USM-KPT (PoliPD) |  Universiti Sains Malaysia

Background of Universiti Sains Malaysia

Established as the second university in the country in 1969, Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) was first known as Universiti Pulau Pinang. In 1971, USM moved from its temporary premises at the Malayan Teachers’ Training College, Bukit Gelugor to the present 416.6 hectare site at Minden, approximately 9.7 km from Georgetown. USM offers courses ranging from Natural Sciences, Applied Sciences, Medical and Health Sciences, Pharmaceutical Sciences to Building Science and Technology, Social Sciences, Humanities, and Education. These are available at undergraduate and postgraduate levels to approximately 30,000 students at its 17 Academic Schools on the main campus in the island of Penang; 6 Schools at the Engineering Campus in Nibong Tebal (approximately 50km from the main campus); and 3 at the Health Campus in Kubang Kerian, Kelantan (approximately 300km from the main campus).

USM also has 17 dedicated research centres for a wide range of specialisations which include archaeology, medicine and dentistry, molecular medicine, science and technology, Islamic development and management studies, and policy research and international studies. It also provides consultancy, testing, and advisory services to the industry under the ambit of USAINS Holdings Sdn Bhd, the University’s commercial arm. Since the beginning, USM has adopted the School system rather than the traditional Faculty system to ensure that its students are multi-disciplined from their exposure to other areas of study by other Schools. It also encourages students to be active in extra-curricular activities given the myriad of clubs and societies available.

As a Research Intensive University recognised by the Ministry of Higher Education Malaysia (MOHE) in 2007, USM offers educational and research opportunities to students and staff. In 2008, USM also became the first university in the country to be selected by the Malaysian government to participate in the Accelerated Programme for Excellence (APEX), a fast-track programme that helps tertiary institutions achieve world-class status.

 A sustainable world, humanity and the future of the humankind are among the issues focused on by Universiti Sains Malaysia.  Based on these over-arching principles, USM has been chosen by the Malaysian Ministry of Higher Education to implement the Accelerated Programme for Excellence (APEX) under its auspices.  This was announced by the Minister, The Honourable Dato’ Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin on 3rd September 2008.

USM`s broad-based School System offers a comprehensive range of programmes, from Natural Sciences, and Applied Sciences to Arts, and Humanities at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. As a world class university offering highly relevant and contemporary study programmes, USM attracts the creme de la creme of academia, both locally and internationally. USM`s current enrolment stands at 23,123 students.

As a renowned `Research University, USM provides research facilities of international standards which are set amidst a conducive learning environment under the purview of a team of highly dedicated, experienced and qualified academics.

  1. One of the oldest public university in Malaysia and Southeast Asian region.
  2. Officially recognized as APEX UNIVERSITY (Accelerated Programme for Excellence) by Ministry of Higher Education among 20 university in Malaysia.
  3. Strategic location right at the heart of Southeast Asia.
  4. University in the Garden conducive ,harmonious and peaceful environment.
  5. Multidiscipline study programmes and world recognised graduate and post-graduate degrees.
  6. Affordable cost of living approximately USD5,000 to USD6,000 a year. The first Malaysian university to be represented in the Board of Directors of International Association of Universities (IAU).

Since inception in 1969, USM has undergone various phases of development, not only in  graduating students to support the needs of the nation, but also more importantly, functioning as an impetus for the progress and nation-building.  For the next 40 years, it is time to move to the next level in preparing the University for a more challenging and unique future.


Academic Facilities and Resources

The facilities that USM provides for its students are delineated below:

  • Warm and cozy cafeterias, as well as well-designed pavilions
  • An impressive Museum filled with world-class displays & a state-of-the-art
  • Art Gallery with fine art pieces.
  • Lecture theatre and halls to facilitate classroom learning and teaching.
  • Banks, bookshop, pharmacy, a post office and retail outlet to cater to the needs of students
  • Anoutstanding research library of over one million items and an extensive network of electronic databases and internet access.
  • Students’ residences that accommodate their stay on campus.
  • Sport Centre that is equipped with indoor and outdoor facilities that caters to students’ sporting events and games.


Students Support Services and Students Development Activities

USM provides various services for its students such as hostel accommodation, counseling/motivational guidance, sport and recreational amenities like soccer fields, 8-lane synthetic running track, an Astroturf hockey stadium and an Olympic-sized swimming pool. Cultural events/activities are organised at the Cultural Hall to foster closer ties among students. There are also various clubs and societies that cater to a wide array of interests. These include the Political Science Society, Computer Science Club, Indian Cultural Club, Navigator Society, Astronomy Club, Debating & Public Speaking Club, and Mass Communication Club to name a few. The Counseling Unit at USM offers support services to help develop students’ potential and capabilities.

Besides contributing to the national research effort and advancement of knowledge in general, the University has also taken steps to identify and periodically assess areas of research which are deserving of special support in order to compete more effectively for external funds. In USM’s bid to provide better incentives for the development of new products and processes by its staff, it has recently drawn up specific rules governing the patenting and commercialization of research results.  


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