Anti-merger leader stripped of ICAEW membership

by Gavin Hinks

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14 Oct 2009

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Jeff Wooller, the dissident member of the ICAEW who campaigned against its merger with other institutes, has been stripped of his membership after acting as the vice chancellor of three organisations falsely claiming to provide university level education.

A statement from the ICAEW said: "Jeff Wooller was excluded from membership, with no re-application to be considered for a minimum of five years." He was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay £19,533 in costs.

Wooller represented the Irish International University, the Irish University Business School and the International University Business School.

The complaint against him was that he relied upon his membership of the ICAEW to gain each position but should have been “aware” of the false claims and took no action to investigate or prevent them continuing.

The organisations each claimed to offer education equivalent to a British university when their qualifications were of “little or no intrinsic value”, the ICAEW complaint claimed.

In the case of the Irish International University, it was not accredited, contrary to claims on its website, nor was the description of its governance and structure accurate.

The ICAEW found that each organisation could have misled students or employers and that Wooller took no action in his official capacities to prevent it.

The ICAEW’s action addressed the complaint that Wooller’s behaviour was “likely to bring discredit on himself, the institute or the profession of accountancy".

The claims made the university the subject of a BBC investigation in which an interview with Wooller featured.

Further reading:

Prospects: University challenged

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