Article by Daud Vicary Abdullah
Firstly I would like to send my thanks to all of you who responded to my ” Refreshing Education in Islamic Finance” article last month in which I had announced, in part, my move to INCEIF. Either through here or privately, many of you have asked me questions about how I see the future of Education in Islamic Finance and particularly the role that INCEIF has to play.
I will attempt to answer some of these questions in this article and will also commit to addressing further issues and give insight into my line of thinking in future articles in here.
The questions I received, if I may summarise them, revolved around 4 key points and I will attempt to give some answers, from a personal perspective, on each of them:-
1. What is INCEIF’s POV on providing Thought Leadership on specific issues being debated currently by the industry and what can INCEIF do to providing practical solutions to the same?
I see INCEIF as being closely allied to industry, not just through the taking and placement of students, but also through using the industry to assist in the delivery of programs through the development of case studies and simulations etc. We already have Focus Groups and, of course, the Association of Chartered Islamic Finance Professionals (ACIFP) has already been established by the industry to set direction and strategies for the standard setting and accreditation of Islamic Finance professionals.
I would also like to see an increase in the frequency of Industry Leader lectures to the student body and establishment of a priority setting clearing house for R&D programs that support the industry overall and help to maintain currency and pertinence.
2. What is INCEIF’s mandate to develop quality talent for the industry and how will it be delivered?
The INCEIF mandate is clearly to do just that and that is what it is striving for. Already over 2000 students from more than 70 countries have signed on, and collaborative arrangements have been established with numerous Universities around the world and in Malaysia. As mentioned above, INCEIF must keep close to the industry and ensure that high quality standards are maintained throughout. A constant test will be the standards set by the International Industry body ACIFP and INCEIF programs such as CIFP’s accreditation against those standards.
3. What about the issues of standards and accreditation?
I have already alluded to this above. The ACIFP as an independent Industry body is already setting standards for recognition of individuals as Chartered Islamic Finance Professionals. ACIFP will also recognize qualifications that meet the set standards. At present INCEIF has the CIFP program that meets these standards and at least a dozen other Universities in Malaysia and around the world have already set up programs that align with CIFP and go fully or in part to meeting those standards.
As I have often said in many forums, “Markets do not like uncertainty”. As we strive to globalise, the importance of having an industry body like ACIFP that sets the standards and has responsibility for ensuring independent accreditation, becomes increasingly important.
4. How will INCEIF bring in industry subject matter experts to share practical knowledge with students?
An important aspect of INCEIF’s day to day life will be the forging of deeper and closer Industry relationships to help share the burden of increasing knowledge. In part my own personal network will assist in delivering their experience to research and CIFP students alike. Already I have been overwhelmed by friends in the industry who want to help and I am extremely grateful to them.
The main part, however, will be through a structured approach and a continuous improvement cycle.
INCEIF attracts good students that do relevant research that is widely published and the industry both likes it and uses it.
The industry is, thereby, encouraged to set direction, participate and to fund applicable research.
All of the above revolve around the 4 P’s that I announced to faculty and students on my first day at INCEIF:-
People – Good quality– Students and Faculty focused on quality
Participation –Joining up the dots and ensuring that we stay close to the industry
Performance – You cannot manage what you cannot measure.
Process – these support the other three P’s and must be both effective and efficient as well as being transparent and applied readily
I do hope that the above sets out my stall a little better and that the questions that you have been asking are being answered, at least in part. I am delighted that my thoughts on this subject are arousing so much interest and I look forward to a sharing more of this journey with you all in future.
As ever, there is much to do and not a moment to lose.