Katherine Lim Sze
Master of Science in Islamic Finance
’I did some online research and found out about INCEIF. It is the only university in the world that focuses on Islamic Finance. The lecturers are very good and informative. There’s always debates among my classmates facilitated by the lecturers, so there’s always camarederie which is developed among the students where we all gain new information and perspective from each other.
The qualification that we obtained from INCEIF is unparallel, in my opinion. There’s nothing like it anywhere else. INCEIF provides the base of understanding for Islamic Finance so we can go out into the world and actually revolutionise Islamic Finance industry a little more in the right direction.’’Malaysia is one of the world’s leading countries in Islamic finance where Islamic banking, economy and social finance have been implemented since the 80s. As a Malaysian, I am proud of this global acknowledgement, and on a personal level, it piqued my interest to learn about this system which my country is good at.
With hardly a solid background in Islamic finance, I wanted to start my involvement in the industry with a firm foundation. My search brought me to INCEIF, which to me, is the leading education institution in Islamic finance. The fact that INCEIF is backed by Bank Negara Malaysia gives me the confidence and also the guarantee that it has the necessary credibility. In addition, it is a university where the programmes are industry-based rather than purely academic and theoretical in nature.
INCEIF has been able to attract some of the best minds in Islamic finance. The lecturers are rather unique. Some of them are pure academicians with reputable publications and research works, and some of them were formerly practitioners. We also have guest lectures by industry players, regulators and business owners. The academicians tend to give us more of theories and the foundation for the concept behind Islamic finance. In addition to that, lecturers who come from the industry provide us `real situation’ knowledge based on their past experience.
About Fellow Students
Despite Islamic finance slowly gaining interest from the rest of the world, Islamic finance study at the postgraduate level is not widely available globally; at least not reputable ones. So, nearly half of my classmates are foreigners, some from countries with historically established Islamic social finance like Turkey. There are also those from countries which are in the early stages of embracing Islamic finance. During class or for our group projects, we get to discuss our different experiences and in the process, gain new information and perspective from each other. We get to know of the best practices around the world, beyond Malaysia and the region.
The Masters programmes’ students have to undergo Action Based Learning (ABL) as part of our course requirement. We get to apply the theoretical concepts to solve real-life industry problems. The Masters programmes’ students have to undergo Action Based Learning (ABL) as part of our course requirement, where we solve real-life industry problems. I was involved in a project with Malaysian Takaful
Association. (Takaful is a Shariah co-operative system of reimbursement in case of loss, which is an alternative to conventional insurance) Throughout the project, I had the opportunity to engage with Takaful operators directly and gained insights on the challenges faced by the industry. Subsequently, the project gave me the idea to develop a fintech solution for integrating khairat into Takaful's solution. I submitted the idea in a fintech competition, and was placed second.