- University of Malaya
University of Malaya Universiti Malaya
Coat of Arms of UM
Motto in English Knowledge is the Source of Progress Established 3 July 1905 Type Public Chancellor HRH Sultan Azlan Shah President Tan Sri Datuk Arshad Ayub Vice-Chancellor Professor Tan Sri Datuk Dr. Ghauth Jasmon Pro-Chancellors HH Raja Dr. Nazrin Shah
Toh Puan Dr Aishah Ong
Tan Sri Siti Norma Yaakob
Academic staff 2,613 (AY 2010) Admin. staff 590 (AY 2010) Undergraduates 13,990 (AY 2010) Postgraduates 11,484 (AY 2010) Location Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Campus Kuala Lumpur Colours Red, Gold and Blue
Affiliations ACU, APRU, ASAIHL, AUN, FUIW Website um.edu.my
The University of Malaya (Abbreviation: UM; Malay: اونيۏرسيتي ماليا, Universiti Malaya; Chinese: 马来亚大学; pinyin: Mǎláiyà Dàxué; Abbreviated 马大; Tamil: மலாயா பல்கலைக்கழகம், Malēyā Palkalaikkaḻakam ?) is located on a 992-acre (401 ha) campus near the centre of Kuala Lumpur, and is the oldest university in Malaysia. It was founded in 1905 as a public-funded tertiary institution. Today, UM is an international acclaimed Research University, with more than 2,500 faculty members of various expertise.
The Ministry of Higher Education, Malaysia ranked UM under the Rating System for Malaysian Higher Education Institutions (SETARA) following an Academic Reputation Survey conducted the year before. The results of the first SETARA exercise were published in 2008 and University of Malaya came out as the top university in the country. It was the only university which achieved a rating of 5 (out of maximum 6). In 2011, UM is ranked at 401 to 500 in the Shanghai Jiao Tong University’s 2011 Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU). And the THES - QS World University Rankings has ranked UM in the top 200 universities of the world.
The establishment of the university began with the issue of shortage of medical assistants in the Crown Colonies of Singapore and Penang during the late 1890s. The matter arose with such 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 to establish a medical school to produce the local inhabitants to fulfil the demand of medical assistants in government hospitals. However, such view was not in favour among the European community, as they aware that education had been given great attention in India, as a result that Colony often demands over their rights from the Colonial administration.
In September 1904, a petition led by a prominent Chinese leader in Singapore, Tan Jiak Kim, who was also a member of the Straits Legislative Council presented to the newly appointed Governor, Sir John Anderson over their concern for the establishment of a medical school. Sir John, who was a far sighted man, took such idea into his consideration. And within a month, he estimated that the cost for building such school would require a sum of $84,000. His main concern was to the petitioners’ willingness to raise the sum to fund the building of the school. As for Sir John himself on behalf of the Government, kept his word to bear the expanses of staff and maintenance of the school. Surprisingly, the petitioners agreed to take Sir John’s offer, and a meeting was called at the Chinese Protectorate Office in Singapore.
The fundraising was a success, with the Singapore Chinese community contributed $57,000 (Tan Jiak Kim personally donated $12,000), the Penang Chinese community $20,000, Mr Loke Yew, C.M.G. under the name Selangor General Farm contributed $9,000, and a sum of $3,000 was given by Mr E. Chin Seng of Saigon, the only donor not from the Colony. The total collection was $87,077.
Upon the success of financing the school, legislation was enacted and passed by the Straits Legislative Council in June 1905 under Ordinance No. XV 1905. Thus, the school was opened on 3 July 1905 but was not functioned until September. On 28 September 1905, Sir John officiated the school under the name ‘The Straits and Federated Malay States Government Medical School.’
The school had a Council to monitor its welfare, the Chairman of the Council must be a senior Government medical officer (namely the Principal Civil Medical Officer, later the Director of Medical Services) and the members of the Council were representatives of the Straits and Federated Malay States Governments, and members of public representative were Messrs Dr Lim Boon Keng, Tan Jiak Kim, Tan Kheam Hock, J.P., Lee Choon Guan, M.B.E., J.P.
