National University of Malaysia

The National University of Malaysia (Malay: Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, abbreviated as UKM) is a public university located in Bandar Baru Bangi, Hulu Langat District, Selangor, Malaysia. Its teaching hospital, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre (UKMMC) is located in Cheras and also has a branch campus in Kuala Lumpur.

National University of Malaysia
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (Malay)
Mengilham Harapan, Mencipta Masa Depan[1]
Motto in English
Inspiring Futures, Nurturing Possibilities[2]
TypePublic research university
Established18 May 1970 (18 May 1970)
ChancellorTuanku Muhriz ibni Almarhum Tuanku Munawir
Vice-ChancellorProf. Dato' Ts. Dr. Mohd Ekhwan Hj. Toriman
Yang Amat Mulia Tunku Laxamana, Tunku Dato’ Seri Utama Naquiyuddin Ibni Almarhum Tuanku Ja’afar
Yang Berbahagia Tan Sri Dato' Seri Mohd Zuki bin Ali
Yang Teramat Mulia Tunku Temenggong Kedah, Dato’ Seri Diraja Tan Sri Tunku Puteri Intan Safinaz Binti Almarhum Sultan Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah
Students26,961 (2016) [3]
Undergraduates12,897 (2016) [3]
Postgraduates14,064 (2016) [3]
Location, ,
02°55′30″N 101°46′53″E
AffiliationsACU, ASAIHL, AUN, AUAP,[4] UAiTED
Main gate

There are 17,500 undergraduate students enrolled, and 5,105 postgraduate students of which 1,368 are foreign students from 35 countries.[5]


Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia was born from the aspirations of the nationalists to uphold the Malay language as a language of knowledge. The quest for a national university was suggested in 1923 by the writer Abdul Kadir Adabi as a move against British colonisation. This nationalist tide galvanised Malay intellectuals of the time but met British suppression. The nationalists never wavered and in 1969 the movement again blossomed. A Sponsoring Committee chaired by Syed Nasir Ismail, a Malay intellectual, was set up to prepare a report recommending the establishment of UKM. Other prominent members of this committee include Dr. Mahathir Mohamed (Tun), Malaysia's fourth Prime Minister who was then the Education Minister, and Dr. Mohd Rashdan Haji Baba, who later became UKM's first Vice-Chancellor.

Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia opened its doors on 18 May 1970 to 192 undergraduate students in Jalan Pantai Baru, Kuala Lumpur, a temporary campus housing three main faculties, the Faculties of Science, Arts and Islamic Studies. In October 1977, UKM moved to its present premises which form the main campus in Bangi. The campus has a size of 1,096 ha (2,710 acres), situated in the metropolis encompassing the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Kuala Lumpur, the main commercial centre, and Putrajaya, the administrative capital. The UKM Bangi Campus is 45 km (28 mi) from KLIA, 30 km (19 mi) from Kuala Lumpur and 20 km (12 mi) from Putrajaya.

UKM has two health campuses, the Kuala Lumpur campus in Jalan Raja Muda Abdul Aziz, and the UKM Medical Centre in Cheras. The Kuala Lumpur campus consists of the Faculties of Health Sciences, Pharmacy, Dentistry and the Pre-Clinical Departments of the Medical Faculty. With a size of 20 ha (49 acres), the Kuala Lumpur campus was established in 1974.

The campus in Cheras consists of the Medical Faculty, the UKM Teaching Hospital (Hospital Canselor Tuanku Muhriz UKM (HCTM) ) and the UKM Medical Molecular Biology Institute (UMBI) . The Cheras campus was opened in 1997. Besides these campuses, UKM operates seven research stations (RS) ; The Tasik Chini RS, The Marine Ecosystem RS, The Langkawi Geopark RS, The Marine RS, The Fraser's Hill RS, The Plant Biotechnology RS and in the main campus itself, the UKM Campus Living Laboratory, which comprises the UKM Permanent Forest Reserve, or its Malay name, Hutan Simpan Kekal UKM as well as the Fernarium and the Herbarium.

Based on a foundation of 30 years of research, UKM was awarded the status of a Malaysian Research University in October 2006 by the Ministry of Higher Education, a move designed to propel the four public universities into leading research universities in line with the Higher Education Strategic Plan 2007–2020.

The year 2006 also saw UKM winning the Prime Minister's Quality Award.

List of Vice-chancellors

The list of vice-chancellors of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.

Vice-Chancellor Academic Qualification Term in office
1 Professor Tan Sri Datuk Dr. Rashdan Baba Diploma of Agriculture (Malaya Agriculture College), Bachelor of Agriculture Science (Reading, UK), PhD in Agriculture Science (Leeds, UK) . 1970–1971
2 Datuk Dr. Ariffin Ngah Marzuki Bachelor of Medical & Surgery-MBBS (Malaya), Master of Surgeon in Obstetricians & Gynaecologists (RCOG, UK) . 1971–1974
3 Professor Tan Sri Dato’ Dr. Mohd Ghazali Abdul Rahman Bachelor of Science (Western Australia), PhD in Science (Western Australia) . 1974–1975
4 Professor Tan Sri Dato’ Dr. Anuwar Mahmud Bachelor of Veterinary Science (India), Master of Science (Hawaii, US) 1975–1980
5 Professor Tan Sri Dato’ Dr. Awang Had Salleh Bachelor of Arts in Malay Studies (Malaya), Master of Education (Malaya), PhD in Education & Sociology (Stanford, US) . 1980–1984
6 Professor Tan Sri Dato’ Dr. Abdul Hamid Abdul Rahman 1984–1993
7 Professor Dato’ Dr. Mohd Sham Mohd Sani Bachelor of Arts in Geography (Canterbury, New Zealand), PhD in Geography (UKM) . 1993–1998
8 Professor Tan Sri Dato’ Dr. Anuwar Ali Bachelor of Science in Economics (Queen’s, Ireland), Master of Economics (Leicester, UK), PhD in Economics (Kent, UK) . 1998–2003
9 Professor Tan Sri Dato’ Dr. Mohd Salleh Mohd Yasin Bachelor of Biological Science (ITB, Indonesia), PhD in Science (Bath, UK) . 2003–2006
10 Professor Tan Sri Dato’ Dr. Sharifah Hapsah Syed Hasan Shahabudin Bachelor of Medical & Surgery-MBBS (Malaya), Master of Health Science in Personnel Education (NSW, Australia), PhD (NSW, Australia) . 2006–2014
11 Professor Tan Sri Dato’ Dr. Noor Azlan Ghazali Bachelor of Economics (Malaya), Master of Public Administration (Harvard, US), Master of Business Administration (Nebraska-Lincoln, US), PhD in Economics (Nebraska-Lincoln, US) . 2014–2018
12 Professor Ir. Dr. Mohd Hamdi Abdul Shukor Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering (Imperial College, London), Master of Science in Advanced Manufacturing Technology and System Management (Manchester, UK), PhD in Engineering (Kyoto, Japan) . 2019–2020
13 Professor Dato' Ts. Dr. Mohd Ekhwan Toriman Ph.D (Hydrogeomorphology and GIS application) . Faculty of Science, Agriculture & Engineering (University of Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK) M.Sc (Hydrogeomorphology) . Faculty of Science & Engineering. (University of Manchester) B.A (Hons) (Physical Geography), Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. B. A (Geography) . Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. 2021-Incumbent

Coat of arms

The coat of arms of the National University of Malaysia is depicted as a quartered shield featuring an atomic symbol, a compass, a gear, and the national flower – a hibiscus rosa-sinensis, with an overlaid book placed on top of it.[6] It is blazoned:

Shield: Tierced per pall reversed, the dexter Or an Atomic symbol Sable, the sinister Azure a Compass and a Gear all Proper, the base Argent a hibiscus rosa-sinensis flower Proper; and a Chief Gules a Tiger passant to the sinister Proper.

Crest: An overlaid open book Argent fimbriated Sable.



Founding faculties (est. 1970):

  • Social Science and Humanities (established as the Faculty of Arts)
  • Science and Technology (established as the Faculty of Sciences)
  • Islamic Studies

Later faculties:

  • Medicine (KL Campus at Jalan Raja Muda Abdul Aziz, Kuala Lumpur and HUKM)
  • Health Sciences (KL Campus at Jalan Raja Muda Abdul Aziz)
  • Dentistry (KL Campus at Jalan Raja Muda Abdul Aziz)
  • Economics and Management
  • Education
  • Engineering and Built Environment
  • Information Science and Technology
  • Pharmacy (KL Campus at Jalan Raja Muda Abdul Aziz)
  • Law
  • Graduate School of Business

