University of Putra Malaysia

University of Putra Malaysia (Malay: Universiti Putra Malaysia), abbreviated as UPM, is a Malaysian public research university located in Serdang, Selangor. Formerly it was named Universiti Pertanian Malaysia (Agricultural University of Malaysia), focusing on agricultural sciences and related fields. Since the 1990s, the fields of study have expanded to include human ecology, languages, architecture, medicine, computer science and biotechnology. Currently there are 15 faculties, 11 institutes and 2 schools covering these as well as agriculture, forestry, veterinary medicine, economics, engineering, sciences, and education.

University of Putra Malaysia
Universiti Putra Malaysia (Malay)
Emblem of UPM
Former names
School of Agriculture
College of Agriculture Malaya
Universiti Pertanian Malaysia
MottoBerilmu Berbakti
Motto in English
With Knowledge We Serve
TypePublic research university
Established29 October 1971[note 1]
ChancellorHRH Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah
Vice-ChancellorYH. Dato' Prof. Dr. Mohd Roslan bin Sulaiman
Academic staff
1,773 (2021)[1]
Administrative staff
4,546 (2021)[1]
Students25,399 (2021)[1]
Undergraduates15,352 (2021)[1]
Postgraduates10,047 (2021)[1]
Location, ,
CampusUrban, 1,245.056 hectares (3,076.60 acres)[2][note 2]
ColoursRed, grey and white

UPM has been recognised as a research university since 2006, one of five present in Malaysia.[6] In 2010, self-accreditation status was awarded by Malaysian Qualifications Agency[7] to simplify the procedure of accrediting academic programs, strengthening its own Internal Quality Assurance (IQA) system to compete among local universities.[8]

It is ranked 123rd in the world in 2023 by Quacquarelli Symonds,[9] 27th among Asian universities and the 2nd best university in Malaysia. In the Integrated Rating of Malaysian Institutions of Higher Education (SETARA), UPM maintains its six stars rating, which is "Highly Competitive".[10]


Anjung Putra, the main entrance of UPM

On 21 May 1931, UPM was established as School of Agriculture, located on Serdang with 22 acres (9 hectares) of land. The only two programmes offered were a three-year diploma programme and a one-year certificate course in agriculture. On 23 June 1947, the school was upgraded to the College of Agriculture Malaya, as declared by the then Governor of Malayan Union, Sir Edward Gent.[11]

On 29 October 1971, Universiti Pertanian Malaysia (literally Agricultural University of Malaysia) was officially established through the merger of College of Agriculture Malaya and the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Malaya. UPM began with three faculties in the fields 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, which also declared the appointment of UPM's first Chancellor, Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah.[12]

On 3 April 1997, UPM changed its name to Universiti Putra Malaysia, declared by Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, the then Prime Minister of Malaysia. The reason for changing name was to indicate UPM's diversification of the fields of study it offered, 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. To correspond with the new name, UPM changed the logo as well.[13]

List of chancellors and vice-chancellors

# Chancellors[14] Term in office
1 DYMM Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah Al-Haj Sultan of Selangor 1 January 1977 – 30 July 1993
2 TYT Tun Dato' Seri (Dr.) Haji Hamdan Bin Sheikh Tahir Yang di-Pertua Negeri of Pulau Pinang 1 August 1993 – 31 March 2002
3 DYMM Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah Al-Haj Sultan of Selangor 1 April 2002 – Incumbent
# Vice-Chancellors[15] Academic qualification Term in office
1 Professor Tan Sri Datuk Dr. Mohd Rashdan Baba Diploma of Agriculture (College of Agriculture Malaya), Bachelor of Agricultural Science (Reading), PhD in Agricultural Science (Leeds). 4 November 1971

28 February 1982
2 Professor Tan Sri Dato' Dr. Nayan Ariffin Diploma in Agriculture (College of Agriculture Malaya), Bachelor of Agricultural Science (Louisiana), Master of Education in Advanced Science (Louisiana), PhD in Extension Education (Wisconsin). 1 March 1982