The Straits and Federated Malay States Government Medical School (1905 – 1912)
The school was first located in the old Female Lunatic Asylum near the Singapore General Hospital at Sepoy Lines off New Bridge Road, four of the Asylum buildings were converted into a rudimentary medical school. In 1907, a lecture hall and laboratory were annexed. There were no library and room to keep pathological specimens.
In 1905, there were only 17 medical students, four students attending the hospital assistant course. Five years later, the number of 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 was employed on a part-time basis. The then Principal was Dr Gerald Dudley Freer, whom previously served as Senior Colonial Surgeon Resident of Penang.
Oversee the matter, in the early 1910, Tan Jiak Kim agreed to raise $15,000 to purchase the needs of books and science apparatuses, including a proper place to store the pathological specimens, in which it had reached more than 300 specimens and was then kept at a temporary museum. Soon after his commitment to help the medical school, Tan Jiak Kim went to Malacca, where he returned back Singapore with the news that Malacca Municipal Councillor, Tan Chay Yan, J.P. would fund the entire cost of erecting a building for the school.
Tan Chay Yan, J.P. on the name of his late father, Tan Teck Guan, J.P. financially supports the construction of Tan Teck Guan Building. The building was designed by Draper and opened on 23 June 1911 by Acting Governor E.L. Brockman, CMG. Tan Teck Guan Building with its imposing Georgian façade with Neoclassical features was had a pathology museum, physiology and anatomy laboratories, a lecture room, library and reading room, offices and stores.
From the early years of its establishment, the School Council worked hard to gain recognition of its Diploma by the General Council of Medical Education in the United Kingdom. It was a vital step to ensure that the Licentiate of Medicine and Surgery Diploma offered by the school would gain worldwide recognition. As a result of such determination, the Council tried to meet the strict requirements of the General Council of Medical Education (GCME), by tabling a five-year course medical curriculum as what required by GCME.
In 1910, Dr Robert Donald Keith became the second Principal of the School. He outlined that in 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 also integrated into the fourth year, where practical pharmacy was taught.
Clinical Clerkship was a practical training that to emphasise the theoretical medical knowledge. 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).
King Edward VII School of Medicine (1912 – 1921)
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.
Ever since its humble establishment in 1905, the medical school had a number of professional and dedicated teaching staff who run in and out from the serving the school, as all of them served on a part-time basis. This process went on for almost 15 years, with one exception, G.W. Crawford, a qualified dispensing chemist, where he taught Pharmacy in 1909 until 1926.
Dr Keith and the School Council took great efforts to attract more professionals into serving the school by offering ‘honorary lecturers’ to people with special expertise in medical field, their attention was firstly to the Government officers with distinguished service. Among those who took the posts were Dr Lim Boon Keng taught Materia Medica Therapeutics, H.N. Ridleys the Director of Singapore Botanic Garden taught Botany, Dr Gilbert Brooke Port Health Officer taught Hygiene. Government Pathologist Dr G.A. Finlayson taught Pathology, Medical Officer Dr H.J. Gibbs taught Psychological Medicine, Dr David James Galloway (later Sir) taught Physiology.
As time passed, Dr Keith, the school Principal had contributed a very well-established collection of pathological specimens for the school’s pathology museum. In which, in later the pathology museum was named after him.
The competition within the school was high. The high standards regulated by the school had cause a number of students to drop out. 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%.
In 1916, it was a celebrated time for the school, when GCME finally recognised the Licentiate of Medicine and Surgery Diploma offered by the School. As a result, the licentiates were placed on the General Council’s Colonial List of the British Medical Register and were entitled to practise in anywhere within the British Empire. It was during this time too, a hostel was built to accommodate 72 male students from various Federated Malay States.
In 1918, F.S. James, the Colonial Secretary pointed out to the Straits Legislative Council that the existing annual revenue of the School of around $46,000 was insufficient to cover the cost of providing the students a proper medical education. In 1919, the Straits Medical Department published a report on the school’s progress. In the report it addressed the inadequate teaching staff and facilities including latest medical equipment. The report also proposed to construct a new building to cater all the teaching facilities, apart from increasing the salaries and provision of fringe benefits.
