Aston's Islamic Finance Degrees


ralph
Aston is starting two programs in Islamic finance: an MSc and a PhD. What's interesting to me is that this is a U.K. school, and not one in UAE or Iran. I wonder if there is much interest in the U.K. for programs of this type.

But the main question that comes to Ralph's mind is whether degrees like this will be increasingly relevant as markets globalize. Will Sharia-compliant banking and investment become important? I'm not entirely clear about what the differences are between Islamic banking and non-Islamic banking, but Wikipedia seems to think that there is less value placed on the idea of "profit" - instead, Islamic banking makes the ideas of sharing and cooperation keystones. That tends to go against the traditional notion of investments, banking, and capitalistic business in general - but, as it is turning out, these values are similar to those of the emerging notion of "sustainable business." Coincidence??

And, why not an MBA in Islamic finance, why an MSc and PhD?
Aston is starting two programs in Islamic finance: an MSc and a PhD. What's interesting to me is that this is a U.K. school, and not one in UAE or Iran. I wonder if there is much interest in the U.K. for programs of this type.

But the main question that comes to Ralph's mind is whether degrees like this will be increasingly relevant as markets globalize. Will Sharia-compliant banking and investment become important? I'm not entirely clear about what the differences are between Islamic banking and non-Islamic banking, but Wikipedia seems to think that there is less value placed on the idea of "profit" - instead, Islamic banking makes the ideas of sharing and cooperation keystones. That tends to go against the traditional notion of investments, banking, and capitalistic business in general - but, as it is turning out, these values are similar to those of the emerging notion of "sustainable business." Coincidence??

And, why not an MBA in Islamic finance, why an MSc and PhD?
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fishball
Islamic banking strives to remove the concept and replace it with "profit". And the notion of "uncertainty".

So floating interest rates are out, but they can lock you into a fixed rate that they term as "profit".

I've spoken to a head of department of a major Islamic bank and he thinks the whole thing is a sham. Take a closer look, it's actually just repackaging western banking into "islamic" terms.
Islamic banking strives to remove the concept and replace it with "profit". And the notion of "uncertainty".

So floating interest rates are out, but they can lock you into a fixed rate that they term as "profit".

I've spoken to a head of department of a major Islamic bank and he thinks the whole thing is a sham. Take a closer look, it's actually just repackaging western banking into "islamic" terms.
quote
Hi there,

I read an article about this Islamic Finance Degree. To me it is a great and natural idea: the UK and the middle East have maintained very strong relationship in the finance field. So I am not schocked that an english b-schools opened that degree. Moreover, Islamics finance pratics seems really fair, so it could teach us many good things.

Cheers
Hi there,

I read an article about this Islamic Finance Degree. To me it is a great and natural idea: the UK and the middle East have maintained very strong relationship in the finance field. So I am not schocked that an english b-schools opened that degree. Moreover, Islamics finance pratics seems really fair, so it could teach us many good things.

Cheers
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fishball
Hi troll.
Hi troll.
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SabrinaA
Hey Ralph,

There is a tremendous interest in Islamic Finance all through the world...after the latest turmoil everybody is crying blood for the Investment Bankers operating at Wall Street and London Financial District since hundreds lost jobs and Business. Islamic Finance is looked as a brilliant alternative as opposed to the credit based banking system offered by most of the retail & investment banks. After the Greek debt crisis, all business are nervous dealing with credit since most of them were operating at credit needed more than just tax shield. Personally I don't have much experience but I have heard that Islamic Finance have generated craze in UK and France since the middle eastern banks operating in Europe like Arab National Bank (I-bank), Masreq Bank (Retail Bank) offers astronomical salaries! Many people slowly started realising the importance of saving money and dangers of mortgage/credit card so in future most of the countries of the world will adopt Islamic finance (at least the economists at LSE predicts).

Islamic Finance though is a brilliant and safe banking concept but will be sidelined because the big powerhouses like S&P, Bloomberg, Euronext, Reuters will go bankrupt overnight if a western country adopts Islamic Finance. Also Bank of England (private organisation) will be converted into a warehouse if Islamic Finance find favours among Brits.

Aston's Islamic Finance MSc is a brilliant course and since its one of a kind, the candidates completing the course will be in high demand by not only the middle eastern banks but also western finance companies operating in Middle East like Bankrock, Bank of America-Merrill Lynch etc. Also most of the African nations are muslims and in future Africa will make tremendous progress hence it makes sense to invest in the degree. Since this of degree sounds a bit alien to most so the demand-supply gap will be exploited the most by people who are working in Banking industry and know its true worth. The Islamic finance industry is thought to be worth between £150bn and £250bn, and is growing at an estimated rate of 15 to 20%.

