Universiti Malaysia Perlis (English: University of Malaysia, Perlis) or UniMAP is located at the northernmost part of the Malaysian peninsula, less than 35 km from the Thailand border in the town of Arau, Perlis.
Formerly known as Kolej Universiti Kejuruteraan Utara Malaysia (English: Northern Malaysia University College of Engineering) or KUKUM, it was approved by the Cabinet as a public institution of higher learning in May, 2001. Its first intake comprised 116 engineering students, who started classes in June, 2002. It now has approximately 3,000 students, and a workforce of more than 600 people comprising academic and non-academic staff. There are fifteen programmes leading to B. Eng and six programmes leading to Diploma (Engineering), offered through eight engineering schools. In addition, it also has twelve postgraduate programmes leading to MSc (Engineering) and PhD.
UniMAP prides itself as a true-blue technical university which fulfills the interest of students who are inclined towards practical-based engineering education. UniMAP graduates are budding engineers who have been groomed to be competent and confident enough to explore entrepreneurial possibilities upon graduation. They are expected to not only exhibit excellence in knowledge and skills directly related to their engineering fields of study, but to be proficient in communication and ICT skills, as well as possessing unsurpassed traits of professionalism and patriotism.
Electronic-based engineering is UniMAP's focus. However, related fields of engineering and technology that support the advancement of electronic-based engineering are also pursued at UniMAP
To produce a holistic human capital that contributes to the nation's development and industrial competitiveness agenda
An internationally competitive academic and research institution
All programmes are offered through eight schools -- School of Computer and Communication Engineering, School of Microelectronic Engineering, School of Electrical Systems Engineering, School of Mechatronic Engineering, School of Manufacturing Engineering, School of Materials Engineering, School of Bioprocess Engineering, and School of Environmental Engineering :
UniMAP offers 15 undergraduate engineering programmes leading to the degree of BEng in the following areas:
In addition, UniMAP offers 6 Diploma programmes, namely:
* Diploma in Computer Engineering * Diploma in Microelectronic Engineering * Diploma in Manufacturing Engineering * Diploma in Mechatronic Engineering * Diploma in Electrical Engineering * Diploma in Metallurgical Engineering.
Apart from undergraduate studies, postgraduate education is also offered. UniMAP boasts its internationalisation agenda, which vigorously promotes the University to the international community. Internationalisation in UniMAP happens mainly through postgraduate education. Students can work to acquire Masters or PhD in –
The duration for a Masters degree is 1-3 years (full time) and 2-5 years (part time), whereas for PhD, the duration is 2-5 years (full time) and 3-7 years (part time). The minimum qualification for entry into postgraduate studies is Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Engineering or in related fields from recognised universities. Non-Malaysian students must be fluent in English with the minimum score of 550 in TOEFL or 6.0 for EPT or IELTS. All applicants need to be endorsed by the University Senate before they are eligible to enroll as students in the University.
The academic programmes that UniMAP offers combine both theory and practical, in accordance to the requirement of the industry. In fact, this is where UniIMAP differs from many of her counterparts as here, the ‘lab intensive’/’practical oriented’ approach is practiced in the delivery of the courses. UniMAP students benefit more from practical education compared to engineering students enrolled in conventional universities in the country.
Another feature which distinguishes UniMAP from many other local universities is the emphasis that she puts in developing entrepreneurship and communication skills among students. UniMAP also invests much in programmes that lead to the student's personal development. All this should eventually result in producing graduates who are not only effective in the engineering field of their choice, but are also capable of being independent entrepreneurs who possess commendable and praiseworthy traits.
Research in UniMAP
The approach to university research varies worldwide but would normally evolve from the individual researcher to a small group of active researchers in a particular area of specialisation.
Being a new university, UniMAP decides to bypass this usual evolution by forming interdisciplinary research clusters in seven key areas. The areas are Sustainable Engineering, Microelectronic & Nanotechnology, Sensor Technology & Application, Autonomous Systems & Machine Vision, Electrical Machine Design, Acoustic Application and Embedded Computing. Each research cluster has its own ‘Research Advisor’, usually an expert from abroad. Instead of being under the jurisdiction of schools, the seven clusters are somewhat self-governed, with a ‘Cluster Head’ taking care of the overall technical and administrative concerns of each cluster. This non-school specific configuration encourages interdisciplinary participation of potential researchers who hail from different schools within the campus. This is in line with the fact that modern engineering jobs today cut across various fields and disciplines. The boundary between disciplines has become blurred, and engineers from different backgrounds work together in a team to achieve common objectives.
The amount the University has invested in research and teaching laboratories amounts to to more than RM 120 million for the development of more than 90 laboratories over the last 5 years (2002-2007).
 Student buddy system
The University is always on the look out for systems and approaches that can mould students into engineers with world class characteristics. One such system is the ‘Rakan Pendamping Siswa’ (RPS) or roughly translated as ‘Students Buddy System’.
RPS is a system whereby academic staff supervises small groups of students for the duration of the students’ stay in UNIMAP. ‘Supervision’ here entails frequent meetings under informal settings, where students can relax with their friends and discuss academic and social issues that concern them. Students who do not hold satisfactory academic performance look to their buddies as ‘mentors’, in which case the student becomes the ‘mentee’ of the buddy, who helps the student out every step of the way.