In 1919, a Chair in Physiology was created with money donated from the King Edward VII Foundation. The first holder of the Chair was Dr J.A. Campbell, who was a Professor of Physiology in the School in 1912 until 1921. During this time too, the School welcomed a new Principal, Dr George Hugh MacAlister, who served the School as Professor of Clinical Medicine and Lecturer on Therapeutics (1918 – 1929)
King Edward VII College of Medicine (1921 – 1949)
In 1921, the School was elevated its status to College. It was then well-established in the British Empire within a short period of time and had received international recognition. In 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.
In the late 1923, the College’s new building at Outram Road was commenced. It was completed in November 1925 and officially opened by Sir Lawrence Guillemard in February 1926. During the opening ceremony, the College conferred Honorary Diploma on Sir David James Galloway, Dr Malcolm Watson and Dr Lim Boon Keng.
As time passed, more professionals were attached to serve the school, Dr Wilfred Chambers (a senior Medical Officer) and Professor J.C. Smith served as Professor of Clinical Surgery. Dr Frederick Sayers and Dr John Webster also served briefly as Professor of Medicine. Dr J.W. Scharff, the Chief Health Officer of Singapore joined the service by teaching Biology.
In 1929, Dr George V. Allen the new principal took the helm, succeeding his predecessor Dr MacAlister. MacAlister was noted for his success in expanding the school’s development. In the coming years, Allen had envisioned to turn the College into a University.
Despite its rapid expansion, the School had gained the reputation for having distinguished young teaching staff. Among of it, the Professor of Clinical Surgery, A.D. Wright, who was a young gentleman with impressive knowledge in surgeries. His counterpart, Kenneth Black, a former student of Arbuthnot Lane was known as “one of the fastest surgeons in England.” Black whom served the School for almost 15 years until 1936 had introduced ophthalmology studies into the School’s curriculum.
Raffles College (1929 – 1949)
The establishment of Raffles College was a brainchild of Sir Stamford William Raffles and Dr Robert Morison. Sir Stamford the founding father of Singapore had articulate knowledge in the Malay language and culture, while Dr Morison was a distinguished sinologist missionary. Both men had wanted to establish a centre dedicating to the study of Malays and Chinese in a tertiary level.
On 5 June 1823, a site designated for an education institution was laid its foundation stone by Sir Stamford. Soon after that, Sir Stamford left for England and Dr Morrison left for China, thus the establishment of the school never took off. The school building was later found in derelict state and occupied by thieves. It was later revived into a fine English school named the Raffles Institution, in which today a renowned secondary school not only in Singapore but worldwide.
The road to the establishment of Raffles College was annotated through a series of establishment of several Colleges in the Federated Malays States, prior to that R.J. Wilkinson played his role in forming the Malacca Malay College (1902) and the Malay College Kuala Kangsar (1905). Years later, Richard Winstedt (later Sir) found the Sultan Idris Teachers Training College (1922).
In 1918, Sir George Maxwell, the Colonial Secretary of the Straits Settlements headed the Maxwell Committee to review the scheme to commemorate he centenary of the founding of Singapore by Sir Stamford. The committee members were Roland Braddell, A.W. Still, Seah Ling Seah, Dr Lim Boon Keng, Iman Mohammed Yusoff bin Mohammed, N.V. Samy, and Mannesseh Meyer. The working committee headed by H.W. Firmstone, the Director of Education recommended for the establishment of a college for tertiary education as commemorating the centenary founding of Singapore.
On 12 July 1919, the Government decided to undertake the construction of the building with the costing 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.
On 31 May 1920, Richard Winstedt was appointed to 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 A. Farey and Graham Dawbarn. And the construction took place in 1926.
Though the school had yet fully constructed, but the enrolment of its early batch of 43 students took place on 1 June 1928. However, within less than a month the number reduced to 29 with students resigned themselves. The school itself gained not much support from various European residents, among of it, Chief Justice for the Straits Settlements, Sir Walter Shaw who argued that it was just a mere daunted hope for the Government to provide the Malayans with tertiary education. Dr Noel Clarke, a member of the Legislative Council also pointed that the standards of local secondary education were insufficient to qualify a person to get in the College education.
Despite the personal arguments over the establishment of the school, the prominent Chinese residents in Singapore too had not shown their full support to it. Both Richard Winstedt and Sir Hugh Clifford expressed their disappointments over the little contribution by the wealthy Chinese community in the College Endowment Fund.
