Introduction to the Project

This project was initiated by the Alumni Office at the University of Birmingham, at the personal initiative of alumnus Sue Yian Quek. Dr Matt Schuelka (who previously lived in Malaysia) traveled to Kuala Lumpur in April, 2018 to meet various stakeholders; engage with schools, teachers, and families; and cement a partnership between Malaysia and the Department of Disability Inclusion and Special Needs, School of Education, University of Birmingham.

The Malaysian Ministry of Education has set an ambitious target of full-inclusive for 75% of its students with ‘special needs’ by 2025. Currently, most students with disabilities in Malaysia are excluded from school, or relegated to special schools and classrooms. In other words, the current scenario is not very positive and there is much room for improvement.

In November 2018, Dr Schuelka and his colleagues will travel to Kuala Lumpur to engage more significantly in the promotion and development of inclusive education in Malaysia. They will give several workshops directly to teachers in schools, as well as participate in several forums on inclusive education hosted by RITE Education, Yaysan Hasanah, and the Malaysian Collective Impact Initiative; which will allow a high level of interaction with major education stakeholders at the policy and structural level.

It is the goal of this November visit to come away with an engagement plan between Malaysian organisations and schools and the University of Birmingham moving forward. This is a developing and evolving project and partnership, and we look forward to sharing it with you as we go!

Dr Matt Schuelka in a focus group with parents and students.

Dr Matt Schuelka in a focus group with parents and students.