In 1996 the government of Malaysia was looking for methods to liberalise higher education in the nation, and to involve the private education sector in the development of this critical sector of human capital building. As such, the Ministry of Education was looking for an established private company to kick off the pilot project for university building. In October 1996, the then Telekom Malaysia was given the distinction by the Ministry of Education to set up the first private university in Malaysia. It was considered an honour to be given such trust by the government to spearhead the privatization of higher education. Being a natural extension of the existing ITTM campuses that TM already runs, TM accepted the invitation and Universiti Telekom was established in Melaka.
A year later, with the planning of the MSC underway, the government was once again looking for a suitable candidate to construct a university in the heart of the MSC. The idea behind this university is to emulate the Stanford-Silicon Valley example, where a centre of teaching and research catalyzed the development of high tech industry in the surrounding area. In March 1997, TM was again honoured when it was given the task to set up this university, to be known as Multimedia University. Considering that the telecommunications industry was becoming closely linked with developments in ICT, expansion into an education field directly related to ICT is a natural strategic decision.
Today, Universiti Telekom Sdn Bhd (UTSB), a wholly owned subsidiary of TM runs the two campuses as one university named Multimedia University (MMU). Aligned with its parent company’s interests, UTSB has been entrusted to contribute proactively towards nation building and towards making Malaysia a world-renowned centre of academic excellence in the areas of information technology and multimedia. TM invited Prof Datuk Dr Ghauth Jasmon to lead UTSB, and he served MMU as President for 11 years. His responsibility was passed on to Prof Dr Zaharin Yusoff who took over as the second president of MMU from 2008.
Currently, MMU has a total of seven faculties with two supporting academic divisions: