The date 31st January 1994 was an historic moment that brought enlightened hope to the thousands of local community members who had gathered in the small town of Beaufort, Sabah. Our esteemed Prime Minister Dato' Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad in meeting with the people made a promise that a university will be built in Sabah. The announcement was spontaneously followed by loud cheers, and became the driving force for the establishment of a university in Sabah.
Thus on the 24th November 1994, a university was born, not through a daydream or a nightmare, but through a forward vision of our distinguished Prime Minister, which aspires to bring immense development and quality of life to the people here.
Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) was established on 24th November 1994. His Royal highness the Yang DiPertuan Agong Proclaimed the establishment of UMS under Section 6(1) of the Universities and University Colleges Act 1971.
The ninth university in Malaysia expanded rapidly since the early days of its inception. The management office that started activities at the Ministry of Education, Kuala Lumpur later on shifted to Kota Kinabalu. Teaching and research commenced in 1995 in rented buildings. The physical development of permanent campus on a 999 acre piece of land began in earnest in August 1995. The University's occupation of the permanent campus started in 1999 and completed in 2000. In the meantime, the government also granted approval to UMS to set up a branch campus in the Federal Territory of Labuan. Years that followed the acquisition of building facilities for teaching, learning and research have witnessed the emergence of an increasing number of schools, centres and units.
Since its birth, the development of UMS is progressing at a tremendous pace, and the university is fully committed to achieving the highest standards of quality in both academic and non-academic activities. This means pursuing continuous improvement and being satisfied with nothing less than the best practice.
Universiti Malaysia Sabah strives to achieve academic excellence in various fields by gaining international of the society and recognition through learning and teaching, research and publications, social services and a balanced specialization of knowledge and personality development of students resulting in high productivity and quality in context of the society and the nation.
With self-confidence, it is hoped that UMS will be able to train and produce human resources of international caliber, who are ready to contribute towards the betterment of the people and the country.