Our Introduction


The launch of the UM Master Plan Ideas Competition is a remarkable moment for University of Malaya, the campus community, and the city of Kuala Lumpur. University of Malaya is engaging architects, designers and urban planners to design University of Malaya’s first master plan through an open ideas competition. Our aim is to inspire a design concept that will be an exemplary sustainable campus of the twenty-first century and an internationally renowned institution of research.

University of Malaya’s history started in 1905 in Singapore as the King Edward VII College of Medicine before becoming University of Malaya in 1949, when it merged with Raffles College. The term ‘Malaya’ was derived from country’s name then, before becoming Malaysia. The University set up two autonomous Divisions in 1959, one in Singapore and one in Kuala Lumpur. Legislation was passed in 1961 to change the status of the Divisions into a National university, and in University of Malaya was formally established on 1st January 1961.

“The University of 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 University of Malaya must inevitably realise that it is a university for Malaya”

(Carr-Sauders Commission on University Education in Malaya, 1948).


Now University of Malaya sits on a 750-acre campus in the Southwest of Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia, and borders the suburban area of Petaling Jaya, Selangor. For University of Malaya, this competition provides an innovative new opportunity to re-design the acclaimed campus into the new technological era of the twenty-first century, while preserving its extensive urban biodiversity reserves for Kuala Lumpur and Petaling Jaya.


Map of University of Malaya showing key locations in relation to main campus site


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