On 22 July 1929, Raffles College was established to promote arts and social sciences at tertiary level for Malayan students. The courses offered were divided into Art and Science streams. Four years later of its founding year, the College Council proposed few changes in the curriculum, so that the Diploma can be furthered to a Degree through external examinations in collaboration with universities in England.
In 1937, Governor Sir Shenton Thomas declared the College would have full-time Principal. By the time, 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 was furthered to Asia, and World War II was waged and Singapore was occupied by the Japanese troops in February 1942, so as to the whole Malay States.
After the war, the school was reopened and W.E. Dyer acted shortly two-year as the 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, before the College amalgamated with the former to form a larger dream, which was the making of a University for the people of Malaya.
University of Malaya (1949 – present)
Evolution of the University of Malaya
The formation of the University for the people of Malaya had received mixed response from the public throughout the country. As the institution was to provide quality and self-belonging of the Malayans in British Malaya, it incurred that the University was merely more to form an identity to the nation itself.
The running of the University was most likely to be the same in the United Kingdom and possibly through the merger of the two prestigious Colleges in Singapore. The question was whether the Government could ensure how many young Malayans could be benefited under the establishment of such institution, as illiteracy rate among people in British Malaya still considerably high.
As the nation itself derived its name from the native of Malay race, without a doubt such establishment of higher education shall benefit to them the most. However, the Malays still remain meagre in education and mostly left out forever, though there had been well established Colleges in the Colony, in which had not really benefited them (except the aristocrats).
Despite such questions, 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 had not ready to own a University, however, it opined that a University College would more suitable at that time. In 1939, the Higher Education in the British Colonies appointed a Commission led by Justice Asquith to further study the matter. The Commission too 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. Unfortunately, the Priestly Commission too shared the same opinion as the McLean Commission, which was to form a University College first.
Despite few attempts by the alumnus of the former two Colleges to impress those Commissions, their efforts were mean to futile. 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 spent some time to hear the thought from the Alumni Association of the King Edward VII College and also the Medical College Students Union. He was impressed with the idea 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 of all walk of lives, regardless race or religion.
As a result, a University named the University of Malaya was chartered under Carr-Saunders Commission in 1949. The formation of University of Malaya on 8 October 1949 in Singapore was under the merger of King Edward VII College of Medicine and Raffles College, where the latters were 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.
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 as a national university of their own. 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 National University of Singapore).
On June 16, 1962, the university celebrated the installation of its first Chancellor, Tunku Abdul Rahman, Malaysia's first Prime Minister. The first Vice-Chancellor was former Dean, Sir Alexander Oppenheim, the world renowned mathematician who formulated the Oppenheim conjecture in 1929. 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, was asked to take over as the Acting Vice Chancellor. He served in that capacity for 12 months but declined reappointment in order to return to academic pursuits.
Chin Fung Kee, an authority in geotechnical engineering, replaced Huang as Acting Vice-Chancellor until the university succeeded in 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.
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 committees 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.
The Coat of Arms is divided into two parts, namely the Chief (upper part) and the Base (remaining parts other than the upper part). The Chief consists of a bundle of seventeen strips of Borassur Flabellifer or 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 printed with the University’s motto ‘Ilmu Puncha Kemajuan’. The University’s motto bears a significant meaning, with the word ‘Ilmu’ derived from Arabic and ‘Puncha’ from Sanskrit, as for ‘Kemajuan’ is from Malay itself. Combined altogether, these words meaning knowledge is the source of progress.
In the centre of the emblem, is a hibiscus of 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.
In 1968, economist Ungku Abdul Aziz succeeded Griffiths as Vice-Chancellor, making him the second Malaysian after Chin to be elevated to the highest executive office in UM and the first Malaysian to be appointed as full Vice-Chancellor. This development was a precursor to the introduction of ethnic quotas into public universities with the introduction of the New Economic Policy in 1971.
On May 1, 2006, the first woman Vice-Chancellor when former Dean of the Faculty of Law, Universiti Malaya and later assistant governor of Bank Negara Malaysia, Rafiah Salim, was appointed to the position.
