INCEIF and ICMA Centre have formalised the collaboration to jointly offer MSc in Investment Banking and Islamic Finance with a simple yet significant signing ceremony at ICMA Centre at University of Reading in UK. The degree aims to respond to the growing interest in Islamic Finance, and also the increase in Islamic Banking services, Islamic Investment and other financial services that are based on Islamic principles.
The partnership brings together two institutions with great reputations for education focused on the financial markets.
In a statement, ICMA Centre said the the MSc is the first in the UK to use Islamic material taught by Islamic specialists and aims to capture the increasing demand for the subject with an academic base and practical orientated views on issues such as Islamic Finance, Economics and Law. Students will benefit from having the opportunity to spend three months studying in Kuala Lumpur and study alongside Islamic Finance professionals. The MSc will not require any previous knowledge of Islamic Law or concepts but will explain the current issues within their overall Islamic economic and legal context.
Overall, graduates will benefit from a thorough understanding of Western banking practices that are allied to the principles of Islamic Finance. They will be well qualified to join specialist Islamic financial institutions, investment managers and finance divisions of multinational companies. In addition, participants of the course will also cover the materials necessary to qualify for INCEIF?s Chartered Islamic Finance Professional (CIFP). This professional qualification certification aims to give participants a better insight on worldviews and also cross-cultural perspectives for a robust Islamic Finance industry.
INCEIF President & CEO Mr Agil Natt, in his speech at the signing, said “We are indeed honoured to be chosen by the ICMA Centre at the University of Reading to develop its Masters Programme.”
The ICMA Centre has an international reputation for providing quality undergraduate, postgraduate and professional programmes tailored to the capital markets industry. The Centre is the result of Europe’s first active collaboration between industry and academia. Its success is based not only on the integration of applied finance theory and industry specific training but also its considerable professional and academic expertise, and strong links with companies and trade associations in the global finance industry. Established in 1991 with funding provided by the International Capital Market Association (ICMA) in Zurich, the Centre houses state-of-the-art facilities including two dealing rooms using software similar to those found in major investment banks.
In this joint effort, the first of the three parts of CIFP, the candidates will have the opportunity to spend three months in Kuala Lumpur, studying alongside with Islamic finance professionals. While they are in Kuala Lumpur, they will go through the learning process that includes case studies, problems solving, restructuring exercise, simulation and management games, product conversion exercise as well as Shariah and audit compliance testing.
INCEIF’s relationship with Reading started since last year when both parties jointly organised a continuous professional development programme in Kuala Lumpur that conferred participants the Certificate in Comparative Capital Market.
Mr Agil said Islamic finance is an area where Malaysia and the UK are pre-eminently well placed to work together as both countries have built up significant experience and industry practice.
“The British Government is also doing its bit to strengthen London?s position as a gateway for Islamic finance. The Chancellor, who is now the Prime Minister announced a series of measures aimed at facilitating and encouraging Islamic finance, including taxing Sukuk on the same basis as conventional securities. In April last year, the Economic Secretary announced that the Treasury and Debt Management Office would undertake a feasibility study into the opportunities for the UK Government to issue Sukuk. The legal fraternity is indeed well trained to handle the documentations in Islamic finance. This clear support from the British government, together with the City of London’s deep and liquid capital markets, expertise and innovation, will enhance Britain’s position as Europe’s leading centre for Islamic financial services,” he added.
The UK has also considerable strengths in training, qualifications and standards, in international financial services in general as well as Islamic finance in particular. Other institutions have also started offering courses in Islamic finance. The Securities and Investment Institute in London has developed an Islamic finance qualification that is being offered around the world. The Cass Business School in the City of London has developed an Islamic finance MBA.
Durham, Reading and Surrey Universities meanwhile have highly respected academics working in this area.
Professor John Board, Director of the ICMA Centre said: “We are delighted to launch this programme in partnership with INCEIF. We are already receiving a great amount of interest in this degree and our other new Masters degrees such as Financial Engineering and Corporate Finance.”
Source: INCEIF’s website (http://www.inceif.org)