The Old School Knowledge Dissemination and The Future of Islamic Economics and Finance

Sadia Karim Current Issues in Islamic Finance, Human Resources in Islamic Finance, Islamic Economy, Islamic Finance Education Leave a Comment

In November 2013, Professor Habib Ahmed of University of Durham gave a talk at Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies on the topic of “Knowledge, Economy, and Islamic Finance: A New Institutional Economic Perspective”. QFIS was visionary and generous enough to live stream that talk to expand the benefit of that knowledge beyond its own room and even gave cross border participants the opportunity to ask questions live to the speaker. (See full video of the talk below).

In the first quarter of 2015, a three volume book on Islamic Finance was published with premium price tag. The book is primarily a collection and compilation of workshop and conference papers that happened one to three years ago replicating a knowledge dissemination method that has been continuing since the idea of ‘knowledge dissemination’ emerged.

In November 2014, at Turin Islamic Economic Forum, University of Turin announces its plan to design and realize a MOOC for Islamic Finance. In the same conference it also presents new project of bachelor and master degree in Islamic Finance; two qualification standards that have been continuing since the medieval Europe.

In our Global Islamic Finance Education 2013 report we revealed the following insight on Islamic Finance education based on extensive research and analysis of publicly available data:

a)  As of 2013, there were 742 institutions (public and private combined) that were involved in disseminating knowledge of Islamic Finance through academic degrees, non-academic programs, trainings, workshops, awareness programs, and research.

b)  61% of the total institutions were academic and 39% non-academic.

c)  90% of the programs, initiatives were conducted in classroom setting, and 10% via eLearning. However since 2008, eLearning has been increasing at a consistent rate.

d)  Both academic and non-academic institutions have been focused on skill building or professional development to bridge the skill gap of the industry.

e)  85% of the initiatives of the Global Islamic Finance Education industry is focused on skill building or professional development and only 15% initiatives are focused on intellectual development or facilitating R&D for the industry.

The world has shifted from agricultural economy, industrial economy, mass production economy, to knowledge economy. Soon the knowledge economy will be shifted towards innovation economy. The time it took the agricultural economy to shift to industrial was longer than the time it took industrial economy to shift to mass production and consumption economy. The shift to knowledge economy from mass production and consumption economy took much less time than the previous shift.

If you have been following this blog lately, you may have read this post and watched the video of how the future will look like and how the pace of change will occur faster than the mankind has ever experienced. From the same post, you may also have learned how the millennial generation is different than the previous generation.

In fact the difference between millenial and gen x  is reflected not only how they respond to challenges, but how they behave as consumers, how they communicate, and how they learn. They don’t learn the same way the medieval European generation learned. They don’t communicate the same way the generation from 19th century communicated. How then institutions, ideas, communication methods, operation methods from previous generations are relevant to produce solutions for a generation of 21st century?

Isn’t it time to rethink, reflect, and change courses on the way Islamic Finance disseminates its body of knowledge, teaches its students, and attempts to produce future leaders?

In order to face the challenges of the future, Islamic Finance education sector needs to first understand who the knowledge is for and how do they learn and benefit from that learning and what is the end goal of knowledge dissemination keeping in context of the future that will unfold. Making these practical connections is the first step.

Author: Sadia Karim, Founder & CEO, Yurizk

Coming up next: What does New School knowledge dissemination look like and how Islamic Finance industry can face its future challenges with effective human capital development?

 DOWNLOAD: Global Islamic Finance Education – Special Report 2013

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Learning and innovation go hand in hand. The arrogance of success is to think that what you did yesterday will be sufficient for tomorrow.William Pollard

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