Kuala Lumpur, 4 Nov 2023 – INCEIF University today held its 14th Convocation which saw 106 graduates received their scrolls from Chancellor Tan Sri Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus. The graduates of INCEIF’s professional certificates, Masters and PhD programmes comprised Malaysians and internationals from 21 countries including Ethiopia, Maldives and Spain.

In 2009, INCEIF’s inaugural convocation saw 32 graduates from 7 countries received their scrolls. The increasing number of countries where INCEIF graduates come from reaffirms INCEIF’s role in developing world class talent for the global Islamic financial services industry. Among them are graduates from Muslim-minority countries including Canada, Japan, South Korea and US. They are joined by graduates from neighbouring countries of Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand as well as from the Gulf and African countries. The foreign graduates are part of the international INCEIF students from 83 countries.

The diversity of INCEIF students is not confined to geographical boundaries as they are also from different faiths, and diverse academic and professional backgrounds. In addition, INCEIF’s syllabus and programmes are also adopted and adapted by international partners. This demonstrates Malaysia’s global leadership in Islamic finance from the perspective of human capital development.

The highlight of this year’s convocation is the presence of Tan Sri Andrew Sheng, a highly regarded commentator in global finance, as the commencement speaker. In his commencement address, he discussed the prospects of an Islamic stock exchange and offered a perspective on the integration of Islamic finance principles within the global financial infrastructure.

In the lecture, titled `Thoughts on How to Build an Islamic Stock Market ‘, Tan Sri Sheng argued that the technology and infrastructure for such a market was readily available. However a market was more than just its infrastructure – it is the ecosystem or human construct, comprising the people – companies that list on the exchange, the institutional players, investors, agents, intermediaries, supporting commercial services, such as lawyers and accountants and today technology experts, plus regulators – who shape how the market ecosystem thrives or simply survives.

But in the end, it is the quality of the companies, their entrepreneurship and innovation, that determines whether they will outperform the competitors. If these companies are basically risk-adverse, then the stock market may only deliver the average ROE that other markets deliver.

The resulting market will be only average and thus neither add nor subtract to the economic power of Islamic finance. What is true of individual companies is also true for stock markets.

”All I know from experience is that we must create the diverse eco-system which will grow them through a disciplined process of transparency, accountability and integrity. We hardly need extra changes in taxation or mechanisms, only policies and programmes that reduce the transaction costs of MSMEs, so that they have a more level playing field against giant institutions,” Tan Sri Sheng said. (For the full speech, click)

INCEIF President & CEO Prof Dato’ Dr Azmi Omar, in his speech at the convocation, said the graduating class stood as a testament to INCEIF’s commitment to academic excellence, research, and fostering future leaders in the field of Islamic finance and sustainability. He also reminded the graduates that they now have a duty to make a substantial, transformative change in the field of Islamic finance.

“No matter your chosen path in the immediate future, now more than ever, we have a fervent duty in not only advancing the Islamic finance cause in bettering our lives, but more importantly uplifting the lives of the underserved, downtrodden and oppressed not only in our immediate surroundings but those beyond our borders.

”We have the laws and regulations, and we have consistently introduced innovative mechanisms and products. Yet these alone cannot guarantee the full impact of this ideal and all-encompassing system. As the world undergoes incessant environmental, geopolitics and socio-economic shocks, the next wave of Islamic finance has to be about achieving deliverable impact and producing realistic results,” Dato’ Azmi said.

In the speech, he also put on record INCEIF University’s united support for Palestine. “The resilience of the Palestinian people in the face of one of the worst humanitarian atrocities in modern times is both inspiring and a testament to the strength of the human spirit. As advocates of justice and fairness, we should all aspire to be a `Palestine’ – unequivocal strength and unflinching stand for the right to live in peace, dignity, and freedom.” (For the full speech, click)

Also present at the Convocation were INCEIF Chairman of the Board Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar, members of INCEIF Governing Bodies and faculty members.

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