Centre for the Advanced Study of the Arab World
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Centre for the Advanced Study of the Arab World
Durham Islamic Finance Program
Durham Islamic Finance Program (DIFP)

The DIFP is run under the auspicious of the Institute for Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at Durham University. As the Institute is part of the University’s School of Government and International Affairs this enables us to draw on the Schools disciplinary strengths in governance and regulation that have particular relevance for Islamic finance. Durham has been a centre for research in Islamic finance for over 25 years, but with the launching of the DIFP it is formalizing its academic and professional activities.
DIFP offers postgraduate research degrees in Islamic banking, finance, management and economics. Durham has produced many graduates, who are now working in the Islamic banking and financial sector, as well as contributing to the teaching of Islamic economics and finance all over the world. With the launch of the DIFP the university is seeking to consolidate its position as the leading centre for postgraduate research on Islamic economics and finance, as well as extend its activities into the professional realm.
DIFP is directed by Professor Rodney Wilson and Dr Mehmet Asutay. The DIFP will be further strengthened by the appointment of a new Professor in 2008, the Shariah Chair, with the post holder expected to focus on the implications of Shariah for commercial and financial contracts.
The program which is research driven includes the following elements:
Postgraduate (MAR and PhD) Degrees in Islamic Finance, Banking, Management and Economics.
DIFP offers specialized MA by Research (MAR) and PhD research degrees in most areas of Islamic finance and banking. Twenty seven students were registered for these degrees in 2007. As part of the degree program students normally attend a module on Islamic economics and Shariah compliant finance. There are also weekly Research Support Workshops.
As the degrees are by research, there can be some flexibility about how students divide their time between residing in Durham and their home countries. Often the research involves a fieldwork element, with students undertaking surveys, semi structured interviews and organizing focus groups back in their home countries.
The Research Degrees offered in Islamic Finance are recognized by the Saudi Ministry of Higher Education, the Central Bank of Bahrain and Bank Negara, and the Central Bank of Malaysia.
Current PhD research conducted in DIFP:
• An Empirical Investigation of Operational Risk Management in Islamic Banks: An Integrated Approach;
• Performance Measurement and Profitability of Islamic Banks in Sudan;
• The Merits in Applying AAOIFI Accounting Standards in the Islamic Banking Sector in Saudi Arabia;
• A Study of the Investment Policies of Takaful Companies and the Factors Influencing their Investment Decisions;
• Modeling Risk Management for Islamic Financial Products in Malaysia;
• Comparative Analysis on Capital Adequacy and Risk Taking Behavior among Financial Institutions across Select Middle East Countries and Malaysia
• Institutional Dimensions of Economic Stagnation in the Muslim World: An Islamic Political Economy Approach;
• Social Dimensions of Islamic Investment in Malaysia;
• Service Quality Measurement in Islamic Banks in UAE;
• Measuring the Performance of Islamic Mutual Funds;
• Developing Sukuk Structure Beyond the Traditional Models: Overcoming Risk Implications
• Religious Determinants of Economic Behavior: The Case of Algerian Youth;
• Evaluating Islamic Home Financing in Malaysia;
• Islamic Home Financing in Kuwait;
• Islamic Corporate Social Governance and Ethical Investment in Turkey;
• Developing Financing for SME’s in Saudi Arabia;
• Exploring the Potential for Islamic Finance in Libya;
• Evaluating the Demand for Islamic Mortgages in the UK.

Durham Islamic Finance Summer School
DIFP, with its international reputation in theoretical and empirical research, aims to share its experiences by hosting an annual Summer School. The first Islamic Finance Summer School held from July 24th – 28th 2006 proved to be very successful with over 40 participants. We are, therefore, confident that this annual event will be equally valuable for future participants, whether they are pursuing academic research or working in the Islamic banking and finance industry, or in financial service providers that are debating whether to offer Shariah compliant products.
The fourth Islamic Finance Summer School will run from 6th-10th July 2009.

DIFP has organized and sponsored a number of international conferences on Islamic economics and finance and the publication of the best papers presented.
The papers from the 2003 conference on Islamic Perspectives on Wealth Creation were published by Edinburgh University Press in 2005. The book was edited by Dr Munawar Iqbal, formerly of the Islamic Research and Training Institute of the Islamic Development Bank and now Director of the Centre for Islamic Banking and Finance at the International Islamic University, Islamabad, and Professor Rodney Wilson. This conference was partly funded by the Islamic Development Bank.
Durham University is supporting the International Conference on Islamic Banking and Finance being organized by the International Islamic University of Malaysia which will be held from 23rd – 25th April 2007 in Kuala Lumpur. The theme of the conference is Research & Development: the Bridge between Ideals and Realities. For more information and details of the conference, please visit the conference website at http: iiu.edu.my/iiibf/iicibf/.
DIFP is currently working on the planning of further conferences on Islamic finance, which will be announced in due course.

Staff and the research students at the DIFP have been active in publishing in the field of Islamic finance, banking, management and economics.
The most recent book is by Ahmed El-Ashker and Rodney Wilson, Islamic Economics: A Short History, Brill Academic Publishing, Leiden, 2006.
Academic Journal: Review of Islamic Economics
Dr Mehmet Asutay, the coordinator of DIFP, is the Managing Editor of the Review of Islamic Economics, the leading journal in Islamic economics, banking and finance, now in its 10th year.
http: www.dur.ac.uk/sgia/research_activities/iripe/islamfinance/

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