Year Rank Valuer 2004 89 Times Higher Education World University Rankings - QS World University Rankings 2005 169 Times Higher Education World University Rankings - QS World University Rankings 2006 192 Times Higher Education World University Rankings - QS World University Rankings 2007 246 Times Higher Education World University Rankings - QS World University Rankings 2008 230 Times Higher Education World University Rankings - QS World University Rankings 2009 180 Times Higher Education World University Rankings - QS World University Rankings 2010 207 QS World University Rankings 2011 167 QS World University Rankings
Faculties, Academies, Institutes & Center
- Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
- Administration and Social Justice
- Anthropology and Sociology
- Chinese Studies
- East Asian Studies
- Environmental Studies
- Gender Studies
- Indian Studies
- International and Strategic Studies
- Media Studies
- Population Studies
- South East Asia Studies
- Township and Urban Planning Studies
- Faculty of Built Environment
- Building Surveying
- Estate Management
- Quantity Surveying
- Urban and Regional Planning
- Faculty of Economics & Administration
- Development Studies
- Administrative and Politics
- Applied Statistic
- Faculty of Business and Accountancy
- Business Administration
- Faculty of Computer Science & Information Technology
- Computer Science
- Artificial Intelligence
- Computer Networking and System
- Management Information System
- Software Engineering
- Information Technology
- Information Science
- Computer Science
- Faculty of Dentistry
- Dental Surgery
- Faculty of Education
- Early Childhood Education
- Teaching English as Second Language
- Faculty of Engineering
- Biomedical Engineering
- Biomedical (Prosthetic and Orthopedic) Engineering
- Civil Engineering
- Computer Engineering
- Chemical Engineering
- Design and Manufacturing Engineering
- Electrical Engineering
- Environmental Engineering
- Manufacturing Engineering
- Material Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering
- Telecommunication Engineering
- Faculty of Languages and Linguistics
- Faculty of Law
- Faculty of Medicine
- Biomedical Science
- Medicine and Surgery
- Medical Imaging
- Faculty of Science
- Actuarial and Financial Mathematics
- Applied Geology
- Biohealth Science
- Applied Chemistry
- Ecology and Biodiversity
- Environmental Science and Management
- Genetics and Molecular Biology
- History and Philosophy of Science
- Mathematics, Statistics, Industrial and Computational Mathematics
- Sports Center (Sports Science Faculty)
- Sports Management
- Science of Coaching
- Exercise Physiology
- Cultural Center
- Centre of Foundation Studies
- Foundation in Life Science
- Foundation in Physical Science
- Foundation in Built Environment
- Academy of Islamic Studies with Science
- Centre for Civilisational Dialogue
- Academic Development Centre
- Academy of Islamic Studies
- Academy of Malay Studies
- Institute of Research Management and Monitoring
- Institute of Graduate Studies
- Asia-Europe Institute
- Institute of Principalship Studies
- International Institute of Public Policy & Management (INPUMA)
- Institute of China Studies
- First Residential College (Tuanku Abdul Rahman)
- Second Residential College (Tuanku Bahiyah)
- Third Residential College (Tunku Kurshiah)
- Fourth Residential College (Bestari)
- Fifth Residential College (Dayasari)
- Sixth Residential College (Ibnu Sina)
- Seventh Residential College (Za'ba)
- Eighth Residential College (Kinabalu)
- Ninth Residential College
- Tenth Residential College
- Eleventh Residential College (Ungku Aziz)
- Twelfth Residential College (Raja Dr. Nazrin Shah)
Organization and administration
UM is incorporated by an Act of Parliament with the passage of the University of Malaya Act 1961 which established the former Kuala Lumpur division of the University of Malaya incorporated by the University of Malaya Ordinance 1949 as an independent public university. Additional legislation such as the Degrees and Diplomas Act 1962 granted retrospective recognition and equivalency of degrees and diploma granted by predecessor institutions.
The Office of the Vice-Chancellor is under a government contract system, that runs 2-year per term. The first Vice-Chancellor for University of Malaya (Singapore) was Sir George V. Allen and for Malaya was Sir Alexander Oppenheim. The current Vice-Chancellor is Tan Sri Datuk Ghauth Jasmon
King Edward VII College of Medicine/Raffles College era (pre 1949)
- Tun Abdul Razak - 2nd Prime Minister of Malaysia
- Tun Mahathir Mohamad - 4th Prime Minister of Malaysia
- Ismail Abdul Rahman - former Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia
- Benjamin Sheares - 2nd President of Singapore
- Lee Kuan Yew - former Prime Minister of Singapore
- Goh Keng Swee - former Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore
- Toh Chin Chye - former Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore
University of Malaya era (1949–present)
- Mohd Khalil Yaakob - Malacca state Governor
- Abdul Rahman Abbas - Penang state Governor
- Abdullah Ahmad Badawi - the fifth Prime Minister of Malaysia.
