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Scottish Government grant awarded to Al-Maktoum College ahead of refugee settlement research project

AL-MAKTOUM COLLEGE of Higher Education has been successful in securing new funding as part of a £2.8 million Scottish Government grant initiative, aimed at promoting effective integration of refugees within Scots communities.

The College has received a total of £24,960 for its proposed research project, “Financial Accessibility and Inclusivity: Refugee Community in Scotland”, seeking to explore the challenges of financial inclusion for Muslim immigrant entrepreneurs in Scotland.

The research project will form part of a wider Scottish Government scheme and commitment to the ‘Integrating New Scots Strategy 2018-22’. The government-led scheme, also in partnership with COSLA, Scottish Refugee Council and the UNESCO Chair at the University of Glasgow, aims to ensure that refugees live in safe and welcoming communities that enable them to rebuild their lives from the day they arrive in Scotland.

Al-Maktoum College Associate Professor in Islamic Economics & Finance, Dr Alija Avdukic explains, “Muslim immigrant entrepreneurs are unable to access acceptable financial tools formally in Scotland, and instead rely on informal avenues for financing which in turn, limits their growth potential and integration within the community.

He continues, “Focusing on the challenges in growing business enterprises, this project will generate knowledge about the financial inclusion of immigrant entrepreneurs and develop innovative learning tools and teaching modules for key national stakeholders.

Our research focuses on solutions by tapping into the expertise of Islamic finance from Al-Maktoum College of Higher Education in collaboration with the University of Dundee School of Business, to develop a new curriculum for Islamic leadership in Scotland to provide support to Muslim immigrant entrepreneurs, and a university-level teaching module.”

Al-Maktoum College as an independent provider of higher education in Dundee has a long history of engagement with cultures and societies, particularly of the Middle East. In its all-inclusive approaches to education and range of specialist courses including, but not limited to, Islamic Finance, Arabic Language and Middle Eastern Studies, the College’s research project contributions are expected to add significant value to government decision making, strategy and policy.