The ecosystem of Islamic finance education

Islamic finance education is limited to five domains, namely Shariah and law, Islamic economics, accounting and auditing, Islamic management and Islamic finance which includes Islamic banking, Islamic capital markets and Takaful. Shariah and law constitutes the largest share with more than 55%. To highlight the current state of Islamic finance education, a symposium with a focus on the Islamic finance education ecosystem was held in Kuala Lumpur earlier this year. Representatives from the Ministry of Higher Education, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), Security Commission Malaysia and other major players came together to explore potential symbiosis in the vibrant and dynamic Islamic finance learning community comprising scholars, professionals, academia and industry to propose an integrated curriculum and quality assurance that promote high potential talent development which supports and sustains the Islamic finance literate community.

During his speech, Dr Mohd Daud Bakar, the chairman of the Shariah Advisory Council of BNM, stressed on the importance of broadening the Islamic finance domains from the current five to at least 15. Mathematics is one of those domains. Strong knowledge in mathematics is crucial to understand developments in finance and create unique solutions to existing problems as well help to develop data mining and data analysis.

It was also suggested that Islamic finance education should start with understanding the classical text. Nowadays, in most cases, graduates are not able to answer why a particular structure of the product is permissible while another is prohibited. Research shows that this is due to the language barrier.

All in all, the Islamic finance education ecosystem is essentially a curriculum development system that ensures quality accredited academic programs and professional certifications as well as a sustainable talent pool and human capital development which are timely and relevant for the Islamic financial services industry and Islamic finance literate community.

Dr Kamola Bayram is the project director at the International Council of Islamic Finance Educators. She can be contacted at [email protected]