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Bond first in Queensland to receive actuaries accreditation

Bond University has become the first in Queensland, and just the seventh university Australia-wide, to receive accreditation from the Actuaries Institute to deliver undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in the growing sector of Actuarial Science.

The accreditation was received this week and applies immediately to the programs that commence next year (2015).

Bond University Head of Actuarial Science, Professor Terry O’Neill, said the launch of the degrees had been well received by the industry in Queensland, which had previously had to hire students from the southern states.

To date, actuarial science programs have only been available in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra and Perth, with actuaries experiencing very low unemployment rates and high graduate starting salaries.

“This accreditation is a significant milestone for Bond University and for the industry in Queensland,” said Professor O’Neill.

“The demand for actuaries is rising across Queensland and particularly in Brisbane, in-line with the growth of the sector across the Asia-Pacific region, with new areas for employment actively emerging in the city as the collection and in-depth analysis of ‘big data’ is utilised by an ever increasing number of businesses.

“At the same time, employers have found they hire and train graduates, only to lose them to their home states after a few years, so they are looking forward to having the option of putting on local students with a view to holding on to them over the longer term.”

Professor O’Neill said the introduction of the programs meant Queensland businesses would also have access to students for internships and the ability to collaborate on research projects, through Bond University’s newly established Centre for Actuarial Research.  The Centre is already undertaking two Australian Research Council projects, analysing how prepared people are for retirement and Treasury bonds.

Bond Vice Chancellor, Professor Tim Brailsford, said Bond University’s unique academic model was ideally suited to producing top quality actuaries.

“Bond’s trademark is its genuine focus on personalised learning, with small class sizes, an immersive program and outstanding teaching facilities," he said.

"Our strengths in financial studies and data analytics include the Macquarie Trading Room, offering students access to  licensed Bloomberg Terminals that provide real experience in the day to day operations of global financial markets."

Professor O’Neill – who recently moved from the Australian National University in Canberra where he held the role of Director of the Research School of Finance, Actuarial Studies and Applied Statistics – was appointed to Bond University in February this year to head the new program, and is considered a globally respected and in-demand statistical consultant.

Bond University will offer the Bachelor of Actuarial Science from January 2015 and Masters of Actuarial Practice and Actuarial Science from May 2015.

A full-time Actuarial Science degree at Bond University will take two years to complete, with an Honours degree including an additional two semesters, meaning students can graduate as qualified actuaries in three years.

The provisional accreditation is staged and initially covers half of the Actuaries Institute CT exams, with accreditation for the remainder expected to follow early next year in-line with the development of later year subjects.


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