Suzaina Kadir

Suzaina Kadir


When I teach, my focus is always on how best to deepen my students understanding of the subject. I want my students to understand the intricacies of politics and public policy, but beyond that to also to develop a questioning and critical mind to what they are learning. I want my students to gain the confidence to question and to speak out even when confronted with difficult and sensitive issues. Hence, for me, the classroom is, most importantly, an arena for safe, critical exploration and discussion, where students can grow in their knowledge and reflect on what they are learning, from me and from each other.

My classrooms are specifically designed to be allow students to grapple with controversial and ideologically divisive issues. It is interactive, intense and, at times, emotional but at which the student emerges at the end, instilled with a passion to question and to stand confidently in this globalized world.


Dr Suzaina Kadir is currently Associate Dean at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, NUS.  She obtained her B.Soc.Sc. (1st Class Honours), Political Science from the National University of Singapore; her MA and PhD (Political Science) from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  Her research and teaching interests include ethnicity, religion and public policy, with special focus on Muslim politics in Southeast Asia, as well as the management of political Islam and multi-ethnicity in Singapore.  Since her appointment as Associate Dean, she has been heavily involved in higher education administration at the LKY School. Her focus now is educational research and policy, including the development of an integrated curriculum for the Masters in public policy and development of double-degree programmes. She recently piloted the first NUS distributed online collaborative course (DOCC) as part of project of the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU). 

In her spare time, Suzaina has been active in her community.  She served on the 2003 Censorship Review Committee, the Remaking Singapore Committee and the Feedback Unit Supervisory Panel.  She has also served as a board member for the Media Development Authority (MDA) and the Institute of Technical Education (ITE). Currently, she serves as the Chairperson for the Malay Programmes Advisory Committee of the MDA.  Suzaina is a recipient of two National Day Awards: the 2016 Public Service and Commendation Medals.  

Teaching Strengths

  • Piloted inter-disciplinary and team teaching of a core public policy module where the disciplines of economics, political science and public management were integrated through a single “wicked” policy problem
  • Piloted the very first distributed online collaborative course (DOCC) at NUS, with Cambridge University, the University of California-Berkeley, and the University of Tokyo.  This collaboration involved 5 professors, and 55 students across the 5 campuses.
  • Piloted the first flipped classroom, with problem-based learning to enhance interaction and increase student engagement in the class.
  • Introduced innovative teaching methods in the management of large, core classes, including the use of problem-based learning and innovative in-class presentation styles.
  • Designed classroom simulations, role play and debates in the exploration and teaching of controversial subject matters and issues.

Teaching Awards / Accolades

  • The LKY School of Public Policy Teaching Excellence Award (AY2009/2010)
  • Annual Teaching Excellent Award (AY2009/2010)
  • The Public Service Medal (2016)
  • The Commendation Medal (2016)