University Putra Malaysia

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Universiti Putra Malaysia (English: Putra University, Malaysia [1]), or UPM, is a leading research intensive public university located in central Peninsular Malaysia, close to the capital city, Kuala Lumpur. It was formerly known as Universiti Pertanian Malaysia or Agricultural University of Malaysia (Malay: universiti, university; pertanian, agriculture; Malaysia). UPM is a research university offering undergraduate and postgraduate courses with a research focus on agricultural sciences and its related fields. Ranked joint 364th best university in the world in 2007 by Quacquarelli Symonds[2], UPM is taking steps to boost its research capabilities both in and beyond the scope of agriculture.[3] History

One can trace the origins of UPM to the School of Agriculture officially instituted on 21 May, 1931 by John Scott[4], an administrative officer of the British colonial Straits Settlements. The School was located on a 22-acre spread in Serdang, Selangor state. The School began by offering the three-year Diploma program and a one-year Certificate course. By 1941 the School had succeeded in training 321 officers, with 155 having obtained the Diploma and 166 the Certificate. This school was, on 23 June, 1942, declared to be the College of Agriculture Malaya by Sir Edward Gent, the Governor of the Malayan Union. In 1948 it was proposed that this College be upgraded to a University. The proposal, however, was shelved with the declaration of the Malayan Emergency in the middle of that same year.

In 1960 the Faculty of Agriculture at the University of Malaya was established. On 1 January, 1962 a statute was approved to make the Council of the College of Agriculture Malaya an authority of the University of Malaya.

The formation of an agricultural university providing programs of study at the degree level was suggested by the then Honorable Deputy Prime Minister, Tun Haji Abdul Razak Hussein, on 31 March, 1969 at the opening ceremony of the additional wing to the College of Agriculture Malaya at Serdang, Selangor.

The establishment of Universiti Pertanian Malaysia finally culminated with the enacting of the Incorporation Order signed by His Majesty The Yang Di-Pertuan Agong as provided for under the Universities and University Colleges Act, 1971, and published in the Government Gazette as P.U.(A) 387 dated 29 October, 1971. The said Incorporation Order provides as follows :

"There shall be a higher educational institution having the status of University, which shall be a body corporate for the purpose of providing, promoting and developing higher education in the fields of Agriculture, Forestry, Veterinary Science, Natural Sciences, Engineering Sciences, Technology, Social Sciences, Humanities and Education as well as to provide for research and the accumulation and advancement of knowledge and the dissemination of such knowledge in the aforesaid fields of study."

The creation of this University was based on the merger of the College of Agriculture Malaya with the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Malaya. Dr. Mohd. Rashdan bin Haji Baba was appointed as the first Vice-Chancellor by virtue of the provisions of section 18 of the Universities and University Colleges Act, 1971.

Universiti Pertanian Malaysia embarked on its first academic session in July 1973 with three foundation faculties: the Faculty of Agriculture, the Faculty of Forestry, and the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science. Beside the three faculties there was a Basic Sciences Division. The pioneer student enrolment was 1,559 for the Bachelor's degree in Agriculture, Diploma in Home Technology, Diploma in Animal Health and Production, Diploma in Science with Education, and Preliminary Programme.

In the early eighties, however, UPM expanded its areas of concentration by including Science and Technology subjects in its fields of study. In 1994 UPM embarked on its ambitious plan to develop into a futuristic university. It would provide better and up-to-date skills and systems for science and technology education. To do so, it would take full advantage of the rapid development in information technology. UPM thereafter transformed itself into a borderless campus, its name and reputation stretching far beyond Malaysian boundaries.

The climax of the transformation came with the changing of the name from Universiti Pertanian Malaysia to Universiti Putra Malaysia, in honour of Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj. The change was officially announced on 3 April 1997 by the then Prime Minister, Dato' Seri Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad. This was a strategic way of portraying the status of UPM as a center of higher education capable of providing various fields of study deemed necessary to facilitate national development in the new millennium. This was especially true of UPM's provisions for studies in Information Technology (ITUPM was renamed in honour of Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj, Malaysia's first Prime Minister. The renaming was looked upon as a strategic move in preparing UPM to become a versatile higher learning institution aligned with Malaysia’s strategic plans in dynamic high-technology. It lies near the heart of the Multimedia Super Corridor, the first large-scale high-technology initiative of the Malaysian government, and near the new administrative capital, Putrajaya. The latter, too, was named after Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj.).