CIFP Focus Group Discussion

After more than five years in existence, INCEIF, The Global University of Islamic Finance, is undertaking a survey to find out the relevance of its flagship programme, the Chartered Islamic Finance Professional (CIFP).

The CIFP which took in its first batch of students in June 2006 has produced relatively positive results within the time of its establishment.

The programme remains the only professional qualification on Islamic Finance which is equivalent to a Masters degree as accredited by the Malaysian Qualifications Agency. The current pool of 106 graduates are now serving both local and international Islamic financial services industry including foreign central banks and institutions of higher learning. By October this year, at least another 150 CIFP students are expected to graduate. Currently, there are a total of 1,755 CIFP students from over 73 countries.
“In order to deliver industry ready graduates, we certainly need the cooperation of the industry. Apart from driving the curriculum when it was launched five years ago, industry players have diligently participated in delivering industry talks to our students almost every fortnight and even moderated our final examination question papers every semester. For these contributions, we are indebted to the industry,” said INCEIF Chief Academic Officer Prof Datuk Syed Othman Alhabshi.


Participants the CIFP Focus Group discussion.
To get industry feedback, a focus group comprising industry players and recent CIFP graduates held a meeting at INCEIF to evaluate the CIFP and share their ideas on the way forward for the programme.  As respected industry leaders and potential employers, their perspective is invaluable to INCEIF.

Among those who attended the focus group discussion were:

  • Mr. Badlisyah Abdul Ghani, CIMB Islamic Bank Bhd Chief Executive Officer
  • Mr. Muzaffar Hisham, Maybank Islamic Berhad Chief Executive Officer
  • Ms. Zariah Abu Samah, Maybank Islamic Berhad Head of Shariah Transaction Management
  • Ms. Yusaini Yusof, Maybank Islamic Head of Shariah Advisory
  • Dato’ Wan Ismail Wan Yusoh, Bank Islam Bhd General Manager, Strategic Relations, Managing Director’s Office
  • Mr. Mohd Hafiz Johari Great Eastern Takaful Vice President & Head of Human Capital
  • Mr. Ismail Mahbob, MNRB Retakaful Berhad President / Chief Executive Officer
  • Mr. Mohd Amin Zainoorin Mohd Ross, RHB Islamic Bank Bhd Senior Vice President Head, Corporate Strategy
  • Mr. Mohd Azalan Hamzah, Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd Senior Assistant Vice President Muamalat Academy
  • Mr. Mohammad Shidek Nazaran, OCBC Al-Amin Bank, Head of Shariah
  • Mr. Abdul Rahman Mohd Yusuf, OCBC Al-Amin Bank, Vice President Enterprise Sales, Business Banking

INCEIF was also represented by Chief Operations Officer Mr Mohd Zamree Mohd Ishak; Prof Dr Syed Hamid Al-Junid, Head of Economics and Governance Department; Prof Dr Obiyathulla Ismath Bacha, Head of Graduate Studies and Finance and Accounting Department; Prof Dato’ Dr Kamaruddin Sharif, Head of Takaful & Wealth Planning Department; and Assoc. Prof Dr Shahul Hameed Mohamed Ibrahim, Head of CIFP Department.
The discussion was also joined by a select number of CIFP graduates who are currently working in the industry or furthering their studies.

Among the suggestions by both the industry players and graduates are that there should be increased emphasis on Shariah subjects, from the current three to having a whole semester dedicated to Shariah studies. The discussion also touched on the need to further improve the skills and competencies of the CIFP students by extending their industry exposure. This would truly make CIFP graduates industry ready upon graduation.

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