources to financial management. At BARESO, everything must be linked back to the mission and vision of the organisation. Each module of the Level 6 Diploma in Business Management helped me meet all my objectives and carry out my duties effectively. 

ABE qualifications are recognised by the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulations (Ofqual) in the UK and by the equivalent bodies worldwide. These qualifications are also recognised by colleges, universities, employers and governments around the world, making them ideal for academic and professional development.

After I finished my Bachelor’s Degree, I found myself lacking the managerial knowledge and skills I needed to progress in my career. In a drive to remedy this, I enrolled myself hastily on two postgraduate courses, without first identifying the skills I needed to acquire. Eventually, after undertaking some research, I realised that what I really needed was an ABE qualification. So I dropped both my original choice courses and started the ABE Level 6 Diploma in Business Management.

The purpose of my job as CEO at BARESO is to provide leadership for the company by promoting the vision, mission, strategies and programmes in the target communities, as well as to the general public. In my other role as Head of BARESO Secretariat, the management arm of BARESO, I have five main areas of responsibility and each area was becoming a huge challenge, mainly due to the lack of professional skills management gained from my Bachelors Degree.  

The ABE Level 6 Diploma in Business Management was the ultimate course for me because it had all the elements necessary to develop my professional skills in all of the five key areas.  

The Corporate Strategy and Planning section of the course helped me to lead in strategy development for the organisation, development of goals, objectives and operational plans, overseeing preparation of the annual budget and other financial documents and setting policies in line with BARESO’s mission.  

The Managing in Organisations module helped me with all my leadership and management responsibilities, including in human resources and performance.  

The Corporate Finance module helped me with financial management, an area where I oversaw financial and investment activities for the organisation.

Strategic Marketing Management was an important module and was integral in helping me plan and execute my duties for public relations and advocacy.  This part of my role involved the development and execution of a strategic marketing plan and engaging positively and effectively with the media.  

The International Business module helped with all my responsibilities associated with programme development and implementation from a global perspective. The module also helped me to ensure that the goals and objectives were aligned with BARASO’s overall strategic plan, as well as the monitoring of all BARESO’s programmes.  

It took me a year to complete the Level 6 Diploma and I am now studying the ABE Level 7 Diploma in Business Management and the Certified Public Accountants (CPA) qualification.

The ABE qualification has undoubtedly supported my work as Chief Executive Officer and helped me deal with the challenges of my role. After completing the Level 6 Diploma, I became particularly proficient in strategic planning and drafting manuals and, as a result of this, the Board recommended me for a lecturing job at a university.

I’m in no doubt that these qualifications are worthwhile and have opened up many doors for me.

Patrick A. Davis, Chief Operating Officer, Snap for Charity, Ghana

Snap for CharityPicture of Patrick DavisI am a Ghanaian living and working in Ghana although sometimes my work demands make me travel to other West African countries. I consult for a number of NGO's in 3 West African Countries.  When I am not working I love to read, paint and listen to classical music.

Snap for Charity (SFC) Foundation is a global development network headquartered in Accra, Ghana. SFC partners celebrities who desire change for the less privileged and helps people build a better life. It provides grant and resource support to orphanages and other charities, with increasing emphasis on assistance to the less fortunate and financially challenged in various communities. To accomplish our goals SFC focuses on poverty reduction; energy, environmental and social developmental projects; HIV/AIDS, malaria and cervical cancer awareness and crisis prevention and recovery. The status of SFC is that of a fund raising body.

As a founding member and Chief Operating Officer, my job involves all levels of management across all departments in the organisation. From working in partnership with the C.E.O. to create strategic long term plans, implementing new processes, coordinating annual operations plans and budgets, running the day to day activities of the foundation by bridging national and regional operations, identifying geographic growth opportunities and priorities, communicating brand messages internally and externally, ensuring that all programmatic partners renew contracts, produce and implement a balanced scorecard metric throughout the organisation, develop an accounting system that provides the organisation with quick access to financial information and responsibility for human capital development.

I am particularly fond of the recruitment and selection aspect of my job. I am able to interact with people with very innovative ideas and there is always an element of surprise involved. One can never accurately predict the responses people will give when asked questions at interviews. Of course there is also the obvious satisfaction that the successful candidates will have their dreams fulfilled and will be contributing to the achievement of our organisational goals.

My career started in the last semester of my ABE studies in 2008, I was given an opportunity to become a teaching assistant in the Leading School of Management in Ghana. Over the years have worked as an ABE lecturer and co-ordinator at various ABE centers and I still work as an ABE coordinator for Logos Business School in Ghana.

Throughout all these jobs, I had the opportunity to interact students from all walks of life across the African Continent. I realised I needed to do something that will impact on the lives of people aside lecturing and coordinating in colleges. I therefore started the Snap for Charity Foundation together with my two partners who are also ABE alumni.

ABE courses are structured to ensure that the student (irrespective of the programme he/she is studying) learns about an organisation as a whole and has a bit of knowledge about all the departments and their functions. Courses such as Introduction to Business Communication and Introduction to Business are studied by all Level 4 students while The Business Environment and Organisational Behaviour are studied by all Level 5 students. Upon completion of the Level 5 Diploma, the student already possesses enough knowledge to be effective and efficient at work. Thus, when Mr. Benjamin Ntim Gyakari and Mr. Emmanuel Boakye-Prempeh gave me the opportunity to lecture ABE students and help mould young minds into successful business executives, I jumped at the opportunity and it has been a blessing. As the years passed I wondered how I can help students who have completed their studies and as I was starting the foundation, I decided to partner two other ABE alumni (Diyana Bawiena and Josephine F. Joh) and give a number of ABE graduates the opportunity to work and practice what they have learnt in a very competitive business environment.

ABE programmes don't just prepare you academically but also prepare you for the ever changing and dynamic work environment. The fees are relatively affordable and there is flexibility as well, as you can write the exams at your own pace. When I started ABE I had fear of calculation subjects so I decided I was going to write all the reading subjects and do the calculation subjects later. I was so surprised when I had an A in Accounting at my first attempt! I discovered that the ABE course outline is such that students don't have to be extremely brilliant in a subject to pass. An understanding of the course is all that is required. Today, I can confidently discuss issues on finance, marketing, human resource, and organisational strategy with people from all walks of life and I believe this is largely thanks to the great foundation ABE gave me.

Students who wish to pursue higher learning will discover that the topics they studied while pursuing ABE qualifications are the same they will learn when studying for their Masters degrees or higher. I have no doubt that ABE graduates are better prepared for the job market which is why my foundation gives ABE qualification holders priority in employment and this has led to all but one of our staff members/consultants being ABE Alumni. I strongly believe that studying for ABE qualifications is both time and money well spent.

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