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Top 5 Universities in Malaysia

A university (Latinuniversitas, ‘a whole’) is an institution of higher (or tertiaryeducation and research which awards academic degrees in several academic disciplines. Universities typically offer both undergraduate and postgraduate programs.The word university is derived from the Latin universitas magistrorum et scholarium, which roughly means “community of teachers and scholars”.[1]

Malaysia is a Southeast Asian country occupying parts of the Malay Peninsula and the island of Borneo. It’s known for its beaches, rainforests and mix of Malay, Chinese, Indian and European cultural influences. The capital, Kuala Lumpur, is home to colonial buildings, busy shopping districts such as Bukit Bintang and skyscrapers such as the iconic, 451m-tall Petronas Twin Towers

1) Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (University of Technology Malaysia, UTM) …

Universiti Teknologi Malaysia

University of Technology Malaysia is a premier Malaysian public research-intensive university ranked 187th in the world by QS University rankings. Its medium of instruction is English.


Industrial Partners

UTM has regional and international academic collaborations with companies including IntelAlteraDyson,[4] Alcon,[5] Shell[6] and Proton.[7]

Synergy 4.0

In 2018, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) has embarked on a unique history when undertaking the restructuring of its academic entity and witnessing the merger of faculty from 18 to seven.[8]


UTM has three campuses – the main campus is in Skudai, and was the first university in the state of Johor. It has an area of 1148 hectares[9] and is the second largest public university after Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM). It is about 20 km north of the state capital, Johor Bahru.

The branch campus is situated in Jalan Semarak within Kuala Lumpur, with an area of 38 hectares.[9] The branch campus accommodates diploma students, part-time students (also known as the SPACE program), undergraduate students (Malaysia-Japan International Institute of Technology) and foreign students taking business courses.

The new branch campus located in Pagoh was officially opened on 2 May 2017. Universiti Teknologi Malaysia Innovation Centre in Agritechnology for Advanced Bioprocessing (UTM-ICA) is strategically located off the Pagoh interchange on the north–south expressway, in the district of Muar, Johor. A 50-hectare campus equipped with shared facilities integrated with Bandar University Pagoh.

2) University of Malaya. …

2) University of Malaya. …

The University of Malaya (UM) (MalayUniversiti Malaya) is a public research university located in Kuala LumpurMalaysia. It is the oldest and highest ranking Malaysian institution of higher education according to two international ranking agencies.[4][5] The university has graduated four prime ministers of Malaysia, and other political, business, and cultural figures of national prominence. The predecessor of the university, King Edward VII College of Medicine, was established on 28 September 1905 in Singapore, then a territory of the British Empire. In October 1949, the merger of the King Edward VII College of Medicine and Raffles College created the university. Rapid growth during its first decade caused the university to organize as two autonomous divisions on 15 January 1959, one located in Singapore and the other in Kuala Lumpur. In 1960, the government of Malaysia indicated that these two divisions should become autonomous and separate national universities. One branch was located in Singapore, later becoming the National University of Singapore after the independence of Singapore from Malaysia, and the other branch was located in Kuala Lumpur, retaining the name University of Malaya. Legislation was passed in 1961 and the University of Malaya was established on 1 January 1962.[1][6][7][2] In 2012, UM was granted autonomy by the Ministry of Higher Education.[8]

Today, UM has more than 2,500 faculty members[citation needed] and is divided into thirteen faculties, two academies, five institutes and six academic centres.

In the latest QS World University Rankings, UM is currently ranked 65th in the world, 9th in Asia, 3rd in Southeast Asia and the highest ranked learning institution in Malaysia.[9]

The Faculty of Languages and Linguistics, Japanese Language and Linguistic Course was awarded the Japanese Foreign Minister’s Commendation for their contributions to promotion of Japanese language education in Malaysia on 1 December 2020.[10][11]

2) University of Malaya. …


The University of Malaya is commonly referred to as “UM”

King Edward VII College of Medicine

Main article: King Edward VII College of Medicine

The establishment of the university began with the issue of shortage of medical assistants in Singapore and Penang during the late 1890s.[12] The problem was addressed in a report published by the Education Commission in April 1902. In the report, it was stated that the Commission was in favour of establishing a medical school to fulfil the demand for medical assistants in government hospitals. However, such a view was not in favour among the European community.[13]

Legislation was passed by the Straits Legislative Council in June 1905 under Ordinance No. XV 1905. The school opened on 3 July 1905 and began functioning in September. On 28 September 1905, Sir John officiated the school under the name ‘The Straits and Federated Malay States Government Medical School.’[14]Faculty of Laws Building

The school was located in the old Female Lunatic Asylum near the Singapore General Hospital at Sepoy Lines off New Bridge Road, where four of the asylum buildings were converted into a medical school. In 1907, a lecture hall and laboratory were added. There were no library and room to keep pathological specimens.[14]

In 1905, there were 17 medical students, four students attending the hospital assistant course. Five years later, the enrolments increased to 90 medical students and 30 trainee hospital assistants. The school had only one permanent staff which was the Principal, the teaching staff were employed on a part-time basis. The Principal was Dr Gerald Dudley Freer, who previously served as Senior Colonial Surgeon Resident of Penang.[15][16]

The School Council wanted to gain recognition of its Diploma by the General Council of Medical Education in the United Kingdom to ensure that the Licentiate of Medicine and Surgery Diploma offered by the school would gain worldwide recognition. In 1916, the GCME recognised the Licentiate of Medicine and Surgery Diploma offered by the school. The licentiates were placed on the General Council’s Colonial List of the British Medical Register and were entitled to practise anywhere within the British Empire.[17]Tan Teck Guan Building

In 1910, Dr Robert Donald Keith became the second Principal of the School. The first two years of the five-year course were devoted to pure science studies. Physics, biology and chemistry were taught in the first year, followed by physiology and elementary anatomy in the second year. The remaining three years were attachment to clinical clerkships in medicine, surgery and midwifery, which covered pathology, hygiene and medical jurisprudence. Materia Medica was integrated into the fourth year, where practical pharmacy was taught.[18]

Students were posted to several hospitals, initially at the Singapore General Hospital. From 1908 onwards, attachments were made to Tan Tock Seng Hospital (for medicine and surgery) and Kandang Kerbau Maternity Hospital (for midwifery).[18]Artwork on The Faculty of Languages and Linguistics building

In 1912, the medical school received an endowment of $120,000 from the King Edward VII Memorial Fund, started by Dr Lim Boon Keng. Subsequently, on 18 November 1913, the name of the school was changed to the King Edward VII School of Medicine.[19]

In the first batch of 16 students of 1905, only seven made to the final and graduated in May 1910 while the remaining six students graduated in four months later and others resigned from the school. In 1919, the drop-out rate had risen to 35%, while in 1939 the number of students failed in their final examinations stood at 44%.[17]

At this time a hostel was built to accommodate 72 male students from the Federated Malay States.

In 1921, the school was elevated in status to college. Between 1920 and 1930, the college went through a series of transformations, by replacing the old teaching staff with a younger generation of professionals and also nine new Chairs were created, the first in Anatomy in 1920, followed by Medicine, Surgery, and Midwifery & Gynaecology in 1922 and Clinical Surgery, Bacteriology, Biology, Bio-Chemistry, and Dental Surgery in 1926. And the tenth Chair for Pathology was created in 1935.[20]

In 1923, the college’s new building at Outram Road was commenced. It was completed in November 1925 and officially opened by Sir Laurence Guillemard in February 1926. During the opening ceremony, the College conferred Honorary Diplomas on Sir David James Galloway, Dr Malcolm Watson and Dr Lim Boon Keng.[21]

In 1929, Dr George V. Allen the new principal took the helm, succeeding his predecessor Dr MacAlister.

Raffles College

The establishment of Raffles College was a brainchild of Sir Stamford Raffles and Dr Robert Morison. Sir Stamford had some knowledge of the Malay language and culture, while Morison was a distinguished sinologist missionary. Both men wanted to establish a centre dedicating to the study of Malays and Chinese at tertiary level.[22]

On 5 June 1823, a site designated for an education institution had its foundation stone laid by Sir Stamford. Soon after that, Raffles left for England and Morrison left for China, thus the establishment of the school never happened. The school building was revived as an English school named the Raffles Institution.[22]Library Building

In 1918, Sir William George Maxwell, the Colonial Secretary of the Straits Settlements chaired the Maxwell Committee to review the scheme to commemorate the centenary of the founding of Singapore by Sir Stamford. The committee members were Roland BraddellA.W. StillSeah Ling Seah, Dr Lim Boon KengMohammed Yusoff bin MohammedN.V. Samy, and Mannesseh Meyer. The working committee headed by H.W. Firmstone recommended the establishment of a college for tertiary education to commemorate the centenary founding of Singapore.[23] On 12 July 1919, the Government decided to undertake the construction of the building with the cost not more than $1,000,000 and would contribute $50,000 as annual recurrent expenditure as soon as the Centenary Committee had collected $2,000,000 for the Raffles College Endowment Fund. On 31 August 1920, the Committee had achieved the figure, amounting to $2,391,040.[24] On 31 May 1920, Richard Olaf Winstedt was appointed as the Acting Principal of Raffles College. The course offered was a three-year basis. The establishment of the school was seen far more systematic compared to the King Edward VII Medical College. The school was situated at a site called the Economic Gardens and was designed by Cyril Farey and Graham Dawbarn. And the construction took place in 1926.[25]Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

On 22 July 1929, Raffles College was established to promote arts and social sciences at tertiary level for Malayans. The courses offered were divided into Art and Science streams. Four years later, the College Council proposed changes in the curriculum, so that the Diploma could be furthered to a Degree through external examinations in collaboration with universities in England.

In 1937, Sir Shenton Thomas declared the college would have a full-time Principal. The College had its fourth Principal, Alexander Keir, succeeding Frederick Joseph Morten. By 1939 war was waged in Europe, and had put a halt to the development of the college. The war in Europe came to Asia and Singapore was invaded by the Japanese in February 1942.

After the war, the school was reopened and W.E. Dyer was Principal. The future of Raffles College was uncertain, until 1948 when Dr George V. Allen (later Sir) who was formerly the Principal of King Edward VII Medical College posted as the last Principal of Raffles College. The college was amalgamated with the former, for the making of a university for the Malayans.

University of Malaya (1949–1967)

University of Malaya. …

The evolution of the University of Malaya

In 1938 the government appointed a commission under the chairmanship of Sir William H. McLean to study the higher education potential and progress in Malaya. The Commission concluded that Malaya was not ready to have a university, and that a university college would be more suitable. In 1939, the Higher Education in the British Colonies appointed a Commission led by Justice Asquith to further study the matter. The Commission shared the same opinion as the former McLean Commission.

In 1946, Dr Raymond Priestley, the Vice-Chancellor of Birmingham University was invited by the British Malaya Government to continue the review of setting up a University for Malaya. The Priestly Commission shared the same opinion as the McLean Commission, which was to form a university college first.

In 1947, the Secretary of State for the Colonies appointed Sir Alexander Carr-Saunders to chair a commission to study the development of tertiary education in Malaya. Initially, the Carr-Saunders Commission shared the same opinion as the McLean Commission. However, after the report was completed (but not yet summited to the Secretary of State), Sir Alexander listened to the thoughts of the Alumni Association of the King Edward VII College and also the Medical College Students Union. He was impressed with the ideas of the President of the Students Union, Dr K. Shamugaratnam. In 1948, the Carr-Saunders Commission supported the establishment of a university for the Malayans.

As a result, the institution named the University of Malaya was chartered under the Carr-Saunders Commission in 1949. The formation of the University of Malaya on 8 October 1949 in Singapore came from the merger of King Edward VII College of Medicine and Raffles College, which had been established in 1905 and 1929, respectively.

In Carr-Saunders Commission’s report in 1949, it was stated that “the university shall act as a single medium of mingle for enhancing the understanding among the multi-ethnics and religions in the back than Malaya. The University too should be modelled after the tertiary educations in the United Kingdom of Great Britain in term of academic system and administration structure”.A view of several nearby office buildings from the center of the University of Malaya’s campus

The Carr-Saunders Commission postulates “the principle that all children who show the necessary capacity should enjoy an equal chance of reaching the University; and, in particular, that no able child should be handicapped in climbing the educational ladder by race, religion, rural domicile, or lack of means.”

In 1959, the university was divided into two autonomous campuses, one in Singapore and the other in Kuala Lumpur. In 1961, the governments of Malaysia and Singapore passed the legislation to make the university a national university. As a result of such desire, on 1 January 1962 the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur was permanently located on a 309 hectare land and remained with the name. However, the campus in Singapore became the University of Singapore (today the National University of Singapore).A view of the University of Malaya’s Faculty of Science building from the road

On 16 June 1962, the university celebrated the installation of its first ChancellorTunku Abdul Rahman, Malaysia’s first Prime Minister. The first Vice-Chancellor was former Dean of Arts, Sir Alexander Oppenheim, the mathematician who formulated the Oppenheim conjecture in 1929.[26] When Oppenheim left in 1965 with no successor in sight, Rayson Huang who later went on to become the first Asian Vice-Chancellor of the University of Hong Kong,[27] was asked to take over as the Acting Vice-Chancellor. He served in that capacity for 12 months but declined reappointment to return to academic pursuits.[28]

Chin Fung Kee, an authority in geotechnical engineering,[29] replaced Huang as Acting Vice-Chancellor until the university filling the position in 1967 by the appointment of James H.E. Griffiths. A distinguished physicist and a fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford, Griffiths was also the former head of Clarendon Laboratory of Oxford University and one of the discoverers of ferromagnetic resonance.

2) University of Malaya. …

Coat of arms

The University of Malaya’s Coat of Arms was designed under a Council established in 1961,chaired by Tan Sri Y.C. Foo. The members of the committee involved in the design were the Chairman of the Council, Y.C. Foo, Professor A. Oppenheim (the Vice-Chancellor) and Professor Ungku Aziz (later Regius Professor). The Coat of Arms was officially chartered in April 1962 by Tunku Abdul Rahman, the university’s first Chancellor.[30]

The Coat of Arms is divided into two parts, namely the Chief (upper part) and the Base (the remainder). The Chief is a bundle of seventeen strips of the leaves of Borassus flabellifer or the Palmrya palm. These strips were used as printed material for ancient books by the Malays, long before paper was invented. On the centre of these seventeen strips is the university’s motto ‘Ilmu Puncha Kemajuan’. The motto consists of ‘Ilmu’ derived from Arabic, ‘Puncha’ from Sanskrit, and ‘Kemajuan’ from Malay. These words mean knowledge is the source of progress.[30]The University of Malaya Silver Mace

In the centre of the emblem is a Hibiscus rosa-sinensis species encircled by three Malayan tigers. The tigers symbolise the three main races in Malaysia (Malays, Chinese and Indians), who work hand-in-hand to protect the nation and uphold the duty to serve the country.[30]

Academic profile

University of Malaya has been ranked consistently as the No. 1 university in Malaysia and among the top 3 universities in Southeast Asia, as well as among the top 400 universities in the world according to reputed ranking publisher such as QSARWUUS News & World Report in the recent few years.

In 2015 it has been ranked 54th in Engineering & Technology in QS world ranking. UM rose to the top 100 universities in the QS World University Rankings 2019, and has consistently increased in ranking to 59th in the world and 9th in Asia in the 2021 series.[39] In 2021, U.S. News & World Report ranked University of Malaya 17th and 87th in the world in Engineering and Computer Science respectively by its subject ranking.[40]

The business school of this university achieved two international accreditations i.e. Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) and Association of MBAs (AMBA

3) Universiti Teknologi MARA (MARA University of Technology) …

Universiti Teknologi MARA

Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM)[10] is a public university based primarily in Shah Alam, Malaysia, that accepts only bumiputera.[11] It was established to help rural Malays in 1956 as the RIDA (Rural & Industrial Development Authority) Training Centre (MalayDewan Latihan RIDA), and opened with around 50 students.[12] It has since grown into the largest institution of higher education in Malaysia as measured by physical infrastructure, faculty and staff, and student enrollment.[citation needed]

The university comprises one main campus and 34 satellite campuses. It offers over 500 programmes taught in English that range from undergraduate to the postgraduate level. The school is home to some 170,514 full-time and part-time bumiputera and international students. Postgraduate programme is open for international students and bumiputera but not for non-bumiputera.[13][14]

