Muslim students have urged the federal government to comply with by way of on its promise of providing interest-free, Islam-compliant student loans as its revealed virtually 100,000 students have deserted or self-funded their research as a consequence of an absence of options.
A coalition of MP Stephen Timms, Lord John Sharkey and numerous Muslim charities and organisations – together with Muslim Census, National Zakat Foundation and Islamic Finance Guru – have known as on the Prime Minister to offer various student finance for students by September 2022.
In Islam, paying curiosity – or ‘riba’ in Arabic – on loans is taken into account impermissible, making it tough for a lot of British Muslims to pursue greater schooling with out comprising their non secular beliefs.
Currently, student loans from 2012 onwards are topic to rates of interest depending on inflation and revenue.
An interim research launched by Muslim Census final week revealed that nearly 10,000 Muslim students per 12 months haven’t attended college or have self-funded their research since 2012, as a result of lack of Alternative Student Finance (ASF).
Among these students is Annesa Mariyam, who determined in opposition to an interest-bearing loan in 2014 and has struggled significantly since. She instructed The Independent: “I could not betray my faith and my beliefs – the same beliefs of a large population in England – and take out the interest-based loan. I could not attend university.
“I had to suffer the consequences by working as an unqualified teacher at an underfunded private school, getting paid considerably less due to not being qualified but expected to put in the same work and have the same subject knowledge.
“Thankfully I have now found a way in to the tech industry with self-learning and the help of an apprenticeship.”
Other students, similar to Hana Yousuf, additionally selected to not go to school due to interest-based loans. She stated: “I dropped out of sixth form as I know I couldn’t get a student loan so didn’t see the point of doing my A-Levels.
She then undertook an apprenticeship, and has since completed levels four and five of her education and training diploma, which is equal to her first and second year of university. But, for her final year of university, she is funding it herself.
“I saved up all my money over the last four years to help pay for my final year of university, but I’m still going to be working alongside my studies to support myself and to be able to pay the rest of my year off.
Ms Yousuf initially wanted to study Psychology, and said: “If I had the choice, I probably would have picked a different field but I had to pick the cheapest option.”
Amina Madaci is at the moment taking a spot 12 months to offer herself time to resolve whether or not to take out a loan or not. She stated: “I’ve kept my options open, but if the government doesn’t introduce interest-free loans, it puts me in a weird financial position because that means I’ll have to balance a large amount of work along with studies.”
In a 2013 speech, then Prime Minister David Cameron stated: “Never again should a Muslim in Britain feel unable to go to university because they cannot get a student loan simply because of their religion.”
Following this, a framework was in-built 2014 by authorities officers and Islamic monetary advisors, however plans didn’t go forward.
In the House of Commons, Mr Timms stated: “Eight years ago, the government pledged to introduce alternative student loans. That promise has still not been delivered, preventing large numbers of Muslims from entering higher education
“Riba interest is prohibited in Islam, as it was in Christianity until the Middle Ages. Some Muslim young people defer university until they have saved to pay their fees outright. Some, with a heavy heart, take out a loan and feel bad about it ever after. Others don’t attend at all – that’s the reality for young, British Muslims today.”
Universities minister Michelle Donelan replied: “We will provide an update on alternative student finance as we conclude the post-18 review of education and funding.”
This replace is predicted in November.
Sadiq Dorasat, co-founder of Muslim Census, stated “it’s clear that this issue is very important to Muslims,” as their survey acquired virtually 40,000 responses after they would usually anticipate just a few thousand.
Regarding his hopes for the federal government’s response, Mr Dorasat stated: “First of all, we want there to be an acknowledgement of the impact of the delay as over 100,000 people have been heavily impacted over the past nine years.
“Secondly, ideally, we want dates and plans of when an ASF will be implemented so people can begin to plan for their futures.”
Ms Madaci, who hopes to review English Literature, stated: “For others, where this isn’t an issue for them, it would undoubtedly place them at an advantage over me in terms of academic performance and even basics like mental health and well-being.
“I definitely think that having ASF would help so many people and university attendance rates would thrive. I speak on behalf of many, many others that I know of who are also in a very similar situation to myself.”