FACTS & FIGURES
Founded in 1969
13 Centres of Excellence
3 Higher Institution Centres of Excellence
Datuk Dr Asma Ismail
Point of Contact:
Aizat Hisham Ahmad
Senior Assistant Registrar
International Mobility & Collaboration Centre
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 31,500 students (the undergraduates numbering at 21,000 and the postgraduates at 10,000). International students comprised 7% of the total student population.
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). Serving the campuses are 10,000 staff members.
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. APEX is a fast track development programme to enable institutions of higher education to be recognised as world class entities. The programme aims to facilitate the university selected to be on an international level and also to motivate and help raise the level of excellence in higher education. The APEX programme was identified as one of the most critical initiatives to help transform Malaysian Higher Education. As a result of this initiative, the Ministry of Higher Education requested all local public and private institutions to submit their proposals for consideration to be selected as an APEX University, with the prestigious APEX status being awarded to the successful one.
USM’s mission in implementing the APEX program is to become a pioneering university, trans-disciplinary and research-intensive university that empowers future talents and enables the bottom billions to transform their socioeconomic well-being.
"We aspire to lead and innovate in achieving excellence at the international level through advancing and disseminating knowledge and truth, instilling qualities that stress academic excellence and professionalism, developing holistic individuals and providing a strong commitment towards society’s aspiration, the country’s vision and universal aspirations".
USM also incorporated the concept of sustainability to achieve its vision as an APEX university, which is: "Transforming Higher Education for a Sustainable Tomorrow". USM is also recognised by UNESCO as the PREFERRED UNIVERSITY for community engagement.
The USM Happiness Index continues to provide the campus community with the 'feel good' factor at this globally preferred university.