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Saturday, 23 April 2011

Malaysia To Emerge As A Global Cluster For Islamic Banking And Finance

KUALA LUMPUR, 21 April 2011 : Malaysia is expected to emerge as a global cluster for Islamic finance and banking education within three to five years backed by continued support from the government.

"This year, we have already received 2,000 students locally and globally to undergo Islamic banking and finance courses in higher education institutions in the country and we are confident of getting 6,000 students next year," International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM)'s Dean, Professor Datuk Dr. Mohd Azmi Omar told Bernama.

At the core of the cluster is a new comprehensive curriculum for Islamic education while the existing programmes will be expanded, he said.

The target is to have 55,000 local students and 28,000 foreign students by 2020 in Islamic finance and business education in order to reach the top three position globally.

The establishment of the Association for Islamic Finance Advancement (AIFA) with RM3.17 million allocation from the Government earlier this week has given further boost to the country's position as a leading Islamic financial education centre, Mohd Azmi said.

Under the Economic Transformation Programme, the leveraging on Islamic banking to develop Malaysia into one of the world's leading Islamic education hubs would have an impact of RM1.2 billion on gross national income by 2020 and will create 4,300 related jobs.

The government has entrusted IIUM to lead an initiative to develop and position Malaysia into one of the world's leading Islamic finance education hub through establishing the AIFA.

AIFA will be the main accreditation body for Islamic finance programmes worldwide and will take initiatives to ensure the quality, industry relevance and global recognition of Islamic finance education and its related areas.

Azmi said out of the RM3.17 million budget, RM350,000 will be used to identify skills block for Islamic banking and finance industry locally and globally; and RM200,000 to study on projections for human resource requirements in the industry locally and globally.

Another RM500,000 will be used to develop and harmonise globally accepted curriculum in Islamic finance areas; RM350,000 for talent development of Islamic banking and finance academic and industry experts; and RM500,000 for the establishment of AIFA.

The balance RM1.272 million will be used for salaries and wages; overhead and furniture and fittings.

Azmi said AIFA will collaborate with international accreditation bodies such as the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (regarded as the benchmark for business school quality among the academic community), to develop the standards and curriculum for Malaysia's higher education institutions.

He said AIFA was working with America-based publisher, John Wiley, to publish five textbooks related to Islamic Finance and banking for global demand by September this year.--Bernama

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