History of UM

History UM 1

University of Malaya
, or UM, Malaysia’s oldest university, is situated on a 900 acre campus in the southwest of Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia. The varsity is proud to claim the title of the country’s premier university and the origins of the university can be traced back to 1905 with the founding of King Edward VII College of Medicine and its subsequent merger in 1949 with Raffles College (founded 1929) in Singapore to form the national university of the Federation of Malaya under the name of University of Malaya.
In 1954, the government put forward a proposal that the University of Malaya should rightly have two branches, one in Singapore and another in Kuala Lumpur. Through an act of parliament in 1961 the University of Malaya as we know it today in Kuala Lumpur, was established on 1 January 1962 as the first university in this country.

History UM 2

The University of Malaya has grown rapidly since its establishment and the University of Malaya alumni include Malaysian Prime Ministers, members of cabinet, top civil servants and diplomats, and leaders of the industry, the sciences, the arts and culture. In recent years, the University of Malaya has been designated as one of five research universities in Malaysia, and continues to actively spearhead a vigorous research agenda.
Both UM’s past and plans for the future reflect its vision of becoming “an internationally renowned institution of higher learning in research, innovation, publication and teaching.”
Vision & Mission



To be an internationally renowned institution of higher learning in research, innovation, publication and teaching.


To advance knowledge and learning through quality research and education for the nation and for humanity.

Quality Policy of the University of Malaya

The University of Malaya intends to undertake teaching and learning, conduct research and services of quality, generate and advance knowledge through continuous improvement efforts for the benefit of all customers, in particular the students of the University of Malaya.

Core Values of the University of Malaya 
  • Integrity
  • Respect
  • Academic Freedom
  • Open-mindedness
  • Accountability
  • Professionalism
  • Meritocracy
  • Teamwork
  • Creativity
  • Social Responsibility


The Campus
The university campus is located in the Pantai Valley, between Kuala Lumpur and Petaling Jaya. It is set in 900 acres of natural parkland, hills, valleys, flora and fauna, the home of many species of flowers, birds and insects. The varsity green, a rolling field set by a lake is the students’ favourite area for sports activities from football
to kayaking.
The infrastructure and development at the university are constantly on improved for the benefit of all campus communities. The opportunity to study at the University of Malaya is a chance not to be missed. It is close to the city of Kuala Lumpur and all the city attractions such as the National Museum, Arts Market, Kuala Lumpur Tower and the famous Petronas Twin Towers.
The library also offers access to electronic resources such as e-journals, databases, citation indexes, and bibliographic management software. The core business of the library is to support teaching, learning and research needs of the University. The library is headed by the Chief Librarian, with a complement of professional, support and technical staff.
UM Facilities
Established in 1959, the Main Library sits in the middle of the University Campus. It is a four storey building with a floor space of 17,372 square meters. Full seating capacity is 1,608 and there are altogether 53 daily carrels with 21 set aside for the visually impaired. The Main Library also has 4 computer labs as well as computer facilities at every floor.
The library consists of a network of libraries which includes the main library and 13 special subject-based libraries:
  • T.J. Danaraj Medical Library
  • Tan Sri Professor Ahmad Ibrahim Law Library
  • Za’ba Memorial Library
  • Languages and Linguistics Library
  • Engineering Library
  • Dental Library
  • Built Environment Library
  • Islamic Studies Library
  • East Asian Studies Library
  • Indian Studies Library
  • City Campus Library
  • Malay Studies Library
  • Islamic Studies Library, Nilam Puri, Kelantan
Information on library’s holdings is available from the Online Public Access Catalogue (OPAC).
The official website for UM library is

