BANGI, Malaysia, May 18, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), one of Malaysia's oldest universities, which started as a national people's university for the promotion of Bahasa Melayu as a world language of knowledge, celebrates its 50th anniversary today.
Taking a moment to share the university's many significant achievements since 1970, Vice-Chancellor of UKM, Prof. Dato' Ir. Dr Mohd Hamdi Abd Shukor said: "Who would have thought that an institution, which began as one man's idea to create a university for the promotion of Bahasa Melayu as a language of knowledge, would celebrate its fiftieth anniversary. Who could imagine the idea of our founding scholars would grow into an international institution responsible for educational, economic and social change? Today we pause to celebrate that idea and how far we have come, as we prepare for our next 50 years of excellence."
UKM was established on May 18,1970, and it opened its doors to 192 pioneering undergraduates in Jalan Pantai Baru, Kuala Lumpur, a temporary campus of three faculties, Science, Arts and Islamic Studies.
In 1975, UKM established the first public teaching hospital in Malaysia, Hospital UKM, which became the site for the first successful operation to separate conjoined twins in South East Asia in 1981. Their other notable achievement was producing one of the earliest frozen embryos through IVF and completing the first cochlear implant in a child as young as nine.
By the 2000s, UKM's international reputation continued to grow, with collaborations with several top universities, including Oxford University on cybersecurity and ASEAN trade information; the University of Cambridge on the Malaysia-Window-to-Cambridge Program (MW2C@UKM) and with the 513-year-old Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh International (RCSEd), on the opening of their first international office at Hospital Canselor Tuanku Muhriz (previously known as Hospital UKM). In 2019, the university celebrated Dr Abdul Rahman Mohmad from the Institute of Micro and Nanoelectronic Engineering (IMEN) UKM as the first Malaysian Higher Education researcher to publish as a lead author in Nature Materials.
Today, UKM is a comprehensive national university and had more than 200,000 alumni from 13 faculties and 12 research institutes. UKM is a leading self-accredited teaching and research university in Malaysia led by the 11th Vice-Chancellor, Prof Dato' Ir. Dr Mohd Hamdi Abd Shukor. According to the 2020 QS World University Rankings, UKM ranks 39th in Asia, and 160th worldwide.
Additionally, the QS World University Ranking ranked 12 subjects in UKM as "among the top 200 in the world". It is a remarkable achievement for a university that pioneered the teaching and learning in Bahasa Melayu.
Currently, UKM has also extended its research into the COVID-19 pandemic at the Diagnostic Laboratory Serviced Department (JPMD) of Hospital Canselor Tuanku Muhriz and UKM Medical Molecular Biology Institute (UMBI) which were made as the COVID-19 Diagnostic Test Laboratory.
Moving forward, UKM will continue to embrace the values of Collegiality, Accountability, Merit, Innovation and Integrity to secure its place as a leading world higher education institution.