Column: Cilisos piece on Malaysia’s PISA 2015 results

Continuing with the PISA 2015 theme, I wrote a Cilisos piece here giving an introduction to PISA and explaining the issues with Malaysia’s PISA 2015 data.

Cilisos is like for Malaysian current issues, though somewhat politer. They also have a Malay-language counterpart, Soscili, as well as a wonderful team who put up with my rambling and nitpicking about statistics. (Thanks, Uihua!)

Radio interview: on Malaysia’s exclusion from official PISA 2015 results

Last week, I spoke on BFM, a business-oriented Malaysian radio station, in a ten-minute segment about the issues with Malaysia’s PISA 2015 results. The podcast is available here.

Background: The results from PISA 2015 (i.e. the most recent cycle of the triennial Programme for International Student Assessment) were released on the 6th of December.

When the results came out, many Malaysians were surprised to find that we weren’t included in the main results list, because sampling issues meant that our data weren’t comparable to other countries, or to previous PISA cycles. (For one local commentary, see this press statement by Ong Kian Ming, an opposition MP.)

Two personal notes:

  1. As far as research goes, it’s pretty frustrating that Malaysia’s 2015 PISA data have these quality issues. As far as I know, PISA and TIMSS (whatever their shortcomings and challenges) are the only accessible individual-level data on Malaysian education, because the Ministry doesn’t release national student and exam data.
  2. Evidently, I should get more practice at speaking about technical things in complete sentences, haha.


(This is a pinned “About” post. Scroll down for blog updates.)

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outside the library of the school I taught in, Nov 2015

I am a Malaysian PhD student in Education at the University of Cambridge. My thesis research looks at teacher accountability policies across countries.

Prior to starting the PhD in 2016, I spent two years teaching English in a high-need secondary school. I have also worked on a few research projects, including a guide to help Malaysian education researchers work with TIMSS and PISA microdata. For details of past and current research projects, click here.

Some of my non-academic writing is listed on this page, and my CV is available here. If you’d like to get in touch, you can email me.

The posts on this blog are a hodgepodge loosely related to educational research. But one of my goals here is to keep my Malay language skills from getting too rusty while I live in England, so you’ll probably (hopefully) see some excerpts from articles and books that I’ve translated into Malay.

If anything on this blog is useful or interesting to you, I’d love to hear from you, whether in a comment or via email.