Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman, is a not-for-profit, comprehensive, private university in Malaysia. UTAR is one of the prestigious private universities in Malaysia, ranked top 120 in Times Higher Education Asia University Rankings 2017 top 150 in Times Higher Education Young University Rankings 2017, and ranked =14 by the Times Higher Education Young University Rankings 2017: Millennial Universities. It was established in June 2002 under a foundation called UTAR Education Foundation, a non-profit organisation. The university consists of nine faculties, three institutes, three centres and 28 research centres.
The university has two campuses, Sungai Long Campus, which is located within the Klang Valley while the other is Kampar Campus located in the state of Perak, which once was renowned for its tin-mining activities. In June 2015, Petaling Jaya and Kuala Lumpur campuses have moved to Sungai Long campuses.
UTAR admitted 411 students in June 2002 for its first intake. The university’s student population grew rapidly over the years. According to one of the university’s publication, it now has a student enrolment of more than 26,000 students. For a start, the university offered only eight honours degree programmes but the university now offers more than 110 programmes, including foundation, undergraduate as well as postgraduate degree programmes covering numerous disciplines of study and research.
The Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) received an invitation from the Malaysian Ministry of Education to establish a university in July 2001. The then President of the association, Tun Dr. Ling Liong Sik chaired a committee that drew up a framework for the establishment of the university after receiving the invitation. Datuk Dr. Ng Lay Swee, then the Principal of Tunku Abdul Rahman University College, a tertiary education institution that was also established by the Malaysian Chinese Association, was appointed to lead another committee, including Dr. Lai Fatt Sian, who was then the Head of the School of Business Studies in Tunku Abdul Rahman College, to assume the headship in the Faculty of Accountancy and Management, to get the necessary papers ready for the approval from local authorities to set up the university. The other two faculties are the Faculty of Arts and Social Science (FAS) and the Faculty of Information Communication and Technology (FICT), separately headed by Dr. Yeoh Suan Pow and Dr. Tan Chik Heok, respectively, as their founding Deans.
Tun Dr. Ling was later appointed as Council Chairman of the university and Tan Sri Datuk Dr. Ng, the first President and CEO.
UTAR opened its doors to welcome its pioneer batch students to its first campus, the old premises owned by the publisher of a local daily called the Star in Section 13 of Petaling Jaya in June 2002.
Through three newly established faculties – Faculty of Information and Communication Technology, Faculty of Arts and Social Science, and Faculty of Accountancy and Management, the university offered its first eight honours degree programmes. At that time, the Faculty of Accountancy and Management, FAM in short, with Dr. Lai Fatt Sian as its founding Dean, hosted more than 6,000 students and was hailed as the largest business faculty in a private university in Malaysia. However, due to space constraints and the popularity of the courses offered with multi-faceted exemptions, the intake was required to cut-off at a remarkably high intake requirements and many were disappointed having their application rejected. This ultimately resulted in market-driven high calibre graduates strongly demanded by the industry.
An official ceremony was held to launch UTAR on 13 August 2002 at the main hall of Tunku Abdul Rahman University College. At the ceremony to launch the university was the fourth Prime Minister of Malaysia at the time, Tun Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad, who also officiated the university’s groundbreaking event at it campus site in the Kampar town in the state of Perak. Tan Sri Datuk Dr. Ng Lay Swee retired as the President on 31 March 2009. Following her retirement many pioneering staffs who worked with her from the inception of the University left the establishment as well. UTAR is member of EMC Academic Alliance.
To be a global university of educational excellence with transformative societal impact
UTAR committed to achieving the Vision through:
- Universal values in our beliefs
- Tenacity in overcoming challenges
- Agility in facing new frontiers
- Responsibility in pursuit of excellence
In carrying out its mission, UTAR is committed to:
- Engage in research, scholarship, teaching and practice at the highest international standards and the value of society, which will enable the greatest number and widest variety of people to develop the capability to shape their future and to contribute to the development of their organizations and communities.
- Ensure that UTAR’s Vision and Mission are supported by effective administrative and management structures, policies, practices and systems and that UTAR is managed in a professional and client – focused manner.
- Provide a supportive and challenging environment for faculty and students to realize their full potential and develop the skills and flexibility needed in a rapidly changing world.
- Maintain a strong undergraduate programme, which encourages the intellectual and personal development of students and responses to professional and community needs.
- Conduct major research programmes, which broaden the horizons of knowledge and seek answers to problems of importance.
- Maintain a strong graduate programme, which encourages intellectual, research and personal development of the students.
- Expand the expertise, services and resources offered by UTAR through the development of cooperative educational programmes with other institutions and professions and other local, state, federal, and international agencies.
- Encourage commitment to lifelong learning.
- Offer learning experiences that instill in students a consciousness of their role in a rapidly changing and technological oriented world with a strong sense of professional and social responsibility.
- Inculcate among the faculty and the academic community a culture of commitment to effective dissemination of knowledge and vigorous scholastic research activities with publications of high international standard.
- Promote the use of ICT and IT-intensive learning through innovative courses and learning support systems.
Pillars of Education
- Virtue and Morality
- Knowledge and Intellect
- Physical and Mental Health
- Sociality and Humanitarianism
- Aesthetics and Harmony
- Creativity and Innovation