DURHAM ISLAMIC FINANCE PROGRAMME (DIFP)
The DIFP is run under the auspicious of the Institute for Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at Durham University. As the Institute is part of the University’s School of Government and International Affairs this enables us to draw on the Schools disciplinary strengths in governance and regulation that have particular relevance for Islamic finance. Durham has been a centre for research in Islamic finance for over 25 years, but with the launching of the DIFP it is formalising its academic and professional activities.
DIFP offers postgraduate degrees in Islamic banking, finance, management and economics. Durham has produced many graduates, who are now working in the Islamic banking and financial sector, as well as contributing to the teaching of Islamic economics and finance all over the world. With the launch of the DIFP the university is seeking to consolidate its position as the leading centre for postgraduate research on Islamic economics and finance, as well as extend its activities into professional realm.
DIFP is directed by Professor Rodney Wilson and Dr Mehmet Asutay is acting as co-ordinator for the major activities. The DIFP will be further strengthened by the appointment of a new Professor in 2007, the Sharjah Chair, with the post holder expected to focus on the implications of shariah for commercial and financial contracts.
The programme which is research driven includes the following elements:
Postgraduate (MA and PhD) Degrees in Islamic Finance, Banking, Management and Economics.
DIFP offers specialised MA and PhD research degrees in most areas of Islamic finance and banking. Seventeen students are currently registered for these degrees and it is expected that another ten students will join the DIFP in January and April 2007. As part of the degree programme students normally attend a module on Islamic economics and Shari’ah compliant finance. There are also weekly Research Support Workshops.
As the degrees are by research, there can be some flexibility about how students divide their time between residing in Durham and their home countries. Often the research involves a fieldwork element, with students undertaking surveys, semi structured interviews and organising focus groups back in their home countries.
Current PhD Research conducted in DIFP:
An Empirical Investigation of Operational Risk Management in Islamic Banks: An Integrated Approach;
Performance Measurement and Profitability of Islamic Banks in Sudan;
The Merits in Applying AAOIFI Accounting Standards in the Islamic Banking Sector in Saudi Arabia;
A Study of the Investment Policies of Takaful Companies and the Factors Influencing their Investment Decisions;
Institutional Dimensions of Economic Stagnation in the Muslim World: An Islamic Political Economy Approach;
Service Quality Measurement in Islamic Banks in UAE;
Measuring the Performance of Islamic Mutual Funds;
Religious Determinants of Economic Behaviour: The Case of Algerian Youth;
Evaluating Islamic Home Financing in Malaysia;
Islamic Home Financing in Kuwait;
Islamic Corporate Social Governance and Ethical Investment in Turkey;
Developing Financing for SME’s in Saudi Arabia;
The Potential for Islamic Finance in Libya;
Evaluating the Demand for Islamic Mortgages in the UK.
To go to Application for Postgraduate Degrees, please click the Quick Link on the School web page.
Durham Islamic Finance Summer School
DIFP, with its international reputation in theoretical and empirical research, aims to share its experiences by hosting an annual Summer School. The first Islamic Finance Summer School held from July 24th – 28th 2006 proved to be very successful with over 40 participants. We are, therefore, confident that this annual event will be equally valuable for future participants, whether they are pursuing academic research or working in the Islamic banking and finance industry, or in financial service providers that are debating whether to offer Shariah compliant products.
The second Islamic Finance Summer School will run from 2nd to 6th July 2007.
DIFP has organised and sponsored a number of international conferences on Islamic economics and finance and the publication of the best papers presented.
The papers from the 2003 conference on Islamic Perspectives on Wealth Creation were published by Edinburgh University Press in 2005. The book was edited by Dr Munawar Iqbal, formerly of the Islamic Research and Training Institute of the Islamic Development Bank and now Director of the Centre for Islamic Banking and Finance at the International Islamic University, Islamabad, and Professor Rodney Wilson. This conference was partly funded by the Islamic Development Bank.
Durham University is supporting the International Conference on Islamic Banking and Finance being organised by the International Islamic University of Malaysia which will be held from 23rd – 25th April 2007 in Kuala Lumpur. The theme of the conference is Research & Development: The Bridge Between Ideals and Realities. For more information and details of the conference, please visit the conference website at http://iiu.edu.my/iiibf/iicibf/.
DIFP is currently working on the planning of further conferences on Islamic finance, which will be announced in due course.
Staff and the research students at the DIFP have been active in publishing in the field of Islamic finance, banking, management and economics.
The most recent book is by Ahmed El-Ashker and Rodney Wilson, Islamic Economics: A Short History, Brill Academic Publishing, Leiden, 2006.
Academic Journal: Review of Islamic Economics
Dr Mehmet Asutay, the coordinator of DIFP, is the Managing Editor of the Review of Islamic Economics, the leading journal in Islamic economics, banking and finance, now in its 10th year.
Any questions about the activities of the programme should be addressed to Dr Mehmet Asutay by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org