No interest

Reims Management School, in France, has announced that it is to offer an Islamic Banking and Finance course to students enrolled on its Masters in Management programme. The school reckons that 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 to 20 percent per year throughout the world,” according to Professor Ghassen Bouslama, who coordinates the programme. “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.”

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 highest number of Muslims, is well placed to tap into increasing interest in the sector. However, it is in Britain—one of the most important Islamic finance hubs outside of the Middle East—where the sector garners most interest among business schools. City University’s Cass Business School and Lancaster University Business School, for example, have been running similar programmes since 2008.

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