Interestingly Islamic Finance is not a new concept in UK. In 2007, CIMA launched a Islamic Finance certificate programme in collaboration with International Institute of Islamic Finance (http://www.cimaglobal.com/en-gb/Study-with-us/Certificate-in-Islamic-Finance/). CIMA is a very very respectable UK Institution administering accountancy qualification worldwide and hence till Aston launched the MSc-Islamic Finance, all were going for the certificate. But now the scenario will change!

Chartered Institute for Securities & Investments (CISI) of UK also provides an Islamic Finance Qualification: http://www.secinst.co.uk/bookmark/genericform.aspx?form=29848780&url=34011324&exam=16562378

Islamic Finance has a tremendous future and dont be surprised if in future CFA launches a qualification in Islamic Finance. In fact currently CFA does award PDUs for the Islamic Finance Summer School at Durham University (http://www.dur.ac.uk/sgia/imeis/islamicfinancesummerschool/) also Cass offers Islamic Finance as elective in its EMBA (http://www.cass.city.ac.uk/mba/dubai/course/tailored/electives/index.html)...Many other b schools like Bangor, Aberdeen etc are following example...in future it will be a standard.

I am not an expert in Islamic Finance but tried my best to answer your query. You may find a report on Islamic Finance by BBC useful & interesting: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8025410.stm

If you want to know more, pls visit ISBI's website: http://www.islamic-banking.com/courses.aspx or ACIFP : http://www.acifp-global.org/study_cifp.php

I do plan to start CIMA's Islamic qualification in future...within the next 5 yrs perhaps...The reason being, we never know what is going to happen in future...its better to be safe...who could have predicted that one day the FSA of UK will split up and cease to exist?!! But this is happening!!

The world is changing very fast and Asia is the future...Islamic Finance is the key...

_Nes
Hey Ralph,

There is a tremendous interest in Islamic Finance all through the world...after the latest turmoil everybody is crying blood for the Investment Bankers operating at Wall Street and London Financial District since hundreds lost jobs and Business. Islamic Finance is looked as a brilliant alternative as opposed to the credit based banking system offered by most of the retail & investment banks. After the Greek debt crisis, all business are nervous dealing with credit since most of them were operating at credit needed more than just tax shield. Personally I don't have much experience but I have heard that Islamic Finance have generated craze in UK and France since the middle eastern banks operating in Europe like Arab National Bank (I-bank), Masreq Bank (Retail Bank) offers astronomical salaries! Many people slowly started realising the importance of saving money and dangers of mortgage/credit card so in future most of the countries of the world will adopt Islamic finance (at least the economists at LSE predicts).

Islamic Finance though is a brilliant and safe banking concept but will be sidelined because the big powerhouses like S&P, Bloomberg, Euronext, Reuters will go bankrupt overnight if a western country adopts Islamic Finance. Also Bank of England (private organisation) will be converted into a warehouse if Islamic Finance find favours among Brits.

Aston's Islamic Finance MSc is a brilliant course and since its one of a kind, the candidates completing the course will be in high demand by not only the middle eastern banks but also western finance companies operating in Middle East like Bankrock, Bank of America-Merrill Lynch etc. Also most of the African nations are muslims and in future Africa will make tremendous progress hence it makes sense to invest in the degree. Since this of degree sounds a bit alien to most so the demand-supply gap will be exploited the most by people who are working in Banking industry and know its true worth. The Islamic finance industry is thought to be worth between £150bn and £250bn, and is growing at an estimated rate of 15 to 20%.

Interestingly Islamic Finance is not a new concept in UK. In 2007, CIMA launched a Islamic Finance certificate programme in collaboration with International Institute of Islamic Finance (http://www.cimaglobal.com/en-gb/Study-with-us/Certificate-in-Islamic-Finance/). CIMA is a very very respectable UK Institution administering accountancy qualification worldwide and hence till Aston launched the MSc-Islamic Finance, all were going for the certificate. But now the scenario will change!

Chartered Institute for Securities & Investments (CISI) of UK also provides an Islamic Finance Qualification: http://www.secinst.co.uk/bookmark/genericform.aspx?form=29848780&url=34011324&exam=16562378

Islamic Finance has a tremendous future and dont be surprised if in future CFA launches a qualification in Islamic Finance. In fact currently CFA does award PDUs for the Islamic Finance Summer School at Durham University (http://www.dur.ac.uk/sgia/imeis/islamicfinancesummerschool/) also Cass offers Islamic Finance as elective in its EMBA (http://www.cass.city.ac.uk/mba/dubai/course/tailored/electives/index.html)...Many other b schools like Bangor, Aberdeen etc are following example...in future it will be a standard.

I am not an expert in Islamic Finance but tried my best to answer your query. You may find a report on Islamic Finance by BBC useful & interesting: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8025410.stm

If you want to know more, pls visit ISBI's website: http://www.islamic-banking.com/courses.aspx or ACIFP : http://www.acifp-global.org/study_cifp.php

I do plan to start CIMA's Islamic qualification in future...within the next 5 yrs perhaps...The reason being, we never know what is going to happen in future...its better to be safe...who could have predicted that one day the FSA of UK will split up and cease to exist?!! But this is happening!!