4 June 1994
3 Professor Tan Sri Dato' Dr. Syed Jalaludin Syed Salim Bachelor of Veterinary Science (Punjab), Master in Animal Science (London), PhD in Animal Science (London). 5 June 1994

17 April 2001
4 Professor Dato' Ir. Dr. Muhammad Zohadie Bardaie Diploma of Agriculture (UPM), Bachelor of Science in engineering (California), Master of Engineering (California), PhD of Agricultural Engineering (Cornell). 18 April 2001

31 December 2005
5 Professor Tan Sri Datuk Dr. Nik Mustapha Raja Abdullah Diploma of Agriculture (UPM), Bachelor of Economics (California), Master of Agricultural Science (Oregon), PhD of economics (Oregon). 1 January 2006

31 December 2010
6 Professor Dato' Ir. Dr. Radin Umar Radin Sohadi Bachelor of Civil Engineering (UPM), Master of Engineering (Sheffield), PhD of engineering (Birmingham). 1 January 2011

31 December 2012
7 Professor Dato' Dr. Mohd Fauzi Ramlan Diploma of Agriculture (UPM), Bachelor of Science in agronomy (Iowa), Master of Science (Louisiana), PhD in biology (York). 1 January 2013

31 December 2015
8 Professor Datin Paduka Setia Dato' Dr. Aini Ideris Bachelor of Veterinary Medication (UPM), Master of Veterinary Science (Liverpool), PhD in Veterinary Science (UPM). 1 January 2016

31 August 2020
9 Professor Dato' Dr. Mohd Roslan Sulaiman Bachelor of Veterinary Medication (UPM), PhD in Nervous System Physiology (Edinburgh). 1 September 2020



Library at Bintulu campus

Aside from the main campus in Serdang, UPM has a branch campus in Bintulu, Sarawak. In June 1987, the National Resources Training Centre relocated to Bintulu from its provisional campus in Kuching. On 27 August 1987, the campus in Bintulu became a branch campus of UPM, abbreviated as UPMKB. Currently the Bintulu campus consists of 2 faculties, the Faculty of Agricultural and Forestry Sciences and the Faculty of Humanities, Management and Science, as well as one institute, the Institute of Ecosystem Science Borneo. The campus offers undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, with approximately 1600 students in total.[16]

UPM used to have another branch campus in Mengabang Telipot, Kuala Terengganu from 1996 until the establishment of Terengganu University College in 1999. Originally, it was the Centre for Fisheries and Marine Science under UPM. In June 1996, the UPM's Faculty of Fisheries and Marine Science was transferred to Kuala Terengganu it was made into a branch campus of UPM. Starting from 5 May 1999, it was named Terengganu University College and became an associate campus of UPM. In 2001, it was given autonomy and renamed again as Malaysian Science and Technology University College. It has been upgraded to university status in 2007, as the Universiti Malaysia Terengganu.[17]

Academic profile

UPM began its academic life in 1973 with three founding Faculties and a Division of Basic Sciences. The first intake of 1,559 students was for bachelor's degrees in Agricultural Science or Forestry Science, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, Diploma in Home Technology, Diploma in Animal Health and Production, Diploma in Science with Education, and Preliminary Programme. As of 2021, UPM has 15 faculties, 11 institutes and 2 schools, offers 8 diploma programmes, 80 bachelor programmes, 66 Masters programmes by coursework and more than 300 fields of study in Master and Doctoral programmes by research.[18] The Doctor of Medicine program provided by the Medical and Health Science division of the university was fully recognised by the Malaysia Medical Council on 5 June 2001.[19] The School of Business and Economics (previously Faculty of Economics and Management) has received AACSB and EQUIS accreditation in 2012[20] and 2022[21] respectively.

Faculties, schools and institutes

Campus life

Residential colleges

The accommodation units in UPM are called "colleges", however, the colleges are not related to education, but built to provide accommodation for students, known as "residential college" or kolej kediaman. Before the UPM's Governance Transformation Plan, there were 17 residential colleges in Serdang campus and one in Bintulu campus. The residential colleges in Serdang campus can be divided into four zone, which are lembah, pinggiran, bukit and serumpun.[22]

The Tenth College (K10) and the Tan Sri Mustaffa Babjee College (KMB) are two colleges at zon pinggiran because they are distant from other colleges, located at northeast and southwest of UPM respectively. K10 accommodate the students from Faculty of Engineering and Faculty of Design and Architecture while KMB accommodates the students from Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.

KMR OnePUTRA Residence is managed by UPM Holdings

The Twelfth College (K12) and Fourteenth College (K14) are located at zon serumpun and known as "Serumpun Colleges". They are built by PJS Development, a private construction company through the form of BOT.[23] However, the Mohamad Rashid College (KMR) is temporarily relocated to the Block P1 and Block P2 of Serumpun since 2019. After the relocation of KMR, its original site is transformed into KMR OnePUTRA Residence that managed by UPM Holdings.

The Sri Rajang College (KSR) is the only residential college in Bintulu campus, consists of 10 blocks that could accommodate up to 1,560 students.[16]

The Governance Transformation Plan in 2019 has restructured the residential colleges in Serdang campus.[24] Most of them have been merged with another college to save costs and improve administrative efficiency.[22] As of 2022, the list of residential colleges is as follow:

# Residential colleges Zone
1 KMR OnePUTRA Residence Managed by UPM Holdings
2 Mohamad Rashid College (KMR) Serumpun
3 Tun Dr. Ismail College (KTDI) Lembah
4 Chancellor College (KC) Lembah
5 Sultan Alaeddin Suleiman Shah College (KOSASS) Lembah
6 Pendeta Za'ba College (KPZ) Bukit
7 Tenth College (K10) Pinggiran
8 Twelfth College (K12) Serumpun
9 Tan Sri Aishah Ghani College (KTAG) Bukit
10 Fourteenth College (K14) Serumpun
11 Tan Sri Mustaffa Babjee College (KMB) Pinggiran
12 Sri Rajang College (KSR) At Bintulu campus


UPM has one main library and three branch libraries in Serdang campus, and one library in Bintulu campus.

The Sultan Abdul Samad Library (Malay: Perpustakaan Sultan Abdul Samad, abbreviation: PSAS) is the main library of UPM. It existed before the establishment of UPM in 1971. The library was renamed the Sultan Abdul Samad Library and inaugurated on 23 May 2002, named after Sultan Abdul Samad, the fourth Sultan of Selangor. PSAS consists of block A and B (completed in 1982 and 1969 respectively), with total floor area of 19,007 square metres.[25][26]

Another three branch libraries in Serdang are Medicine and Health Sciences Library (1998), Veterinary Medicine Library (1999), and Engineering and Architecture Library (2008). The library in Bintulu start operating when the campus was reopened in 2001.

Main hall

The field in front of the hall

The Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah Arts and Cultural Centre (Malay: Pusat Kebudayaan dan Kesenian Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah, abbreviation: PKKSSAAS) is the main hall in Serdang campus. It was completed in 1978 and known as the Great Hall of UPM (Dewan Besar UPM) before its name was changed. On 25 April 1996, the hall was inaugurated by Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah, the eighth Sultan of Selangor. Since then, UPM renamed the Great Hall to its current name. PKKSSAAS is the venue for orientation, convocation, and even examinations.[27][28]

The Experimental Theatre (Panggung Percubaan) is part of PKKSSAAS. It is a place for workshops on culture and arts, suitable for theatre performances and debate competition. It can also be used as a platform for the trial of performances.[29]


The UPM Mosque (Malay: Masjid UPM) is the university mosque that built to fulfill the prayer needs of Muslim community from UPM and Taman Sri Serdang. The construction started in 1987 and completed in 1989, with total area of 9 hectares. The exterior design of the mosque is inspired by Saladin's war helmet, symbolising the spirit of Jihad in Islam. The mosque consists of 2 floors, able to congregate 9,500 people at the same time. The University Islamic Centre, founded on 1 October 1988, is responsible for managing the mosque and Islamic affairs of UPM.[30]

