Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) is a public university in Malaysia. Its main campus is in Shah Alam, the state capital of Selangor, which is just 28 km west of Kuala Lumpur. Established in 1956, UiTM has since expanded to become a university of international repute. The largest higher education institution in Malaysia, UiTM has one main campus, 13 autonomous state campuses and 21 satellite campuses; these are supported by 17,000 academic and non-academic staff. UiTM offers 500 high quality programmes ranging from foundation to postgraduate levels. Home to approximately 150,000 students, both local and international, UiTM is one of the most popular higher education institutions in Malaysia.
One of UiTM’s core programmes is Islamic Finance, which it currently offers at the Faculty of Business and Management (FBM), the Arshard Ayub Graduate Business School (AAGBS), the Accountancy Research Institute (ARI) and the Academy Contemporary of Islamic Studies (ACIS). It is essential for the Islamic finance industry that Malaysian universities supply talented human capital – a role undertaken by the four learning centres at UiTM. All academic programmes offered by UiTM are Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) assessed and accredited.
UiTM offers Islamic Finance at undergraduate level at FBM and ACIS. Ever since 1999, FBM has offered a Bachelor of Business Administration (Hons.) in Islamic Banking to meet Malaysia’s demand for the best Islamic finance talent. UiTM has two intakes per year. The first semester begins each March with a second following in September. There are 758 students enrolled on the March 2018 programme, while the total alumni is approximately 5,500.
FBM is currently in the process of acquiring accreditation from the Finance Accreditation Agency (FAA) for BBA (Hons.) Islamic Banking programme. The FAA accreditation will further signify that the programme is meeting the FAA’s benchmark on an inclusive curriculum that is practical, skill-based and analytical. In striving to ensure FBM provides the best quality education to the students, most of its academic staff have completed the e-entrepreneurship module organised by Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (a government agency entrusted to spearhead the digital economy of the nation).
Recently, FBM received the Golden Globe Tiger Award as “Best Educational Institute in Banking and Insurance 2018”. Meanwhile, ACIS has offered a Diploma in Muamalat as well as Bachelor of Muamalat (Hons) since 2012, with alumni of approximately 200 and 400 respectively. Its student mobility is in collaboration with local and international universities such as Brunei Darussalam and Indonesia. ACIS was recognised at the Global Islamic Finance Awards (GIFA) and Cambridge IFA (UK) for, “Pioneer in Philanthropic Programmes in Higher Education Institution 2017”, and was also the 3G Critics Choice on “Good Governance Award in Education 2016”.
UiTM also offers Islamic Finance studies at postgraduate level. At FBM, it offers research degrees for a Masters of Science in Business Management and a Doctor of Philosophy, while ACIS offers Masters in Contemporary Islamic Studies and Doctor of Philosophy in Contemporary Islamic Studies.
Alternatively, prospective students can also opt to pursue their postgraduate in Islamic Finance at AAGBS for Master of Islamic Banking and Finance (MIBF), which is a coursework-based programme. AAGBS also offers Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) and Doctor of Philosophy by Mixed Mode. The strength and quality of the Islamic finance programmes are down to the highly qualified teaching staff. Besides PhD holders and those with years of industry experience, the majority of FBM and AAGBS Islamic Finance academic staff have successfully completed the Associate Qualification in Islamic Finance (AQIF) from the Islamic Banking and Finance Institute Malaysia (IBFIM) in 2017.
ARI is one of the pioneering centres of excellence in Malaysia to have received the prestigious status of Higher Institution Centre of Excellence (HICoE) from the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) Malaysia in 2010. As a leading HICoE, ARI’s niche research area is in Islamic Financial Criminology, a new field of study that aims to ensure Islamic finance is sustainable. Today, Islamic Financial Criminology is now recognised as the “new knowledge corpus” within the Islamic finance research fraternity.
ARI’s roles and contributions as a global research centre have been widely recognised through numerous awards. Global Islamic Finance Awards (GIFA) awarded ARI “Best Islamic Finance Education Provider” in 2014, “Pioneering Research in Islamic Financial Criminology” in 2015, “Best Research and Development in Islamic Finance” in 2016, and “Best Global Research Centre in Islamic Financial Criminology” in 2017. ARI has also received awards from UK online business magazine Acquisition Finance for two consecutive years, as “Islamic Financial Criminology Research Body of the Year” 2015 and 2016. It has also received awards from ASEAN Risk Awards under the category of “Risk Educator” for 2016 and 2017, and “Global Good Governance Awards” from Cambridge IFA (UK) under the category of Excellence in Higher Education in 2017. In support of its research agenda in Islamic Financial Criminology, ARI offers four postgraduate programmes in the areas of Financial Criminology and Islamic Finance.
UiTM’s four learning centres have contributed to the university being recognised among the Top 200 for Accounting and Finance in the world by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS), previously known as Times Higher Education-QS World University Rankings.
The Vice Chancellor of UiTM, Professor Emeritus Dato’ Hassan Said says: “Here at UiTM, a university with 60 years of educational excellence, we take pride in our reputation as a provider of high quality teaching, and cutting-edge research and consultancy, delivered in an atmosphere that is conducive for students to learn and grow.”