The world is changing very fast and Asia is the future...Islamic Finance is the key...

_Nes
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ralph
Some more developments in regards to business schools integrating Islamic finance into their curriculums:

I just read that Oxford Said has begun a new partnership with Johor Corporation. Basically this will allow Said to offer programs in Johor. Johor Corporation is a state-run company in the southern part of Malaysia. They'll offer the courses not only to execs at JCorp, but also to others in corps around Malaysia.

They'll start by integrating programs in entrepreneurship, leadership and Islamic management business concepts and principles.
Some more developments in regards to business schools integrating Islamic finance into their curriculums:

I just read that Oxford Said has begun a new partnership with Johor Corporation. Basically this will allow Said to offer programs in Johor. Johor Corporation is a state-run company in the southern part of Malaysia. They'll offer the courses not only to execs at JCorp, but also to others in corps around Malaysia.

They'll start by integrating programs in entrepreneurship, leadership and Islamic management business concepts and principles.
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Rhino
Islamic banking is booming in middle east, malaysia and indonesia.
No doubt that investors all around the world are considering it as the next big thing among alternative investment products.

However, most of products in the market is not "halal" (or "clean" in Islamic term) eventhough some bankers claim that it's "halal".

This is like listening to warren buffet that he dislike derivative products, but he still uses them secretly to boost profit.

Couple years back, I met with an Indonesian investor and I asked him about the product. He said that an investor needs to understand Islamic law first before make an investment. And Islam is not an easy religion to learn (especially if you are not a muslim).

Btw, I just heard that an Int'l biz professor, Walid Hejazi, at Univ of Toronto, want to do a pilot test on this by conducting a class in Islamic banking. I guess it will be interesting to launch this class outside muslim countries (like in north america).
Islamic banking is booming in middle east, malaysia and indonesia.
No doubt that investors all around the world are considering it as the next big thing among alternative investment products.

However, most of products in the market is not "halal" (or "clean" in Islamic term) eventhough some bankers claim that it's "halal".

This is like listening to warren buffet that he dislike derivative products, but he still uses them secretly to boost profit.

Couple years back, I met with an Indonesian investor and I asked him about the product. He said that an investor needs to understand Islamic law first before make an investment. And Islam is not an easy religion to learn (especially if you are not a muslim).

Btw, I just heard that an Int'l biz professor, Walid Hejazi, at Univ of Toronto, want to do a pilot test on this by conducting a class in Islamic banking. I guess it will be interesting to launch this class outside muslim countries (like in north america).

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ralph
However, most of products in the market is not "halal" (or "clean" in Islamic term) eventhough some bankers claim that it's "halal".


I would think so, considering Sharia does not allow the payment of any interest fees. Without some loopholes (which I'm sure there are) banking would simply not be profitable under these terms. Especially if you add to that the Sharia limitation that does not allow investment in anything contrary to Islam. With these conditions, it would certainly be difficult to sustain a career as a banker.

What I expect is that there indeed are loopholes, and places like Aston help students find and take advantage of them. But I'd love to hear from students or faculty who are directly involved in programs like this to hear more.
<blockquote>However, most of products in the market is not "halal" (or "clean" in Islamic term) eventhough some bankers claim that it's "halal".</blockquote>

I would think so, considering Sharia does not allow the payment of any interest fees. Without some loopholes (which I'm sure there are) banking would simply not be profitable under these terms. Especially if you add to that the Sharia limitation that does not allow investment in anything contrary to Islam. With these conditions, it would certainly be difficult to sustain a career as a banker.

What I expect is that there indeed are loopholes, and places like Aston help students find and take advantage of them. But I'd love to hear from students or faculty who are directly involved in programs like this to hear more.
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fishball
I think it would be a sad sad day if we all had to convert to the ideals of "halal" financing - western finance has served us long and served us well.

Islamic financing is somewhat, limiting with its use of credit facilities etc. It doesn't bode well for those that WANT to take a risk for a better future.

If I'm not wrong, I recall reading a report that quoted one of the top clerics in Saudi Arabia as saying most of the so called "halal" islamic products are in essence, just repackaging and relabeling of western concepts, in short, they are non-halal.

Come on people, roll the dice and gamble a little. Why do you need to convert to the stiffling laws of Islam?
I think it would be a sad sad day if we all had to convert to the ideals of "halal" financing - western finance has served us long and served us well.

Islamic financing is somewhat, limiting with its use of credit facilities etc. It doesn't bode well for those that WANT to take a risk for a better future.

If I'm not wrong, I recall reading a report that quoted one of the top clerics in Saudi Arabia as saying most of the so called "halal" islamic products are in essence, just repackaging and relabeling of western concepts, in short, they are non-halal.

Come on people, roll the dice and gamble a little. Why do you need to convert to the stiffling laws of Islam?
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