The origins of Universiti Putra Malaysia can be traced to the School of Agriculture, which was officially established on 21 May 1931 by John Scott, an administrative officer of the Straits Settlements. The school was located on a 22-acre land in Serdang. The School offered two programmes then, namely a three-year diploma programme and a one-year certificate course. By 1941, the School succeeded in training 321 officers - 155 obtained the diploma and 166 the certificate. On 23 June 1947, the school was declared the College of Agriculture Malaya by Sir Edward Gent, the Governor of the Malayan Union. In 1948, it was proposed that this college be upgraded to a university. The proposal, however, was shelved with the declaration of the Emergency in the middle of the same year. In 1960, the Faculty of Agriculture at the University of Malaya was established, and on 1 January 1962 a statute was approved to appoint the Council of the College of Agriculture Malaya as an authoritative body of the University of Malaya. In conjunction with the growing importance of the agricultural sector in the country's economy, the role of the college became prominent. Hence, the government allocated RM7.9 million to carry out development under the First Malaysian Plan (1966-1970). The allocation received was spent on increasing students' intake, building lecture halls, extending areas for college development, adding more science laboratories and recruiting more staff. Tun Abdul Razak Hussein, the Prime Minister then, when officiating extended buildings in the college on 31 March 1969, envisioned an agricultural university which would offer degree courses. This vision was finally realized with the founding of University Pertanian Malaysia.
The establishment of this university was the result of the merge between the College of Agriculture Malaya with the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Malaya. Dr. Mohd. Rashdan bin Haji Baba, the principal of the college of Agriculture Malaya, was appointed as the first Vice-Chancellor by virtue of the provisions of section 18 of the Universities and University Colleges Act, 1971.
Universiti Pertanian Malaysia started its first academic session in July 1973 with three central faculties: the Faculty of Agriculture, Faculty of Forestry, and Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science. Besides the three faculties there was a Basic Sciences Division. The student enrolment at that time was 1,559. In the early eighties, however, UPM has expanded its area of studies to the field of Science and Technology (S&T). In 1994, UPM embarked on its ambitious plan to develop as a futuristic university, which would provide better and up-to-date skills and systems for science and technology education by taking full advantage of the rapid development in information technology (IT). Thereafter, UPM has transformed into a borderless campus, its name and reputation stretching far beyond the national boundaries. The climax of the transformation came with the changing of the name of the university from Universiti Pertanian Malaysia to Universiti Putra Malaysia; as officially announced on 3 April 1997 by Dato' Seri Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad, the prime minister then. This was a strategic way of portraying the status of UPM as a centre of higher education capable of providing various fields of studies, especially in information technology, which facilitates national developments in the new millennium.
The inspirational motto, 'With Knowledge We Serve', reflects the full commitment of the University to contribute towards the discovery of knowledge and the exploration of human endeavor as well as the creation of wealth and nation building.
From its humble beginnings in 1971, UPM has continued to develop and has become one of the distinguished universities in the region. Commencing as an agricultural-based university, UPM has expanded its frontiers in various disciplines such as engineering, medical sciences, pure sciences, economics, management, education, languages, communication and other fields. These fields have synergized and complemented the university's focal area, namely, agro-bio, which encompasses related areas of agriculture and science. Indeed, the field of tropical agriculture has gained the most prominence. Today, the university has gained international reputation among international students and scholars from fifty nine different nations and has become an acclaimed international institution of higher learning in the region.
Today, we are faced with complex challenges and only those who persevere will survive. In order to face these challenges, the generation of knowledge and life-long learning is crucial and need to be reinforced.
UPM, through its expertise, is willing to assist you in equipping yourselves to withstand these challenges. This website is aimed to assist you to get to know the university, explore the available opportunities to develop your potentials, and with the support of UPM’s present pool of expertise, to realize your dreams!