Development of Islamic economics study program has shown tremendous growth for the last decade. According to the data of the National Accreditation Agency for Higher Learning Institution (BAN-PT), there are 256 study programs offering Islamic economics and finance making Indonesia as number one country in the world having the biggest number of Islamic economics study program at university level. This should be utilized to strengthen Islamic economic development including zakat sector.

During the meeting of Association of Islamic Economics Study Program of Indonesia at Indonesia Shariah Economic Festival in Surabaya on Wednesday (10/26), Puskas BAZNAS Director, Irfan Syauqi Beik, stated that stronger cooperation between universities and BAZNAS is highly needed. “The progress and the future of zakat development in particular and Islamic economic development in general depend on the quality of human resources, and in this regard, the role of university in producing qualified human resources is extremely important,” Irfan said during his opening speech at the event. Arif Mahfudz, representative of the Indonesia Financial Services Authority (OJK) also agreed with the statement. He added that qualified human resources are the key to accelerate Islamic economic development.

In response to the expectation of BAZNAS and OJK, Raditya Sukmana, Head Department of Islamic Economics at Airlangga University, stated that the association is still in the process of standardizing the curriculum. This standardized curriculum is believed to be the solution in meeting regulator and practitioners expectation. Therefore, the Association’s meeting is very important in formulating the outcome of curriculum. (PUSKAS NEWS)