University announces launch of UK’s first Islamic finance undergraduate degree

Birmingham City University has announced the launch of the first Accounting and Islamic Finance undergraduate course in the UK.

The BSc (Hons) Accounting and Islamic Finance degree will see students study Islamic economics while developing an understanding of corporate social responsibility in modules exploring how businesses are taking greater responsibility in helping to move towards a cleaner and more sustainable planet.

Islamic finance is one of the fastest growing financial industries, with global assets exceeding $2 trillion and expected to reach $3.8 trillion by 2023.

“The course is being launched at a very crucial time in our history,” said course leader Shaista Mukadam.

“With the current pandemic and economic challenges, there is an urgent need to rethink an alternative to the interest-based economy.”

Islamic finance emerged in the 20th century as an effective tool for financing development worldwide, including in non-Muslim countries. Islamic organisations run their operations in a way that is consistent with the principles of Islamic law.

Sharia-compliant finance differs from conventional banking in key ways, the most notable being a prohibition on charging interest and investing in ethically compliant companies.

“Islamic finance uses tools to ensure a fair and equitable distribution of wealth, resources and growth based on profit, loss and risk-sharing while achieving the United Nations sustainable development goals and ensuring ethical and sustainable processes in business and finance,” added Shaista, a senior lecturer at Birmingham City University’s Business School.

“Students on the course will be taught the philosophy around these principles and will be encouraged to find ways to implement them in real-world scenarios. It’s not just a course for Muslims, it’s about an ethical way of doing finance based on the teaching of Islam.”

The degree will also provide students with opportunities to partner with organisations including Islamic charities on community advice projects.

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