Current Situation And Success Storıes Of Global Islamic Finance Education
Since the first Internatinal Conference on Islamic Economics held in Mecca in 1976, the number of institutions offering courses and programs in Islamic economics and finance (IIF) has been growing worldwide. Although the growing interest in the programs stems from the ever-increasing industry's demand for qualified human resources, it is imperative to recognise that in IIF education, the religion of Islam and the Islamic worldview is the central reference point for economic decisions. The growing Islamic finance sector naturally leads to an increase in the demand for qualified human capital. Therefore, training and research in this field gain importance.
According to the 2021 Islamic Finance Development Report, currently, there are 1,008 Islamic finance education institutions and 383 Islamic finance undergraduate education institutions globally. The top countries that provide Islamic finance education in 2020 are Indonesia, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom and UAE with 347, 66, 57, 56 and 53 education providers, respectively. Indonesia is the leading country in providing IIF undergraduate level education with 169 programs. The corresponding numbers for the other 'best' countries on the list are 36, 20, 20 and 14 for Malaysia, Pakistan, UK and UAE. In our country, there are currently only three universities that offer Bachelor's degree education, KTO Karatay University, Istanbul Sabahattin Zaim University and Sakarya University.
In this article, besides giving information about the number of institutions offering Islamic finance education, I would like to highlight the main factors that support the development of Islamic finance education and make countries pioneers. Today, the leading countries in Islamic finance education are Indonesia and Malaysia. It is the state support that makes this success possible. For example, in
2010, the Government of Malaysia specifically supported Islamic finance education in its Economic Transformation Programme. One of the aims of this program is to undertake initiatives to develop a comprehensive curriculum and talent pool for education in Malaysia in Islamic finance and position the country as a global centre. For this purpose, the Finance Accreditation Agency (FAA) was established in 2012 and the International Council of Islamic Finance Educators (ICIFE) in 2014.
In Indonesia, the country with the most significant number of Islamic financial institutions, the Government established the National Committee for Islamic Economy and Finance (KNS) in 2016 to support national economic development and encourage the acceleration of the development of the Islamic finance sector. Thanks to this initiative, today, Indonesia has become a leader in the field of IIF education. Various scholarships are offered to students and academic staff that make exchange programs possible. In the next academic year, at KTO Karatay University, where I am currently working, the education of five students is supported for one semester. The continuation of this exchange program is envisaged. With these supports, I am sure that the generation that receives education will grow to be more successful and capable of producing different solutions to problems.
These two examples indicate that Government support and interaction are essential factors in developing the Islamic finance education sector. We hope that Turkey will rapidly advance to a leading position in the field of Islamic finance education by developing mechanisms that will increase the capacity of qualified people in the sector.