Universiti Teknologi MARA



Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) began as the RIDA (Rural & Industrial Development Authority) Training Centre (MalayDewan Latehan RIDA), and was inspired by Onn Jaafar, the founder and former president of United Malays National Organisation (UMNO). The idea was conceived as a result of his study visit to Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) in 1951 to look into its rural development programme. A paper outlined the establishment of RIDA and its objectives of rebuilding rural society, as well as improving the economy of rural Malays.[10] A bill, Paper No. 10/1951, was passed by the Federal Legislative Council in the same year that led to its establishment. Section 5 of the bill outlines the justification and the necessity of establishing RIDA. The word kampong (lit. ’village’), which is synonymous with the Malays, is also used in Section 8.[15]

Training centre

The RIDA Training Centre began operations in Petaling Jaya, Selangor (currently Jalan Othman satellite campus) under its first principal, Syed Alwi Syed Sheikh Alhadi in November 1956. It was officially opened by Ismail Abdul Rahman, the Minister for Trade and Industry on 14 February 1957. The training centre conducted pre-university courses, business skills training, and several external professional courses offered by established international bodies, such as the London Chamber of Commerce, the Australian Chartered Secretaryship, the Australian Society of Accountants, and the British Institute of Management. After the Federation of Malaysia was created in 1963, the training centre began to admit native students from Sabah and Sarawak, and more academic programmes were offered. In 1964, the RIDA Training Centre held its first convocation and 50 graduates were awarded certificates by Tun Abdul Razak, the Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia.[10]The first batch of Dewan Latehan Rida students in Jalan Othman campus circa 1956.

The training centre later became known as MARA College (MalayMaktab MARA) in 1965. The name change meant that the college no longer operated under RIDA and instead became the most important unit of the MARA Training Division. MARA stands for Majlis Amanah Rakyat (transl. Council of Trust for the Indigenous People), which was founded under the leadership of Tan Sri Arshad Ayub, took over and strengthened the role and responsibilities of RIDA. When the British Institute of Management ceased conducting external examinations in 1966, MARA College began running its own Diploma in Business Studies. International recognition for the course came from Ealing Technical College in London, which also became its external examiner.[10]The logo of MARA Institute Of Technology (MalayInstitut Teknologi MARA, ITM) from 1967 until 1999.

Expansion and growth

In 1967, the college was upgraded to Institut Teknologi MARA (ITM). Its was established in response to a need in Malaysia for trained professionals, especially among bumiputera. This shortage was identified through a manpower survey conducted by the government in collaboration with the United Nations in 1965. Acknowledging the fact that education holds the key to positive social engineering processes, ITM made education easily accessible primarily to the bumiputera Malays and indigenous bumiputera of the Malay peninsula (such as JakunSenoi) and East Malaysia (such as the Kadazan-DusunMelanau, and Dayak).[16] It mainly catered to semi-professional courses predominantly in the science and technology in fields such as engineering, applied sciences and architecture, building, and planning. However, realising the importance of other complementary nation-building fields, it also included a repertoire of other salient “management and humanities-based” fields such as business studies, hotel and catering management, mass communications, public administration, law, secretarial science, and art and design.[17] By 1973, branch campuses had been set up in Perlis, Sabah, and Sarawak. The development of ITM occurred in three stages: the first phase (1967–1976) came with the declaration of the institute as an autonomous body with its own 300-acre campus in Shah Alam, and was placed under the Ministry of Rural Development; and the second phase (1976–1996) involved ITM rapidly harnessing its potential as an institution of higher learning, which led to the ITM Act of 1976 that placed the institute directly under the Ministry of Education’s jurisdiction.[10]

University status

The third phase (1996–1999) occurred as a result of an amendment to the ITM Act of 1976, which granted the institution all the powers of a university on par with all the universities in the country, despite retaining its name. Among the significant changes was a creation of board of directors and Senate. Many principal officers of ITM were re-designated, such as the Branch Director being renamed Rector, the Head of Campus became Provost, and Principal and Senior Lecturers were re-designated as professors and Malay Associate Professors respectively. Each School was redesignated as a Faculty. ITM was also given the power to confer degrees up to Doctor of Philosophy level, the unique power to establish courses and campuses abroad with permission from the Minister of Education, and to conduct business, invest in shares, set up companies and engage in commercial research. Disciplinary powers over staff were transferred from the Minister to the board of directors. To improve staff accountability, the institute was allowed to impose a surcharge, and the procedural rights of students in disciplinary proceedings were strengthened.[10]

