Tweet: #MasterCard partners @INCEIF to empower women in Islamic Finance with new scholarship program
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Singapore, 5 March 2015MasterCard and the International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance (INCEIF) today announced they are partnering to launch the MasterCard – INCEIF Scholarship for Women, aimed at boosting the pipeline of female talent in the Islamic finance sector.

This is a timely collaboration, given the growing importance of Islamic finance, especially in Southeast Asia. According to a report by Malaysia International Islamic Finance Centre, Islamic finance is now a USD$2 trillion industry. The increasing demand for Islamic financial products, also spells the need for more financial professionals who are well-versed in Islamic finance.

As part of the three-year agreement, MasterCard will offer scholarships to two full-time female students pursuing INCEIF Master’s programmes for Islamic Finance – Masters in Islamic Finance Practice and MSc in Islamic Finance – each year. Students will be awarded scholarships based on their academic records, financial need and contribution to the community.

MasterCard will also offer the scholarship recipients a one-year contract to work with MasterCard, upon graduation. This will give the scholars a chance to gain invaluable industry experience, working at MasterCard’s offices in Malaysia, Singapore or Indonesia; all markets in which there is a burgeoning Islamic finance landscape.

As a strong proponent globally of women’s empowerment, MasterCard has had similar initiatives in collaboration with universities such as Singapore Management University (SMU) and Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD). The recently launched MasterCard Scholarship for Women at SUTD is awarded to female undergraduates pursuing an education in technology, while the MasterCard MBA Scholarship for Women at SMU which started in 2011 is awarded to full-time female MBA candidates studying at SMU. Both programmes aim to empower awardees, and support and develop them into academically outstanding and socially responsible women.

Dzalin Ayub, Chief Operations Officer, INCEIF said, “INCEIF would like to record our thanks and appreciation to MasterCard for considering our students for its scholarship campaign. As a university by the industry for the industry, it is heartening to have an industry player, one with such prestigious credentials, as a partner. We welcome any initiative to contribute towards developing human capital in this rapidly growing industry as there are various opportunities for all, women included. ”

Safdar Khan, group head, Islamic Payments, Southeast Asia; group country manager, Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei, MasterCard said, “In recent years, MasterCard has collaborated with various Islamic financial institutions in the region including Tabung Haji, CrescentRating and Zilzar.com to introduce more of our innovative Shariah-compliant payments solutions. We’re constantly seeking new ways in which we can meet the growing needs of the Islamic finance market, and are excited to have the best and brightest working with us to deliver innovation to this exciting, fast-evolving segment.”

About INCEIF

INCEIF, (International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance), is a university set up by Bank Negara Malaysia to develop human capital for the global Islamic finance industry. Apart from its academic programmes, which are Masters in Islamic Finance Practice, MSc in Islamic Finance and PhD in Islamic Finance, INCEIF also offers customised executive training programmes and industry-focused applied research in line with its vision to be the knowledge and thought leader in Islamic finance.

INCEIF syllabus is structured with inputs from industry players to bridge the gap between academic knowledge and industry experience. INCEIF faculty members, who are globally respected among the Islamic finance academia and industry, have a combined wealth of experience and diversity. The faculty, coupled with continuous support from the industry, provides INCEIF students with strong mentoring relationships and opportunities for professional development.

About MasterCard

MasterCard (NYSE: MA), www.mastercard.com, is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. MasterCard’s products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MasterCardAP and @MasterCardNews, join the discussion on the Beyond the Transaction Blog and subscribe for the latest news on the Engagement Bureau.

Media contacts:

Baidura Ahmad, +603 7651403, baidura@inceif.org
Georgette Tan, MasterCard, +65 6390 5971, georgette_tan@mastercard.com
Sheila Jang, Weber Shandwick, +65 6825 8064, sjang@webershandwick.com