International Islamic University Malaysia.
The idea to establish the International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) was first proposed on 12 January 1982 by Dato’ Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, the Prime Minister of Malaysia (1981 – 2003), at a meeting with the Minister of Education, Datuk Amar Dr. Sulaiman Daud, the Director-General of Education, Tan Sri Dato’ Hj. Murad bin Mohd. Nor, and two other senior Malaysian Government and University officials.
IIUM was officially established on 20 May 1983 when the University received its ‘Establishment Order’ from His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, HRH Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Al-Musta’in Billah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Abu Bakar Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mu’adzam Shah, after an exchange of Diplomatic Notes of co-sponsorship between the Government of Malaysia (host country) and a number of Muslim Governments namely Bangladesh, Egypt, Libya, Maldives, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC).
In 2003, IIUM commemorated two decades of establishment in which, by the Grace of God, it has developed into one of the most prominent universities in Malaysia and the region, with strong affiliations throughout the academic world. Its growth throughout the first 20 years has been progressive and in a manner which is conducive to the needs of Malaysia and the Ummah as a whole. IIUM is also significantly recognized internationally as a tertiary institution of quality and world class education.
The University is the only public university in Malaysia which uses English as its medium of instruction and in its everyday operations. In addition, Arabic is used as the medium of instruction for undergraduate and postgraduate programs in the Kulliyyah of Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences. The misssion statement of the University stresses special focus on Integration, Islamization, Internationalization, and Comprehensive Excellence in all its activities especially the teaching and research programs. Thus, the use of these two languages reflects one of the University’s missions, that is, internationalization.
At present IIUM comprises of four campuses. The main campus, which is the Kuala Lumpur Campus, is located on a 288-hectare site in Gombak near Kuala Lumpur, the nation’s capital, and the Kulliyyah of Medicine on a 400-hectare site in Kuantan, on the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia, while the IIUM centre for foundation studies is located in Petaling Jaya, Selangor and Nilai, Negeri Sembilan. The fourth campus is the International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilization or ISTAC and is located at Persiaran Duta, Jalan Duta, Kuala Lumpur.
There are approximately 16,209 undergraduate and 3,344 postgraduate students, including international students from more than 90 countries in the world. Thus, the total number of more than 19,553 students, surely reflects the geographical and cultural diversity of the Ummah. The students in IIUM are in general, highly motivated and academically talented, with most students mastering two or more languages. Some also persue double degrees, for example in Human Sciences and Revealed Knowledge, Law and Shari’ah, etc.
IIUM’s close link with the large number of universities both in Malaysia and overseas, the attraction of the largest number of international students of any Malaysian university, and the strong support of the Malaysian Government in its education system and policies, ensure that the University will continue to maintain high performance levels as well as meeting the educational challenges and capitalize on the opportunities of future decades.
The Uniqueness of the IIUM model, with its integrated curriculum and wide ranging programs of holistic higher education, has earned the admiration and esteem of many renowned international scholars and leaders of the Muslim world. This is because the education at IIUM includes a dimension that is missing elsewhere, for IIUM strives not merely for excellence in the academic sense but for the development of balanced integrated personalities ready to face the challenges of the 21st century.