Buddies are bonded by an exacting code of conduct which ensures that student interest is always at the forefront of this undertaking. It is through these informal interactions with members of the academia who double up as buddies or friends that students develop confidence, appreciation, and a sense of belonging towards the University and the academic system they are undergoing. In the course of the interactions, the students’ emotional quotient (EQ) would be appropriately honed. It is hoped that the close camaraderie developed over the years will bring UNIMAP graduates back to the University as loyal alumni in the future.
RPS also entails the necessity of all students to go through a series of programmes (known in UniMAP as the ‘7 pillars’), which comprise courses, seminars, discourses, and other activities. Specifically, the programmes include patriotic nation building courses, communication skills courses, and social etiquette courses. In addition, students participate in extreme sports activities, community involvement (such as visitations to old folks home, gotong royong (mutual aid) at community centres, painting murals in schools, building walkways in public areas, etc), social discourses, and leadership seminars. Because very high an importance is placed on the ‘7 pillars’, the University Senate has decided that without satisfactory participation in these activities, students may be denied their scrolls upon graduation.
In addition, the “+I” (“I” representing ‘innovation’) programme is now being developed. This new initiative aims to build the spirit of innovation amongst students. Under this programme, all UniMAP students get together in specific “I” teams in the early days of their stay here. Over the years, in their respective teams, they would be living and experiencing the rigour and thoroughness of product development processes – from idea creation and conception to outcome realisation. At the end of four years, for every “I” team, hopefully, a product is born. This programme wishes to bring out the best in the students’ hold on imagination, originality, and creativity, besides paving the way for the inculcation of team working and a certain sense of pride.
 Sport and recreation
The University Sports Centre manages a myriad of sports facilities and activities. Facilities available include a gymnasium, football, volleyball, takraw, netball, and multipurpose courts. The University enjoys facilities-sharing with the Perlis State Government's facilities in canoeing, lawn bowling, wall climbing, and many others.
The University organises a choice of activities throughout each academic semester. College Open Day is one example, where students organise-among others- cultural shows, talent-time, dinners, and other stimulating activities that can hone their management and organisational skills. Students also get the chance to interact with members of the local community. In addition, many interesting events and activities are organised by residential college committees, such as Chinese New Year, Aidilfitri and Deepavali get-together, ‘Battle of the Band’ competition, Nasyid Festival, Poco-Poco, Futsal, Netball, Football, Indoor Games, End of Year Dinner Celebration, and many many more.
Students participate in sports as well as other activities either informally at their own pleasure, or formally through various co-curriculum courses offered during the semester. Students must fulfill co-curriculum requirements in order to be eligible for graduation. They can choose to join canoeing, hockey, taekwando, silat, and badminton, among others.
At the moment, the UniMAP campus is virtually everywhere in Perlis, hence it is dubbed as ‘UniMAP Distributed Campus’ (UDC). To date, there are about 15 zones, each separated by public land between 1-15 km of each other. The first campus site is situated in Kubang Gajah, Perlis where laboratories and lecture theatres are located. Teaching facilities are mainly placed in Kuala Perlis, Kubang Gajah, and Jejawi.
The massive vacant site of the once ‘Dragon & Phoenix’ textile manufacturing plant, located in the general area of Jejawi houses lecture rooms, laboratories and administrative offices. Chancellery offices, as well as the University Library, are located at Kangar. Some administrative offices are in Jejawi and around Kangar. Students live either in a nearby residential area at Bintong, Wang Ulu, or in several housing estates in Kuala Perlis. In addition, after decades of existing in abandonment, UniMAP has taken over Kangar's one and only movie theatre, and turned it into a lecture-cum-general-function hall. It is named ‘Dewan Kapitol’. Transportation between these sites is provided via a university bus system, provided free of charge to students and staffs alike.
UniMAP also has an ‘offshore office’ in the heart of Kuala Lumpur: Anjung UniMAP.
Within the 9th and 10th Malaysian Plan, UniMAP's new campus, spanning about 1358 acres, will be built at two locations, namely Ulu Pauh (1058 acres) and Sungai Chuchuh (300 acres), Perlis. It is envisioned that the permanent campus be built as a Nature-Campus (‘Kampus Alam’) which takes into consideration the many aspects (physical, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, social, environmental, health and safety, among others) that ensure a healthy and conducive environment for students, staff and the community to live, work, and interact with one another.
Accommodation consists of three or four-bedroomed houses which are fully furnished, providing high standard of comfort. There are 6 residential colleges - Tun Abdul Rahman Residential College, Tun Abdul Razak Residential College, Tun Hussein Onn Residential College, Tun Dr. Mahathir Residential College, Tun Dr. Ismail Residential College, and Tan Sri Aishah Ghani Residential College. Within the colleges, student counselling and advisory services are available through out the semester. In addition, University buses frequent the residential colleges to provide free-of-charge transportation for students and staff alike during the semester. Sundry shops in residential colleges and numerous shops in Kangar and Kuala Perlis help students meet their daily needs and provide a wide range of stationary provisions. Photocopy services are also provided in most of the shops.
Students can download lecture notes from the UniMAP's portal. They can also interact with their lecturers and many members of staff, particularly heads of departments through the links provided at the University Portal.
Internet service is provided at all the residential colleges via LAN networking. However, with the increasing number of students, the network speed has slowed down drastically. No effort has been done so far to improve the quality of the network connection. Students now mainly head over to the UniMAP library if they need to download any information from the internet. Previously, wireless connection used to be provided at the Kampung Wai residential college. Nowadays, wireless connection is only accessible at the Kampung Wai lab.