Service Centre

  • Chancellory Office
  • Department of Registrar
  • Department of Bursary
  • Department of Development & Maintenance
  • Centre for Corporate Communications
  • Centre for Quality Assurance
  • Centre for Research & Instrumentation Management
  • Centre for Collaborative Innovation
  • Centre for Teaching & Learning Technologies
  • Centre for Information Technology
  • Centre for Kesatria
  • International Relations Centre (UKM Global)
  • Centre of Risk Management, Sustainability & Occupational Health (ROSH)
  • Graduate Centre
  • Strategy-UKM
  • Students and Alumni Affairs
  • Sport Centre
  • UKM Library
  • UKM Press
  • UKM Islamic Centre
  • UKM Medical Centre
  • UKM Children's Specialist Hospital
  • PERMATApintar™ National Gifted Center
  • Office of the Legal Advisor and Integrity


  • Fuel Cell Institute (SELFUEL)
  • Institute for Environment & Development (LESTARI)
  • Institute for Malaysian & International Studies (IKMAS)
  • Institute of Ethnic Studies (KITA)
  • Institute of Microengineering & Nanoelectronics (IMEN)
  • Institute of Climate Change (IPI)
  • Institute of Systems Biology (INBIOSIS)
  • Institute of the Malay World & Civilization (ATMA)
  • Institute of Visual Informatics (IVI)
  • Institute of Islam Hadhari (HADHARI)
  • UKM Medical Molecular Biology Institute (UMBI)
  • Solar Energy Research Institute (SERI)
  • Institute of Ear, Hearing & Speech (I-HEARS)

Residential Colleges

  • Kolej Aminuddin Baki (KAB)
  • Kolej Burhanudin Helmy (KBH)
  • Kolej Dato' Onn (KDO)
  • Kolej Ibrahim Yaakub (KIY)
  • Kolej Ibu Zain (KIZ)
  • Kolej Keris Mas (KKM)
  • Kolej Pendeta Zaba (KPZ)
  • Kolej Rahim Kajai (KRK)
  • Kolej Tun Dr. Ismail (KTDI)
  • Kolej Tun Hussein Onn (KTHO)
  • Kolej Tun Syed Nasir (KTSN)
  • Kolej Ungku Omar (KUO)

Notable alumni


Year Rank Valuer
2005185Times Higher Education World University RankingsQS World University Rankings
2010263QS World University Rankings
2012N/A (did not submit data) [7]Times Higher Education World University Rankings
2014=269QS World University Rankings

When the Times Higher Education Guide University Rankings (THE) was published in October 2014, it was reported that UKM, along with Universiti Malaya, opted to not submit data for consideration. UKM Strategic Centre deputy executive director Associate Professor Dr Masturah Markom responded to the snub by saying that the rankings were unfair to the Malaysian educational context. She specifically cited the measurement of "industry income" in the THE methodology of university assessment, stating that Malaysian industry input cannot compete with other countries such as the United States of America. This is despite the fact that only a 2.5% weightage is allocated to "industry income" in the methodology, with more conventional categories such as teaching and research still making up 90%.[10][11]

See also


  1. "Moto, Visi, Misi & Falsafah". NUM. Retrieved 1 August 2014.
  2. "Motto, Vision, Mision & Philosophy". NUM. Archived from the original on 6 June 2014. Retrieved 1 August 2014.
  3. "Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM)". Archived from the original on 7 March 2017. Retrieved 7 March 2017.
  4. Association of Universities of Asia and the Pacific Archived 9 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine AUAP
  5. UKM, the National University of Malaysia, About Us Archived 17 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  6. "Logo & Song - Official Portal of Universiti Kebaangsaan Malaysia".
  7. "Global education index disappointed UM, UKM snubbed rankings poll - the Malaysian Insider". Archived from the original on 2 October 2014. Retrieved 2 October 2014.
  8. "Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia". Quacquarelli Symonds. Archived from the original on 30 November 2015. Retrieved 16 September 2015.
  9. "Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia". Quacquarelli Symonds. Archived from the original on 16 November 2017. Retrieved 16 October 2018.
  10. "Global education index disappointed UM, UKM snubbed rankings poll". Archived from the original on 2 October 2014.
  11. "UM and UKM defend snubbing of global varsity rankings". Archived from the original on 2 October 2014.
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