Expo Hill

There is a dock on the second pond

The Expo Hill (Malay: Bukit Ekspo) is a recreational place in UPM, located at south of Thirteenth College and northwest of UniPutra Golf Club. With the area approximately 12 hectares, it has divided into five zones. Another 13 hectares is made up of 5 freshwater fish ponds which are rearing 5 different fish species (Lampam, Tilapia, Rohu, Belida and Sepat). The Expo Hill was used as the venue of the Agricultural Expo and Convocation Festival for the first time during the first convocation of UPM in 1977. There is an elevated railway track crossing the Expo Hill, travelled by KLIA Ekspres and KLIA Transit, to which the nearest station is Bandar Tasik Selatan station.

Transportation accessibility

In Serdang campus, UPM buses travel around the campus to bring students to their destination (e.g. residential colleges or academic zone).

The  KB05  Serdang KTM station is currently the nearest railway station, 15 minutes driving distance from UPM. Although e-hailing is available in campus, students can getting there either by UPM bus or by Smart Selangor bus (route SJ04). The Putrajaya Line will start to operate completely in January 2023, the UPM students will be able to walk (or take a feeder bus) to  PY34  UPM MRT station, located at northwest edge of UPM.


University rankings
Global – Overall
ARWU World[31]701-800
CWTS World[32]319
QS World[33]123
QS Employability[33]301-500
RUR World[34]249
THE World[35]601-800
USNWR Global[36]547
Regional – Overall
QS Asia[33]27
THE Asia[35]142
THE Emerging Economies[37]81
National – Overall
QS National[33]2
THE National[35]3

The graphs below show the QS Rankings and THE Rankings respectively. The rankings by region (Asia) are not same as the Asian universities' ranking filtered from world rankings because QS changed the indicators and weightings; THE also recalibrated their results to reflect priorities and attributes of Asian universities. In the 2021 rankings, QS Top 50 Under 50 and THE Young University Ranking ranked UPM for the last time because 50 years had passed since it was established as a university in 1971.

THE Impact rankings

Times Higher Education Impact Rankings are the global performance tables that assess universities against the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Year Rank Best scores by rank Overall
2019[38] 201-300 Quality education58.7 53.7 – 64.5
Sustainable cities and communities41.1 – 59.5
Industry, innovation and infrastructure30.3 – 50.6
Partnerships for the goals50.2 – 68.5
2020[39] 101-200 Quality education81.1 75.4 – 83.3
Good health and well-being58.5 – 67.3
Sustainable cities and communities71.4
Partnerships for the goals80.7
2021[40] 201-300 Industry, innovation and infrastructure87.9 71.0 – 77.4
Quality education73.7
Sustainable cities and communities61.9 – 72.6
Partnerships for the goals56.3 – 64.7
2022[41] 201-300 Industry, innovation and infrastructure93.0 76.9 – 82.0
Quality education67.7 – 73.1
Sustainable cities and communities69.2 – 78.6
Partnerships for the goals83.1 – 90.6

UI GreenMetric

In 2022, Universiti Putra Malaysia is ranked 25th in the world. The ranking of UI GreenMetric is based on:

  • Setting & infrastructure (SI)
  • Energy & climate change (EC)
  • Waste (WS)
  • Water (WR)
  • Transportation (TR)
  • Education & research (ED)

The ranking also placed UPM second in Asia, and maintains first position within the country for 13 consecutive years since the ranking was introduced in 2010.[42]

Year Overall rankings Rankings by region (Asia) Criteria & Indicators[43] Total score
SI (15%)EC (21%)WS (18%)WR (10%)TR (18%)ED (18%)

Notable alumni


See also


  1. The School of Agriculture was established on 21 May 1931, and it became a university in 1971.
  2. The area of Serdang campus only.


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