- Muhyiddin Yassin - Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister
- Anwar Fazal - Consumer and Civil Society Advocate. Anwar was President of the University of Malaya Students Union (UMSU) and the National Union of Malaysian Students. In 1964, he was awarded the best All Round Student Gold Medal by the University.
- Musa Hitam - Former Deputy Prime Minister
- Anwar Ibrahim - Former Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia, Malaysian Opposition Leader
- K. Pathmanaban - Former Deputy Minister
- Charles Hector Fernandez - human rights advocate and activist, former member of the Malaysian Bar Council, former Coordinator of the Malaysian Action Front(MAF)
- Chuah Hean Teik - President/CEO of Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman, award-winning engineering researcher, and former Senior Professor, Vice President (R&D and Academic Development) and Dean of Faculty of Engineering at the Multimedia University, Cyberjaya
- Kok Suh Sim, Teresa - Democratic Action Party Member of Parliament for Seputeh
- Sellapan Ramanathan - President of Singapore and Chancellor of the National University of Singapore
- Sha'ari Tadin - former Senior Parliamentary Secretary and first Malay graduate PAP Member of Parliament, Singapore
- Sim Kee Boon - Former Head of Civil Service, Singapore.
- Joshua Raj - physician, surgeon, and author.
- Zeti Akhtar Aziz - current governor of Bank Negara Malaysia, Malaysia's central bank.
- Karpal Singh - prominent and renowned lawyer and politician in Malaysia.
- Lim Yee Chung - Malaysian singer.
- Dr Roland Abeysekera - prominent educationist and philosopher.
- Mohamed Khaled Nordin - Higher Education Minister
- Muhammad Muhammad Taib - Former Menteri Besar of Selangor
- Khir Toyo - Former Menteri Besar of Selangor
- Aznil Nawawi - Malaysian celebrity
- Abdul Khalid Ibrahim - Menteri Besar of Selangor
- G. Palanivel - Malaysian Minister, MIC President
- Abdul Gani Patail - Malaysian Attorney-General
- Ong Ka Ting - Former Malaysian Minister
- Ong Ka Chuan - Former Malaysian Minister
- Jamil Khir Baharom - Malaysian Minister
- Azalina Othman Said - Former Malaysian Minister
- Ng Yen Yen - Malaysian Minister
- Ngeh Koo Ham - Malaysian MP, Former Perak State Senior EXCO
- Nga Kor Ming - Malaysian MP, Former Perak State EXCO
- Sivarasa Rasiah - Malaysian MP, PKR Vice President, prominent lawyer
- Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah - Malaysian Minister
- P. Ramasamy - Ph.D from University Malaya, Deputy Chief Minister 2 of Penang
- Shahrir Abdul Samad - Former Malaysian Minister, Malaysian MP
- Mohamad Hassan - Menteri Besar of Negeri Sembilan
- Husam Musa - Kelantan State EXCO
- Hassan Mohamed Ali - Selangor State EXCO
- Hanifa Ahmad - Kelantan State Assembly Member
- Isa Abdul Samad - Former Negeri Sembilan Menteri Besar
- Sharizat Abdul Jalil - Malaysian Minister
- Tan Lian Hoe - Malaysian Deputy Minister
- Rafidah Aziz - Former Malaysian Minister
- Khoo Kay Kim - Historian
- Hishamuddin Rais - Social activist
- Shahrir Abdul Samad - Former Malaysian Minister
- Hou Kok Chung - Deputy Minister
- Tan Sri Krishnan Tan Boon Seng - Malaysian business tycoon
- Annuar Rapaee - Cardiologist,Member of Sarawak State Legislative Assembly
Notable faculty members
- Dr J.R. Kay-Mouat, Chair of Physiology (1921 – 1936)
- Dr J.A. Campbell, Chair of Physiology (1919 – 1921), Professor of Physiology (1912 – 1921)
- Sir George Hugh MacAlister, Principal of King Edward VII Medicine School (1918 – 1929), Professor of Clinical Medicine and Lecturer of Therapeutics (1918 – 1929)
- J.G. Harrower, Professor of Anatomy (1922 – 1935)
- Dr R. Brunel Hawes, Professor of Medicine (1927 – 1941)
- Dr W.A. Young, Professor of Bacteriology (1927 – 1941)
- Sir James W. Black, former lecturer of medicine (1947 - 1950), Nobel Laurette for Medicine in 1988
- Cyril Northcote Parkinson, a former professor of history at the University (1950 to 1960)
- Tan Seri T.J.Danaraj, founding dean of the university's Medical Faculty
- Royal Professor Ungku Abdul Aziz Ungku Abdul Hamid, who once served as the university's vice chancellor
- Wang Gungwu, a former Professor of History at the Department of History (left UM in 1968). Prof. Wang is the Director of East Asian Institute, National University of Singapore.
