Shariah-compliant student finance: consultation on a Sharia-compliant alternative finance product

Document type
Discussion paper
Corporate author(s)
Great Britain. Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
Publisher
BIS
Date of publication
3 April 2014
Subject(s)
Education and Skills, Minority Groups
Collection
Social welfare
Material type
Reports

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In September 2012 changes to higher education funding meant that students were able take out student loans for tuition for each year of study. These post-2012 loans carry a different rate of interest, above inflation, to student loans issued before September 2012. The Department knows that some students, whose religious beliefs may forbid the taking out of a loan that incurs interest, may be unable to take advantage of student loans because of this change. This could make it more difficult for them to get a higher education. It is exploring the possibility of making an alternative student finance scheme available alongside traditional loans. This funding would be Sharia (Shariah, Shari’ ah) compliant and overseen by a Sharia advisory committee. The Department wishes to know if the model scheme addresses potential concerns on the charging of real interest rates on student loans. It also wants to know what the demand for such a scheme would be among students and Muslim communities as a whole.

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