UPNM was formerly known as Akedemi Tentera Malaysia (ATMA) or the Malaysian Armed Forces Academy which was established on June 1, 1995. The institution was also branded as the sole organization responsible in upgrading the knowledge and academic status of the armed forces by offering bachelor degree courses in fields of engineering, sciences and managements while not neglecting the basic requirements of military training.
The bachelor degree courses were accredited and awarded by University Teknologi Malaysia in the beginning. Lecturers – some from within the armed forces, some hired by the academy and the rest deputised by UTM where all were fully committed to changing the face of the Malaysian armed forces.
In November 10, 2006, ATMA’s responsibility was recognized and further given a boost when it was upgraded to university status creating the current UPNM. The establishment of the university was announced by our former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi during the Budget 2007 reading at the Malaysian Parliament. The setting of the university cost was RM500 million and was fully borne by the Government of Malaysia.
The university’s first intake of students was for the 2007/2008 session which amid new changes having admission the first intake of civilian undergrads. Universiti Pertahanan Nasional Malaysia prepares the Malaysian military and civilian leaders to better address national and international security challenges through multi-disciplinary educational programmes, research, professional exchanges and outreach. Though the university was not too long ago established, it has already chalked up over 11 years of experience in education and training since 1995 with over 1000 graduates in the fields of engineering, computer science and management. These graduates have all been successfully inducted and now suit as full officers in the Malaysian Army, Royal Malaysian Navy, Royal Malaysian Air Force, also in other Government Sectors and Non Government Sectors.