In August 1999, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad announced the change in name of ITM to Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM).[18] With such acknowledgement from the government, the institution was heavily restructured to consolidate the university’s resources for optimum productivity. Universiti Teknologi MARA Act 173 was drafted in conjunction with the establishment of UiTM. It is deemed essential as the Act provides guidelines for maintenance, smooth administration, and other pertinent matters. The Act also serves as an acknowledgement of the institution’s transition from an institute to a university, and the authority bestowed upon it to function like any other university, including the offering of courses and the conferment of degrees at all levels.[10]

Campuses and the university system

UiTM is Malaysia’s largest institution of higher learning in terms of size and population and the largest university system in the country. Besides the main campus in Shah Alam, the university has expanded nationwide with 34 branch campuses, which collectively offers more than 500 academic programmes. UiTM established a system called 1 University Multi System (1UiTM), which designates an anchor university and 13 branch campuses.[19] To qualify as a university system, accredited certification of the quality management systems for each UiTM campus must be done separately, which means that any certification granted to the flagship campus does not extend to the state campuses, and each state campus has to apply for its own certification.

Flagship campus

UiTM is headed by a Vice-Chancellor.[20] The system’s flagship campus is situated in a designated area known formerly as Section 1 in Shah Alam. This campus houses the Chancellery and Registrar’s Office and assumes the role of the administrative centre. The flagship campus (and its satellite campuses) only offer programmes in foundation, degree, and post-graduate levels. The anchor university consists of the main campus in Shah Alam and the Selangor Branch Campus (Puncak Alam, Selayang, Sungai Buloh, Puncak Perdana, Jalan Othman and Dengkil).

Satellite campuses

Satellite campuses relieve the flagship campus by accepting student overflow, which involves moving out some faculties from the flagship campus. Each satellite campus is led by an Assistant Vice-Chancellor or head of study centre.

State campuses (branch campuses)

Branch campuses are headed by Rectors, who are directly accountable to the Vice-Chancellor. UiTM has campuses in every state in Malaysia, except the Federal Territories. Each state may contain more than one campus. The flagship state campuses are led by the Rector and smaller campuses (called city campuses) are led by Assistant Rectors.[20][dead link]

State campuses mainly offer pre-diploma and diploma-level programmes in themes or niches set by the flagship campus. Some degree and post-graduate programmes are also offered through a franchise agreement with the flagship campus.

Autonomous campuses

As of June 2014, there are seven branch campuses which have been granted autonomous status—the Perlis, Perak, Terengganu, Sarawak, Melaka, Pulau Pinang, and Pahang campuses.[21] This is in line with the vision that all state campuses will eventually be given autonomous administration, giving each campus its own degree of creativity and to increase achievements in various aspects of the campus and its students. A significant feature of these autonomous campuses is the ability to hold their own convocation ceremonies and most executive decisions would not depend on the administration of the flagship campus.

4) Universiti Putra Malaysia (Putra University, Malaysia, UPM) …

Universiti Putra Malaysia

Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM; formerly known as Universiti Pertanian Malaysia or College of Agriculture Malaya or School of Agriculture) is recognised by the independent government assessments as one of Malaysia’s leading research universities offering undergraduate and postgraduate courses with a focus on agricultural sciences and its related fields.

Founded in 1931 as the School of Agriculture, UPM’s main campus is in SerdangSelangor. It was formerly known as Universiti Pertanian Malaysia or the Agricultural University of Malaysia. Now, UPM offers a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in the fields such as agriculture, engineering, medicine, veterinary medicine, business, languages and social sciences.

Universiti Putra Malaysia

It was ranked as the 132nd best university in the world in 2021 by Quacquarelli Symonds[7] and it was ranked 28th among asian universities and the 2nd best university in Malaysia. In the Integrated Rating of Malaysian Institutions of Higher Education (SETARA), UPM maintain its six stars rating, which is ‘Highly Competitive’.[8]

On 21 Mei 1931, UPM was established as School of Agriculture, it is located on Serdang with 22 acre (9 hectares) land. The only two programmes offered were three-year diploma programme and one-year certificate course in agriculture. On 23 June 1947, the school was upgraded as College of Agriculture Malaya by Sir Edward Gent, the then Governor of Malayan Union.[9]

