Educational Policy in Malaysia—Implementation Challenges and Policy Proposals


Professor Tony Bush, Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Nottingham, and his team organised a leadership conference to disseminate their findings on educational policy reform implementation in Malaysia. The conference was attended by government officials, including the Deputy Director General of Education, academics, education practitioners and NGOs. 


The Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013-2025 was launched by the Ministry of Education Malaysia to raise student aspirations, increase public and parental expectations of the national education policy and prepare Malaysian children for challenges of the 21st century.

The HEAD Foundation supported Professor Tony Bush from the University of Nottingham, and his team, in a qualitative research study that examines linkages within the education system and how they support or inhibit education policy reforms in Malaysia. The team includes Dr. Ashley Ng Yoon MooiDr. Wei Keong Too, and Josephine Chay from the University of Nottingham Malaysia, Dr. Derek Glover from the University of Nottingham, UK, and Dr. Lei Mee Thien, from Universiti Sains Malaysia.

The key findings of their study are:

  1. there are top-down expectations and weak feedback loops to advise policy-makers about the practical implications of policy reform,
  2. inconsistent messaging and lost information and
  3. ambitious and unrealistic policies.

Their research findings and policy recommendations can be found in the Foundation’s Policy Brief No. 7.

Speakers With Panelists

The team organised a leadership conference, “School Leadership and Policy Implementation in Malaysia” at the University of Nottingham Malaysia on 16 March 2019 to disseminate and discuss the findings of their research with key government officials, academics and educational practitioners.

Prof Tony Bush, Principal Investigator and Keynote Speaker

Dr Habibah Abdul Rahim, the Deputy Director-General of Education, responded to Prof Tony Bush’s keynote address and shared that the Malaysian Education Blueprint, the encapsulation of Malaysia’s ambitious education reforms, is a living document; the reform is a journey and designed for the Malaysian context through review and townhall meetings with thousands of students, parents and teachers.

Prof S Gopinathan, Advisor To The HEAD Foundation

Prof S. Gopinathan, Advisor to the Foundation, joined Prof Dr Ibrahim A. Bajunid, President of the Malaysian Association for Education, YBrs. Dr. Mehander Singh, Director of the Institut Aminuddin Baki, Dr Haji Ahmad Rafee Bin Che Kassim, Director of Educational Planning and Research, MOE Malaysia and Ms Cheryl Ann Fernando, Director of Global School Leaders Malaysia, in a panel discussion on educational leadership and the Malaysian Education Blueprint.

Dr Ashley Ng and Dr Too Wei Keong expanded on their research findings on instructional leadership and the English language policy respectively while Dr Donnie Adams from the Institute of Educational Leadership, University of Malaya, shared how the Malaysian Education Blueprint contributes to the Sustainable Development Goals.

The conference ended with a round table discussion chaired by Dr Henry Koge, Assistant Professor at the University of Nottingham Malaysia, where participants of the conference discussed and debated about the Malaysian educational policy.

Read about the University’s write up of the leadership conference here.

Photos: The HEAD Foundation and University of Nottingham Malaysia

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