The International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) reflects the long-term ambition of Muslim scholars to have an Islamic university in Malaysia that can lead the Muslim community in all branches of knowledge. The Government of Malaysia officially established the university on 20 May 1983. The philosophy of IIUM was inspired by the First World Conference on Muslim Education in Makkah in 1977.
IIUM was founded under the Companies Act of 1965, which enabled it to use English and Arabic as the main languages, therefore enhance its global orientation. IIUM integrates Islamic values and world views into its humanities, scientific and technical curricula, which is captured in the university slogan ‘the Garden of Knowledge and Virtue’. This is reflected in IIUM’s educational philosophy. IIUM aspires to restore the roles of Muslims in education, knowledge creation, and contributing to improving quality of life across society.
Befitting of its Premier International Islamic Research University (PREMIER) status awarded by ISESCO on 17 December 2014, IIUM provides an extensive and comprehensive learning environment conducive to advanced research across various disciplines. It is the quality of the learning and research environments that has attracted the high concentration of talent for which IIUM is renowned. IIUM offers various postgraduate, professional and leadership training programmes especially in its niche areas – Islamic Services and Islamic Products. The university has become recognised as a global pioneer in Islamic banking and finance, and considered as the reference point for these areas of business.
To ensure delivery of quality tertiary education, IIUM employs accomplished scholars and experienced professionals. As of October 2016, there were approximately 2,000 administrative and about 1,980 academic staff. More than 80% of the total academic staff have doctoral qualifications.
IIUM has 14 faculties, three institutes and a Centre for Strategic Continuing Education and Training.
In addition to achieving academic excellence, IIUM ensures that the students are trained in responsible business practice and taught the vital importance of sound ethics and total professionalism. Managerial and entrepreneurial skills, as well as leadership skills, are also high on the teaching agenda. IIUM places great emphasis on good character or Budi as part of the education process. This is in line with the Islamic teachings, which focus heavily on developing a strong ethical foundation.
IIUM is ranked in the top ten of the world’s best varsity debate teams. Its debaters have even received the ‘Asian Best Debater Award’. IIUM achieved further success in the debating arena when the students were awarded ‘Best Debater Award’ in Cambridge, UK. The Malay Language Debating Team has won the Environmental Debate Competition three years in a row. The IIUM Arabic debating team has also received many accolades in debates, public speaking, Quranic memorisation, recitation and Tajwid (the rules governing pronunciation during recitation of the Quran) at local and international competitions.
IIUM has several campuses spread across Malaysia, each providing different fields of study. The Gombak campus in Kuala Lumpur houses the university’s administration as well as the faculties of Law, Economics and Management Sciences, Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences, Architecture and Environmental Design, Information and Communication Technology, Engineering, Education and Languages, and Management.
The Gombak campus offers a complete range of facilities including on-campus housing, a mosque, two state-of-the-art sports complexes with Olympic-sized swimming pools, a fully equipped library with more than two million printed and digital materials supported by online databases, a medical clinic, a post office and three Malaysian commercial banks.
The other campuses are located in Kuantan, Kuala Lumpur, Petaling Jaya, Gambang and Pagoh.
The Kuantan Campus is nestled within a valley surrounded by lush greenery. It houses the Science, Medical, Pharmacy, Allied Health Sciences, Nursing and Dentistry faculties. Kuantan has another site, Jalan Hospital campus, housing part of the faculty of Medicine. The Kuala Lumpur campus at Persiaran Duta is now housing the Centre for Strategic Continuing Education and Training (CRESCENT). The Centre for Foundation Studies is located in Petaling Jaya, a satellite town at the south of Kuala Lumpur and Gambang, Pahang.
The population of IIUM students is approximately 30,649, who attend from around 117 countries. To date, IIUM has about 80,000 alumni of which 68,000 are Malaysians and 12,000 international.
Professor Dato’ Sri Dr Zaleha Kamarudin, Rector of IIUM believes that students who graduate from IIUM are stronger both in character and knowledge. She says: “IIUM is one of the leading universities in research. It is also a garden of knowledge and virtue imbued with Islamic principles and it promoted the meeting point of diverse cultures of more than 100 countries globally. Our students benefit from the culture of research, diversity and develop an understanding of shared values.”