Overview – UKM at Glance
The idea for an institution of higher learning for the Malays was first mooted at the 1903 Rulers’ Conference, or Durbar. The Malay intellectual Za’ba, wrote about such a need in the newsletter Lembaga Melayu in 1917. A movement, and subsequent debates, among Malay intellectuals, for the setting up a university using the Malay language as the medium of instruction in the institution of higher learning was formed in 1923 when another Malay thinker Abdul Kadir Adabi, submitted a memorandum on the matter to the HRH the Sultan of Kelantan. Howeverthe effort came to nothing due to many obstacles and resistance from the colonial authorities.
Nevertheless from 1957 until 1967, a resurgence of nationalism revived the idea, and in 1968 Malay scholars formed a steering committee to bring the vision of a national university to reality. A slew of meetings on cultutal and political exchanges eventually secured an agreement from the government of the day. The efforts to realise a Malay language-based institution in all subjects bore fruit and resulted in The National University Of Malaysia (UKM), in May 18 1970, which opened it’s doors in Lembah Pantai Kuala Lumpur. The first batch of 190 undergraduates and 1 post-graduates registered at 3 faculties; Science, Arts and Islamic Studies.
In 1974 , UKM set up a campus in Kebun Kawang, Papar. Later the place was renamed Limauan by the then Sabah Chief Minister Tun Datu Mustapha Datu Harun. The campus housed the Science and Natuiral Resources faculty, which was moved to Bukit Padang, Kota Kinabalu in 1980. It later relocated to Menggatal, Tuaran in 1990 along with the faculty of Developmental Science which originally was based in the main campus of Bangi. With the formation of of University malaysia Sabah in 1994, UKM’s Sabah campus was officially closed in 1996 and the faculties permanently located back tio the main campus in Bangi, Selangor.
UKM has since seen tremendous growth in being able to provide an increasing number of places of learning for the people as well undertaking research in various disciplines and fields of study. It now has 13 faculties, a Graduate School of Business (GSB-UKM), as well as 16 research institutes of excellence in education.
UKM has also set up UKM Holdings Sdn. Bhd, operating as a commercial entity to benefit from all the expertise it has while also generating income for the University.
The main UKM campus in Bangi, which began operations in 1977, has an area of 1,096.29 hectares. The Bangi campus contains nine (9) faculties and fifteen (15) research institute. Moreover, UKM also has a campus in Jalan Raja Muda Abdul Aziz, Kuala Lumpur with an area of 20 hectares which houses the Faculty of Medicine (Pre-clinical), Faculty of Health Sciences, Faculty of Dentistry and Faculty of Pharmacy. The UKM Medical Centre (PPUKM) which has an area of 22.3 hectares in Cheras, Kuala Lumpur is home to the Faculty of Medicine, Canselor Tuanku Muhriz Hospital (HCTM) and the UKM Medical Molecular Biology Institute (UMBI.
45 years since it’s inception, UKM has produced 176,009 graduates. The university has since attracted global attention, as seen in the 2,937 students from 42 nations.
UKM was appointed as one of the four research universities of Malaysia in 2006 based on it’s excellent record in research for 40 years. That recognition has gained further ground when the Malaysia Genome Institute (MGI) and the International Institute of Global Health, United Nations University were set up at the university. Its areas of research were further consolidated and enhanced with the identification of eight niche areas; Challenges to Nation Building, Sustainable Territorial Development, Renewable Energy, Health and Medical Technology, Climate Change, Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials, Biological Diversity in Biotechnology Development and ICT: Content Informatics.
UKM is also the recipient of the Prime Minister’s Quality Award 2006, a recognition of its excellent achievements in the academic and management fields. It has also been conferred the status of an Autonomous University in January 2012, while it looks ahead to a Transformation Pelan by 2018 With these strong foundations, UKM aims at not just sustaining but also enhancing its level of excellence via its 2000-2020 (PS2020) Strategic Plan in line with its slogan, ‘Inspiring Futures, Nurturing Possibilities’. All these developments has brought about greater confidence among its staff to continue upgrading their capabilities while enhancing their talents in a conducive, healthy and supportive environment as provided by the university.