Opening the Doors: What’s Inside a Military School?

November 11, 2017

EasyUni Staff

“This University is related to the National Military, thus, the environment is strict,” that was the first impression of Amelia Yuliana binti Abd. Wahab, currently taking Doctorate in Philosophy (Strategic & International Relations) in UPNM. “I think to them, the most important thing is to discipline the students,” she adds.

Amelia is just one of those people who had a pre-conceived notion of what a Military school is. Before entering UPNM, she thought that the university will be very stern with its students, and she will be training and studying throughout her stay. Little did she know that these things will only be a part of the student’s daily life.


Debunking the Myth

 “After I joined UPNM I found out that these two elements are obviously practiced within the university,” she said. “But the staff is willing to help, especially those who are in the Centre of Graduate Study office,” she adds. Amelia is glad that students are involved in a lot of discussions with the staff, making the relationship within the campus symbiotic.

UPNM was formerly known as Akedemi Tentera Malaysia (ATMA) or the Malaysian Armed Forces Academy which was established on 1 June 1995. It was upgraded to university in 10 November 2006.

Adding to that, Fadhlul Wafi bin Badrudin, currently taking his Doctorate in Philosophy (Physics) also shared, “The environment is not too serious.” There are avenues that allow students and the staff to voice out what they think. The cooperation within the community is very infectious, to the effect that both the studentry and faculty strives to be the best that they can be, wherever they are.


For Work and Play

Aside from the healthy relationship in the university, students are also able to balance their academic life with various extra-curricular activities. Located in Kuala Lumpur, the campus is set against a scenic backdrop, filled with flora and fauna.

UPNM Campus


Within the compound is the university lake, where the UPNM boat house is located. This must-see spot is the site for cadet military training such as lake crossing. The relaxing ambiance provides a quick escape for UPNM students – during the stressful moments of their academic life. “This is the kind of environment that will boost my interest in whatever I do in this university,” said Fadhul.

Sports Facilities


Aside from the picturesque university environment, students are also well-equipped with centres to fully assist them. The centres cater to their needs including academic, extra-curricular, even spiritual. The holistic involvement of the school administration proves that the institution is devoted in producing well-rounded graduates, ready to face the world outside UPNM.

UPNM’s Motto is DUTY, HONOUR, INTEGRITY (Kewajipan, Maruah, Integriti)


From Hereon

These testimonials attest to the University’s commitment to excellence. On top of being the premiere defence university for leadership, it also aims to be the leader of professional and personal development, knowledge dissemination, application of defence science and technology, as well as policy research.  The school is a perfect choice for those who aspire to be of service to the country from various sectors in society. Since its inception in 2006, UPNM has thousands of successful graduates who are now applying what they have learned from the university.

c.	UPNM’s Motto is DUTY, HONOUR, INTEGRITY (Kewajipan, Maruah, Integriti)


It is no wonder that students, staff, and alumni have nothing but praises for the university. Umar Sidik, currently taking his Masters in Mechanical Engineering shared, “The University gave me an opportunity to gain more experience.” He notes that the good environment provided him avenues to truly discover himself.

Meanwhile, Assistant Registrar, Norsyuhada binti Ab Shukor said, “UPNM will give you a new exposure. This exposure will enhance your knowledge not only in the academics but in all aspects of life.”



Learn more about UPNM (National Defence University of Malaya) and its programme offerings by visiting our UPNM microsite

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