- Khairuddin Mohamed Yusof, a former Professor of University Malaya and also a former Head of Obstetrics and Gynecology Department of the University Hospital. Retired in 1997 and was honored with the title of Emeritus by the University. Professor Emeritus Dato Paduka Dr. Khairuddin bin Mohamed Yusof is the Director of Telemedicine Malaysia (World Care Inc)
- Khoo Kay Kim, a former Professor of Malaysian History at the Department of History. Retired in 2001, a Professor Emeritus at the University.
- Jomo Kwame Sundaram, a former Professor at the Faculty of Economics and Administration (left UM in 2004). Prof. Jomo is the Assistant Secretary General for Economic Development in the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs.
- Ho Peng Yoke, a former Professor of Chinese at the Department of Chinese Studies. Prof. Ho is the Director Emeritus of Needham Research Institute, Cambridge.
- C S Lim (aka Lim Chee Seng or Chee Seng Lim), a former Professor in the Department of English at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. He is a specialist in Shakespeare studies and a member of the Executive Committee of the International Shakespeare Association.. From 1997 to 2000 he was the International Chair of ACLALS (Association for Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies). 
- Terence Edmund Gomez, an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Economics and administration. He is one of the six research coordinators at the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development UNRISD.
- The late Tan Sri Datuk Professor Ir. Chin Fung Kee, a well known authority in geotechnical engineering. Born in Nibong Tebal, he was the man who designed the Penang Bridge. He was the former acting Vice Chancellor of the University of Malaya.
- Datuk Sri Tony Fernandes, an Adjunct Professor of Business. Director & Group Chief Executive Officer, Air Asia Bhd.
- Professor Niyaz Ahmed, an Adjunct Professor of Molecular Biosciences at the Institute of Biological Sciences, UM. He is a Section Editor of PLoS ONE and an accomplished Indian microbiologist.
- University of Malaya Botanical Gardens Rimba Ilmu
- University Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC)
- ^ http://www.fuiw.org/universities.php?l=1&p=1&cc=my
- ^ "A balanced view". The Star (Malaysia). 2008-05-25. http://thestar.com.my/education/story.asp?file=/2008/5/25/education/21286084&sec=education. Retrieved 2006-06-11.
- ^ University of Hong Kong: A Liftime of Memories - Dr Rayson Huang Book Launch (retrieved June 11, 2008)
- ^ Huang, Rayson (2000). "A New University in a New Country". A Lifetime in Academia: An Autobiography by Rayson Huang. Hong Kong, China: Hong Kong University Press. pp. 81–83. ISBN 9622095186.
- ^ Southeast Asian Geotechnical Society: A Brief History of the SEAGS
- ^ http://www.um.edu.my/um_life/academics/faculties/fac_of_law.php?intPrefLangID=1&
- ^ "UM gets first woman V-C". The Star. 2006-04-22. http://www.thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2006/4/22/nation/14031219&sec=nation&focus=1. Retrieved 2008-06-11.
- ^ Attorney General's Chambers: [www.agc.gov.my/agc/oth/Akta/Vol.%208/Act%20379.pdf Degrees and Diplomas Act 1962]
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- Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
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