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Wednesday, 22 August 2007

INCEIF Hopes To Get More "Donors" For Fisabilillah Fund

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 22 (Bernama) -- The International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance (INCEIF) hopes to get more "donors" for its Fisabilillah Trust Fund, a fund created to provide financial assistance to selected students to pursue its Certified Islamic Finance Professional (CIFP) programme."With more publicity on this initiative we will be able to boost the Fisabillilah fund," its president/chief executive officer, Agil Natt, told reporters here today, after signing the agreement to appoint AmTrustee Bhd as the fund's trustee.He said the contributions would benefit the financial sector with regards to increasing the pool of professionals which could contribute greatly towards the development of the Islamic financial services industry.INCEIF was set up by Bank Negara Malaysia in March 2006 to develop and enhance human capital in Islamic finance to meet the growing needs of the global Islamic finance industry.The fund originates from zakat payables received from organisations and individuals.As of today, the first donor to the fund is EONCAP Islamic Bank, committing RM400,000 derived from its zakat payables.Agil said the fund would also provide financial assistance to students pursuing the masters and doctorate programmes.He said many students worldwide were interested to learn more about Islamic finance and some of them were in need of assistance."Currently, some of the students were studying on INCEIF scholarships and some were sponsored by their respective institutions. If we can give financial assistance, then more will be more interested to pursue our programme," he said.Agil said INCEIF gave financial assistance to Malaysian as well foreign students."There are countries which are developing their Islamic financial services such as Syria, Yemen, Egypt, Pakistan and Indonesia."If we can extend the assistance to more students, the number will certainly grow tremendously. Some hesitated to join the programme because of financial problem," he said.He said INCEIF currently has a total of 938 students from 45 countries pursuing its flagship CIFP programme and 34.2 percent came from outside Malaysia."Of this total, 26 percent are females and about 12 percent are non-Muslims."In terms of sponsorship, 40 percent are sponsored by their respective employers and seven percent are INCEIF-sponsored."The rest are self-sponsored. But if we include students who are sponsored on a post-reimbursement basis, the percentage of sponsored students goes up to about 65 percent," he said.Agil said the programme attracted tremendous response not only in Malaysia but throughout the world."Malaysia has the most number of students. From overseas, Pakistan's contingent is the biggest, followed by Indonesia, Sri Lanka, as well as places like central Asia, Russia, West Asia, North Africa and even North America."INCEIF is targeting some 1,000 students this year after slightly over a year of existence," he said.It has its first intake on June 1, 2006.In addition to the CIFP programme, Agil said, INCEIF would also be launching its post-graduate programmes as well as the continuous professional development programme specifically for players in the Islamic financial services industry.

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