University of Malaya, the first University of the country, is situated on a 750-acre (309-hectare) campus in the southwest of Kuala Lumpur, the capital city of Malaysia.
The University of Malaya grew out of a tradition of service to the society. Its predecessors, the King Edward VII College of Medicine established in 1905 and Raffles College in 1929, has been established to meet urgent demands, one in medicine and the other in education. When the two came together to form the University of Malaya in October 1949, this was so that they might perform together an even greater service - to help lay the foundations of a new nation by producing a generation of skilled and educated men. Hence the University of Malaya was established on 8 October 1949 as a national institution to serve the higher education needs of the Federation of Malaya and Singapore.
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 in 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 founding the University of Malaya on 1st January 1962.
The University motto, "Ilmu Punca Kemajuan" (Knowledge is the Key to Success) reflects the philosophy of the University in its constant endeavour to seek knowledge in all fields to produce successful graduates and a successful nation.