The Principals’ Institute was set up under the Faculty of Education, University of Malaya in 1999 to fulfil the aspirations of the Ministry of Education, Malaysia with the objective of providing high calibre leaders for educational institutions. Beginning 2003, the Institute began its operations at the City Campus, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur. In April 2004, the Institute was accorded an autonomous status by the University under the direct purview of the Chancellery and the name of the institute was changed to the ‘Institute of Principalship Studies’.
In 2011, the Institute was renamed again as the ‘Institute of Educational Leadership’ in order to reflect the mission of preparing educational leaders from different types of institutions, locally and internationally. It was established to fulfil the need of producing school leaders who are equipped with the knowledge, skill and relevant experience, to enable them to lead and manage schools efficiently, besides being able to perform related research and supervision activities at their institution. The Institute of Educational Leadership offers the Masters of Principalship Studies and the Doctor of Philosophy programmes and since its establishment in 1999, a total of 602 students have graduated. The Institute of Educational Leadership has stopped the Masters of Principalship Studies since January 2017. The new Masters of Educational Leadership is the latest addition to its post-graduate programmes. It combines the latest theory and research to inform practice and its blended learning approach offers flexibility plus the use of the latest technology.