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Islam: Higher Education

Volume 496: debated on Wednesday 15 July 2009

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills pursuant to paragraph 9.21 of the UK Strategy for Countering International Terrorism, Cm 7457, how much of the £1 million which the Higher Education Funding Council for England has committed for work on the gaps in Islamic studies teaching and research has been allocated; and to what projects. (286114)

In June 2007, the Government designated Islamic Studies as a strategically important subject and asked HEFCE to earmark £1 million of its existing funding to develop a programme of work to support this.

To date, HEFCE has allocated:

£100,000 towards commissioning research into Islamic Studies in higher education, building on Dr. Siddiqui’s report on Islam at universities in England, and holding consultation events with the Islamic Studies community at:

http://www.hefce.ac.uk/aboutus/sis/islamic

£850,000 towards the development and implementation of a UK Islamic Studies network to bring the community of UK Islamic Studies scholars closer together. The Higher Education Academy (HEA) and the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) are taking this forward at:

http://www.hefce.ac.uk/aboutus/sis/islamic/network

In the coming year, HEFCE is commissioning a symposium for Islamic Studies scholars across the UK and Europe. Hosted by the British Academy, the symposium will promote the UK as a centre of excellence in Europe for Islamic Studies.