Dewan Latihan RIDA (RIDA Training Centre) 1956 - 1965
RIDA (Rural & Industrial Development Authority) Training Centre was the inspiration of Dato' Onn Ja'afar, the founder and former president of United Malays National Organisation (UMNO). The idea was conceived as a result of a study visit to Ceylon in 1951 (now Sri Lanka) to look into its rural development programme in 1951. A resulting working paper outlined the establishment of RIDA (Rural and Industrial Development Authority) and its objectives of rebuilding the rural society, as well as improving rural the community's economy.There were two centres under the auspices of RIDA : Taman Asuhan RIDA (Kuala Lumpur) and Dewan Latehan RIDA (Petaling Jaya). Dewan Latehan RIDA began operations in November 1956 under its first principal, Tuan Syed Alwi bin Syed Sheikh Alhadi. It was officially opened by Dr Ismail bin Dato' Abdul Rahman, the Minister for Trade and Industry on 14 February 1957.
Dewan Latehan RIDA conducted several external professional courses offered by established international bodies, such as the London Chamber of Commerce, the Australian Chartered Secretaryship, the Australian Society of Accountants and the British Institute of Management.
In 1964, Dewan Latehan RIDA held its first convocation and 50 graduates were awarded certificates by Tun Abdul Razak, the then Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia.
MARA College 1965 - 1967
Dewan Latehan RIDA became known as Maktab MARA or MARA College, in June 1965.The name change also meant that the college no longer operated under RIDA, instead became the most important unit of the MARA Training Division.
MARA, which stands for "Majlis Amanah Rakyat" or the Council of Trust for the Indigenous People took over and strengthened the role and responsibilities of RIDA. In 1966, when the British Institute of Management ceased conducting external examinations, MARA College began running its own Diploma in Business Studies. International recognition for the course came from Ealing Technical College of London, which also became its external examiner. This linkage with an internationally established institution proved to be the first of many future linkages, a tradition that started in 1956 with Dewan Latehan RIDA, and still continues until today in UiTM.
MARA Institute Of Technology 1967 - 1999
ITM's rapid development during those years had come about with the expansion of its educational programmes, which were in line with the requirements of an increasingly demanding job market. Many courses were internationally affiliated and the institute offered advanced diploma courses, which were the equivalent to general degrees.
ITM's development is best seen from three phases that spanned a period of 32 years. The first phase (1967-1976) came with the declaration of the institute as an autonomous body with its own 300-acre campus in Shah Alam, and was placed under the Ministry of Rural Development.
The second phase (1976-1996) saw ITM rapidly harnessing its potential as an institution of higher learning. It led to the passing of the ITM Act of 1976 that placed the institute directly under the Ministry of Education.
The third phase (1996-1999) came about as a result of an amendment to the 1976 Act which put ITM on par with all the universities in the country. For functional purposes, ITM was granted all the powers of a university. But its historical name was retained until August 26, 1999. The main areas of change are as follows:
- The governing body of ITM, the Council, was converted into the Board of Directors with a larger private sector representation than before;
- The Board of Directors was given the power to enact on behalf of the Institute;
- A Senate was created;
- Many principal officers of ITM were re-designated. The Director was renamed Rector, the Head of Campus became the Provost, while Principal and Senior Lecturers were re-designated as Professors and Associate Professors, repectively;
- Each School was redesignated as a Faculty;
- ITM was given the power to confer degrees up to Ph.D' level;
- ITM was given the unique power to establish courses and campuses abroad with permission from the Minister of Education;
- The Institute was conferred additional powers to enable it to conduct business, invest in shares, set up companies and engage in commercial research;
- Disciplinary powers over staff were transferred from the Minister to the Board of Directors;
- To improve staff accountability, the Institute was bestowed the power to impose a surcharge; and
- The procedural rights of students in disciplinary proceedings were strengthened.
Universiti Teknologi MARA August 26, 1999
In August 1999, the then Prime Minister of Malaysia, YAB Dato' Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad announced the change in name of ITM to Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM). With such acknowledgement from the government, a major restructuring exercise was carried out in order to consolidate the University's resources for optimum productivity.
UiTM aspires to be world class in all its endeavours and forges ahead in a direction that is in tandem with the latest developments in the world. As UiTM moves forward, it remains focused on academic excellence, innovation, socio-economic goals, worldwide accreditation, globalisation and new technologies in order to contribute to industry and national development.
Universiti Teknologi MARA Act 173
Act 173 was drafted in conjunction with the establishment of UiTM. It is deemed essential as the Act provides guidelines for maintenance and smooth administration as well as other pertaining matters. The Act also serves as an acknowledgement of the institution’s transition from an institute to a university, and the authority bestowed upon it to function like any other university. This includes the offering of courses of studies and the conferment of degrees at all levels.