ICT Services
Centre of Information Technology or Pusat Teknologi Maklumat (PTM), provides the necessary infrastructure, services and resources for ICT services in University of Malaya, and its campuses.
Computer laboratories with internet connection are available in the library and faculties for students to carry out their research and assignments. The library has an online Open Access Catalogue (OPAC) with internet connection that opens the doors of the library to worldwide access.
In addition, wireless connection is also available throughout the campus.
The official website for PTM is
For international and postgraduate students, accommodation arrangement can be made at the International Students Affairs Unit.
University of Malaya has 13 residential colleges that could accommodate up to 11,000 students at one time. This figure represents about 65% of all students pursuing their first degrees. Each residential hall is administered by a principal and assisted by several fellows. Besides accommodation, the Residential Halls also provides facilities such as game courts, reading rooms, grocery shops, cyber cafes and computer labs.
Students’ daily living expenses are dependent upon their needs and lifestyle. An estimated cost of accommodation, food, books, clothes, entertainment, local transportation, and other expenses for a single student are approximately RM800 to RM1,300 per month (USD$250 - USD$400) for a single student.
The residential colleges are:
  • Tunku Abdul Rahman Residential College (1st Residential College)
  • Tuanku Bahiyah Residential College (2nd Residential College)
  • Tunku Kurshiah Residential College (3rd Residential College)
  • Bestari Residential College (4th Residential College)
  • Dayasari Residential College (5th Residential College)
  • Ibnu Sina Residential College (6th Residential College)
  • Za’ba Residential College (7th Residential College)
  • Kinabalu Residential College (8th Residential College)
  • Tun Syed Zahiruddin Residential College (9th Residential College)
  • Tun Ahmad Zaidi Residential College (10th Residential College)
  • Ungku Aziz Residential College (11th Residential College)
  • Raja Dr Nazrin Shah Residential College (12th Residential College)
  • International House (Family Accommodation)
Transportation and Travel
Movement within and out of the campus is made easy by the shuttle service provided by Student Affairs Division. It manages 21 buses (including three coasters) and 25 drivers provide shuttle services for students travelling in and outside campus.

One-Stop Convenience Centre The Perdanasiswa Complex located next to the varsity lake is a one-stop convenience centre for the university students and staff.
History UM 2
Among others, the building complex houses a University book shop which is one of the largest and best stocked university bookshops in the country. Academic books could be purchased at a cheaper price compared to those found in commercial bookstores. Books can be ordered in advance to provide convenient access to materials for study and research.
Students may also find travelling plans made easier with a visit to the UC Travel Agency which offers an array of vacation packages, buses, train and airplane ticketing services.
There is also a post office located at the complex which makes it convenient for students and staff to receive postal services which include buying stamps, postcards and paying bills.
Several automatic teller machines are also available at the complex.
The campus sports and recreational facilities are managed by the Sports Centre. For avid swimmers, there is an Olympic-sized swimming pool at the Sports Centre. The Centre also houses several tennis courts and fields for soccer and rugby. A brand spanking new stadium is being built to accommodate even more activities on campus.
History ISC 2016
The Sports Centre also organizes sporting activities and co-curriculum courses, in addition to being the coordinating body for all sporting facilities on campus. Members of the University may also enjoy a brisk walk or a run at the jogging track around the varsity lake.
Why UM?
UM Going Global
Out of the 17,580 students enrolled for undergraduate and postgraduate studies at University of Malaya, more than 21% are international students from more than 80 countries.

World Ranking University
University of Malaya is placed at number 27 in the Asian University Ranking 2016 and was ranked 133 in the 2016/2017 QS World University Ranking, being the only Malaysian University making a mark in the list of the world top 200 universities and it has emerged as the only Malaysian university to break into the top-30 of the 2015 QS Asian University Ranking. The University has been consistently voted by consumers as the University of Choice by the Readers Digest Trusted Brand Award exercise since 2007.


A Trusted Name
The University has been consistently voted by consumers as the University of Choice by the reader’s Digest Trusted Brand Award exercise since 2007.
Quality Assurance
In 2002, the University of Malaya received the MS ISO 9001:2000, being the first Malaysian public higher education institution to receive a comprehensive certification for all its processes.
UM and the city
The University is situated right in the heart of Malaysia’s capital city, Kuala Lumpur. Studying in UM, one can gain additional advantages from its proximity to the city.
Campus Map
Academic Calendar
Last Update: January 16, 2018