The Economist‘s latest dispatch of News from the Schools highlights a new course offered by Reims Management School, in France. A course in Islamic Banking and Finance is offered to students enrolled on its Masters in Management program.
By the school’s estimates, the value of assets in Islamic banks now stands at close to $1 trillion, meaning that it is an area of growing importance for business schools. “Growth in the sector of Islamic finance is advancing at 15-20% per year throughout the world,” according to Professor Ghassen Bouslama, who coordinates the program.
“At a time when the conventional financial model is discredited by the crisis, the model of finance called ”˜Islamic’ is emerging and gaining strong interest.”
As the Economist explains it, Islamic finance is based on a set of principles derived from sharia law, including a prohibition on charging interest or investing in morally dubious areas. France, which is home to Europe’s largest Muslim population, is well placed to tap into the increasing interest in the sector.
However, it is in Britain””one of the biggest Islamic finance hubs outside of the Middle East””where the sector has so-far garnered most interest among business schools. City University’s Cass Business School and Lancaster University Business School have been running similar programs since 2008.
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