Year 2017 marks the 25th anniversary of sharia financial institutions establishment in Indonesia. Its development, however, is not as good as expected. Currently, the market shares is still under 5 percent of entire national banking assets. This condition prompted the Financial Services Authority (OJK) in collaboration with Faculty of Economics and Business, Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM) to organise Training of Trainers (TOT) of Sharia Finance on the campus of Faculty of Economics and Business UGM.

"The TOT will last from Tuesday - Thursday, 21-23 March 2017, joined by 120 participants who are lecturers from universities in Central Java and Yogyakarta," said Dr. Akhmad Akbar Susamto Head of Centre for Sharia Economics and Business Studies at the Faculty, also TOT chairman, on Tuesday (22/3).

Akhmad said the TOT was to equip participants with knowledge and understanding on recent developments related to sharia finance, improving capacity to become trainers or facilitators of training and teaching on sharia finance, and motivate participants to engage actively in the development of sharia finance, particularly at higher education.

Higher education, according to Akhmad, has vital roles in the development of sharia finance as a non-profit organisation that does financial transaction and assets management.

"Higher education as a research institution can contribute to this by encouraging and facilitating research among lecturers and students on sharia finance. They can also do so by creating academic environment conducive for sharia finance research," he said.

Higher education can also make contributions by giving courses on sharia finance as a separate study programme or part of a wider one, also by including sharia finance substance in their program of economic development and community empowerment.

"Higher education can make contribution better by making use of sharia finance services for appropriate transactions, for instance, student tuition payment, salary payment of lecturers and staff, etc. They can also do it for payment of asset procurement in short or long terms," he said.

In the training, the material to be given covers recent developments in sharia banking products, controlling and protection aspects of banking clients, permit and regulation for sharia banking, and development direction of sharia banking in the future, also current developments in non-bank sharia finance, given by experts from OJK and observers in sharia finance from UGM.