Aston Business School to deal with Islamic finance

Aston Business School plans to set up up the city’s first department dealing with the booming Islamic finance sector.

The university said it plans to establish a Chair in the subject, and is in discussions on how to finance the department.

Professor Michael West, executive dean at Aston Business School, said research and teaching in Islamic finance would be made part of the syllabus for students studying masters and undergraduate degrees.

“We are talking to a number of interested parties on the issue of funding,” he said. “The Chair will be headed by a senior financial academic, expert in Islamic finance, and we want to establish it as soon as possible. But, ultimately, it depends upon securing the necessary finance. The role of Islamic finance is increasingly important. In the Midlands it is also relevant because of the high percentage of Muslims in the student population and the population of the region.”

Aston Business School’s announcement came shortly after a decision by Locate in Birmingham, the city council’s inward investment service, to take part in the World Islamic Banking conference in Bahrain, to promote the city as a potential European Islamic finance hub.

Mike Loftus, head of Locate in Birmingham, said: “Such a centre of research and teaching will further complete the embellishment of the city’s offering as a leading provider of financial and professional services.”

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