Universiti Putra Malaysia

On 29 October 1971, Universiti Pertanian Malaysia (Agricultural University of Malaysia) is officially established through the merger of College of Agriculture Malaya and the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Malaya. UPM began with three faculties which are in the field of agriculture, forestry and veterinary medicine. On 23 July 1973, UPM had its first academic session with intake of 1,559 students. On 30 July 1977, UPM held the first convocation ceremony, it is also the ceremony that declaring the appointment of UPM’s first Chancellor, Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah.[10]

On 3 April 1997, UPM has changed the name to Universiti Putra Malaysia, declared by Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, the then Prime Minister of Malaysia. The reason of changing name is to indicate UPM has diversified the fields of study especially in Science and Technology. The word “Putra” is taken from Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj, the first Prime Minister of Malaysia. One of the reasons the word “Putra” was chosen is because the location of UPM near to Putrajaya. As the name has been changed, UPM changed the logo as well.[11]

In 2006, UPM is recognised as a Research University in Malaysia.[12] The autonomy university status was given by Ministry of Higher Education in 2012.

5) Universiti Sains Malaysia (University of Science Malaysia, USM)

Universiti Sains Malaysia

Universiti Sains Malaysia (abbreviated as USM) is a public research university in Malaysia. Founded on 1 June 1969 as a statutory body with its own constitution, it is among the oldest institutes of higher learning in Northern Malaysia. It has three campuses: a main campus on the island of Penang, a health campus in Kelantan, and an engineering campus in Nibong Tebal. There is currently an overseas collaboration with KLE University, India offering the Doctor of Medicine (USM) undergraduate degree. USM plans to open a Global Campus (Kuala Lumpur Campus) in Kuala Lumpur Education City (KLCE).[6][7]

Universiti Sains Malaysia

With around 28,300 postgraduate and undergraduate students in 2009,[8] USM is one of the largest universities in terms of enrollment in Malaysia. The number of lecturers is about 1,479, which leads to a student-lecturer ratio of around 19:1.

USM is the only Accelerated Programs for Excellence (APEX) government-funded autonomous university in Malaysia.[9][10]

One of the main entrance to University Sains Malaysia, Penang.


The idea of a university in Penang was first mooted by D. S. Ramanathan in 1959 in the State Assembly and later crystallised when he was nominated chairman of the Penang University Project committee.[11] The acquisition of a piece of land in Sungai Ara was then followed by the ceremonial laying of the foundation stone by the then Prime Minister of Malaysia, Y.T.M Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj on 7 August 1967.

USM was established as a statutory body in 1969 as the second university in Malaysia. It was first known as Universiti Pulau Pinang. The university operated on borrowed premises at the Malayan Teachers’ Training College at Gelugor. In 1971, it moved to its present 239-hectare site at Minden (formerly Minden Barracks of the British Far East Command) in Gelugor, 10 kilometres from the city of Georgetown.

There are two other USM campuses: one at Kubang Kerian in Kelantan, known as the Health campus, and the other at Seri Ampangan, Nibong Tebal in Penang, known as the Engineering campus. The former houses the School of Medical Sciences, the School of Health Sciences and the School of Dental Sciences, while the latter houses the six engineering schools.

Universiti Sains Malaysia teaches in the fields of Pure Sciences, Applied Sciences, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Building Science and Technology, Social Sciences, Humanities and Education as well as conducts research.

USM offers courses at undergraduate and postgraduate levels to more than 28,000 students. USM has won the Asian Innovation Award in which USM emerged as the only winner from this country.[12][citation needed]

Universiti Sains Malaysia


The management of the university is carried out through the executive power of the Board of Directors, made up of members chosen from the university, representatives from government departments and those appointed by the Ministry of Higher Education. There are three Deputy Vice-Chancellors led by the Vice-Chancellor.


In August 2011 USM created a new role of Ombudsman to deal with staff issues and protect whistleblowers.[13] The USM Ombudsman is Prof. Dato’ Seri Dr. MD. Salleh Yaapar, who is a former staff of the USM and is on a rolling 2-year contract.

Chief Integrity Officer

In July 2012, following a presentation by the Chief of Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, the VC of USM promises to create a new role of Chief Integrity Officer to cultivate academic integrity among students, lecturers and staff.[14] The current Chief Integrity Officer is Khairul Anuar Che Azmi, the university’s first ombudsman and is also the Legal Advisor.



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