Universiti Malaya, or UM, Malaysia's oldest university, is situated on a 922 acre (373.12 hectare) campus in the southwest of Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia.
It was founded on 28 September 1905 in Singapore as the King Edward VII College of Medicine and on 8th October 1949, it became the Universiti Malaya with the merger of the King Edward VII College of Medicine and Raffles College (founded in 1928).
The Universiti Malaya derives its name from the term 'Malaya' as the country was then known. The Carr-Saunders Commission on University Education in Malaya, which recommended the setting up of the university, noted in its Report in 1948: "The Universiti Malaya would provide for the first time a common centre where varieties of race, religion and economic interest could mingle in joint endeavour ... For a Universiti Malaya must inevitably realise that it is a university for Malaya."
The growth of the University was very rapid during the first decade of its establishment and this resulted in the setting up of two autonomous Divisions on 15 January 1959, one located in Singapore and the other in Kuala Lumpur. In 1960, the government of the two territories indicated their desire to change the status of the Divisions into that of a national university. Legislation was passed in 1961 and the Universiti Malaya was established on 1st January 1962.
On June 16th 1962, Universiti Malaya celebrated the installation of its first Chancellor, Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj, who was also the country's first prime minister. The first Vice-Chancellor was Professor Oppenheim, a world-renowned Mathematician.
Currently, His Royal Highness The Sultan of Perak Darul Ridzuan, Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah is the Chancellor of UM.