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Waqf Fund launches Graduate Sponsorship Program with first batch of Islamic Finance Diploma

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Points of Essence:

  • Bahrain led the initiative to expand a pool of Islamic finance talents by establishing a waft fund which provides for research, education and training for Islamic finance industry. This is to address the acute shortage of Islamic finance talents this industry is facing.
  • The fund is open to Bahraini graduates who will be required to undergo an intensive period of study at BIBF, while also working as interns at the most prominent Islamic banks and conventional banks with Islamic windows which are members of the fund. It will see the first graduate of this sponsored program within the next 6 months.

As part of its initiative to develop the human resource for the Islamic finance industry, the Waqf Fund for Research, Education and Training proudly announces the launch of its Graduate Sponsorship Program.

Khalid Hamad.

Khalid Hamad.

The core strategy of the program is to facilitate the simultaneous development of Bahraini graduates both academically and practically, in order to ensure a constant supply of a qualified work force for the Islamic finance industry in Bahrain.

This program was developed by the Waqf Fund as a result of recommendations from the 1st Senior Roundtable Discussion earlier this year, and in consultations with CEOs and senior management of Islamic banks and conventional banks with Islamic windows, who are also Waqf Fund members. The industry players had unanimously pointed out the shortage of qualified human resource as one of the biggest challenges facing the industry.

The Graduate Sponsorship Program is an intensive program where Bahraini graduates will undergo an intensive period of study at BIBF, while also working as interns at the most prominent Islamic banks and conventional banks with Islamic windows which are members of the Fund.

In this regard, the first batch of 20 graduates will be commemorated under the Waqf Fund Graduate Sponsorship Program, who will be studying for a 6 month Islamic Finance Diploma at the BIBF in the evenings, and work as Interns at banks during the day. Upon successful completion of the diploma and the internship, the banks will have the discretion to offer full-time employment to these interns.

Chaired by Khalid Hamad AbdulRahman (Executive Director, Banking Supervision, Central Bank of Bahrain), the Waqf Fund is comprised of the Central Bank of Bahrain, and 18 prominent Islamic banks and conventional banks with Islamic finance operations in the Kingdom of Bahrain.

The Graduates are fully sponsored by the Waqf Fund to attend the Advanced Islamic Finance Diploma at the Center for Islamic Finance, BIBF, for a period of 6 months. Simultaneously, the Graduates are also allocated a mentor at their internships and are expected to apply the knowledge of Islamic finance they learn at the BIBF to their work experience, which will be duly recorded in a Log-book.

Top tier graduates in banking, finance, accounting, and economics from the University of Bahrain were selected based on a thorough assessment process, which included review of their grades, verbal, numerical reasoning and panel interviews.

On this austere occasion, Khalid Hamad said:

‘This is the first such program, most likely in the world, where the best graduates from the university are trained up from scratch in Islamic finance and also undertake internships at Islamic financial institutions. We are proud to have designed and funded this initiative and to have partnered with the BIBF, the University of Bahrain, and our member institutions to execute this important program. We hope to continue this program in successive batches and deliver a steady stream of skilled and qualified Islamic finance professionals to the Bahrain market.’

‘This initiative from Waqf Fund and the CBB is a contribution towards training and developing Bahraini workforce,’ Mr. Hamad said.

Garry Muriwai, Director of BIBF, also commented on this landmark initiative, ‘This program adds to our impressive list of Graduate Development Programs, including our already existing Banking and Insurance Graduate Programs. We are proud to have partnered with the Waqf Fund to establish such an important initiative for the Islamic Finance Industry.’

Commenting on BIBF’s industry building initiatives, he added, ‘The Islamic Finance Industry will face severe shortage of skilled professionals with a dual knowledge of both finance and Islamic Finance in the next decade. With the help of the Waqf Fund, we have made a significant investment to ensure that we are able to meet that challenge. To that end, the Waqf Fund and BIBF has invested substantially to upgrade the quality of teaching materials, hiring qualified Islamic Finance lecturers and partnering with prominent international institutions with the aim to deliver the best education in Islamic finance in the world.’

Earlier, the Waqf Fund had sponsored the development and documentation of training manuals on several subjects, to upgrade the quality of teaching materials, which will form part of the curriculum of the Islamic Finance Diploma at the BIBF and the BIBF’s Masters in Islamic Finance Program.

President of the University of Bahrain, Dr. Ibrahim Mohammed Janahi, said, ‘The financial sector in Bahrain is one of the pillars of the domestic economy, and is a driving force which governmental institutions continuously regulate, develop and maintain. Today, Islamic finance plays a central role in this developing sector, of which Bahrain is internationally recognized as a regional hub. We are, therefore, proud to commence this partnership with the Waqf Fund and the BIBF.’

He added, ‘The University of Bahrain is considered the biggest and most significant resource for the commercial and financial sectors in Bahrain. The University’s graduates are commonly distinguished for being highly equipped for immediate assimilation into the job market, as a large number of them have already proved their excellence. This is due to the practicality incorporated in the courses the business college offers. We will continue forth on this path, as the Waqf Fund will offer outstanding graduates an opportunity to acquire extra skills, as well as practical and academic training. This, without a doubt, will help provide human resources of an increasingly high calibre to the market.’

Dr. Janahi went on to stress that it is an honor for the University of Bahrain to offer, alongside the Waqf Fund, a greater number of students a competitive opportunity to enter the workforce of the Islamic finance industry. Bahrain will thereby maintain her role as a regional leader of the Islamic finance industry, as its founders envisioned, and in accordance with the Bahrain 2030 vision of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa.

The Waqf Fund Islamic Finance Graduate Sponsorship Program will be commemorated by Khalid Hamad at the BIBF Center for Islamic Finance Open Day which is scheduled to take place on Tuesday the 4th of November 2008.

Written by Suapi Shaffaii

November 4, 2008 at 2:44 pm

4 Responses

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  1. I am designing and was searching for waqf related sites to get the Idea and landed on your blog. Found very interesting stuff. Thanks


    November 6, 2008 at 3:38 pm

  2. Hi

    How many Islamic finance skilled manpower is available in Bahrain at the moment? My email is submitted to you as

    Thanks a lot!

    Sidney Bruhl

    November 19, 2008 at 9:35 pm

  3. Assalamualaikum

    As I am very keen and enthusiastic to pursue my career as a Financial professional in Shari’ah and Islamic Finance in the near future, hence, I hereby wish to apply for the abovementioned sholarship.

    Thank you for your prompt reply and consideration.



    June 21, 2009 at 10:54 pm

  4. I missed to put my email address:

    Thank you.



    June 21, 2009 at 11:00 pm

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