The UK is the global leader in Islamic finance education with over 60 institutions offering Islamic finance courses and 22 universities offering degree programmes specializing in Islamic finance, according to Thomson Reuters Islamic Finance Development Indicator (IFDI), a numerical measure representing the overall health and growth of the Islamic finance industry worldwide.
Malaysia and the UAE, both established global Islamic finance hubs, followed the UK in terms of a comprehensive Islamic finance education infrastructure. Malaysia has 50 course providers and 18 universities offering degree programmes, while the UAE has 31 course providers and nine universities offering degree programmes. Pakistan was placed fourth, with 22 course providers and 9 universities offering degree programmes. The IFDI recorded 420 institutions offering courses in Islamic finance and over 113 universities offering Islamic finance degrees.
Malaysia also led in terms of research published on Islamic finance in the last three years, with 169 research papers, of which 101 were peer reviewed. The UK and USA followed with 111 research papers (56 peer reviewed) and 73 research papers (39 peer reviewed) respectively. A total of 655 research papers were issued globally on Islamic finance in the last three years, of which 354 were peer reviewed.
Khaled Al-Aboodi, chief executive officer, Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector, said: “These findings are a perfect example as to how and why the IFDI can identify the critical growth components of the Islamic finance industry. Our research shows that countries that build their educational infrastructure can benefit most from the growth of their Islamic finance industries. Through their research and thought leadership countries, like the UK, Malaysia and the UAE have the potential to significantly influence the direction of the regional Islamic finance sector.”
Sayd Farook, global head of islamic capital markets for Thomson Reuters, said: “Research is an important metric used by the IFDI to assess the depth of knowledge dimension within the Islamic finance industry. Our initial research indicates that the industry lacks the availability of in-depth research which, in turn, limits innovation and development. Thomson Reuters is committed to leading the charge in information and analysis to support the global Islamic finance industry.”
Earlier this year, Thomson Reuters and ICD announced the creation of the ICD- The IFDI, which will be officially launched at the Global Islamic Economy Summit, aims to expand the scope of Thomson Reuters’ universe of Islamic finance content, research and news analysis and to develop an unbiased multi-dimensional barometer for the development of the Islamic finance industry. The indicator measures five key components – quantitative development, governance, social responsibility, knowledge and awareness.
Russell Haworth, managing director, Middle East & North Africa, Thomson Reuters, said: “This indicator, the first of its kind for the Islamic Economy, will provide companies with much needed unbiased and reliable multi-dimensional analysis regarding the development of the Islamic finance industry. The development of Islamic finance educational infrastructure will be a key driver for the establishment of the Islamic finance industry, which is why we chose the topic for our first IFDI analysis.”
The Global Islamic Economy Summit, organized by Thomson Reuters and the Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry, will take place on November 25-26 2013 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.