The establishment in 1956 of Dewan Latihan RIDA (Rural Industrial Development Authority) to conduct courses for the benefit of Bumiputeras in the commerce and industrial activities in both rural and urban areas signified the beginning of the present Universiti Teknologi MARA.
The first business related course offered was an18 day preparatory programme for the London Chamber of Commerce at Higher and Intermediate levels. This could be said to be the birth of the Faculty of Business Management (better known as FPP) whose prominent role in Universiti Teknologi MARA is well known.
In June 1965, the Dewan Latihan RIDA was renamed MARA College (Maktab MARA). At this juncture, the College was entrusted with the extended role of training Bumiputeras to be professionals and semi-professionals to compete equally with non–Bumiputeras in the privatesectors. It also marked the termination of the British Institute of Management as external examination body on courses conducted at the College. With the introduction of the Diploma in Business Studies (DBS) and the Diploma in Banking (DIB), courses are set and conducted internally by the College. However to ensure quality, the Ealing Technical College of London was appointed as external evaluator.
The success of MARA College led to the establishment of Institut Teknologi MARA (ITM) in 1967. After the May 13 incident of 1969 the New Economic Policy (NEP) was formulated. It was formally launched by the then Prime Minister, Tun Abdul Razak in 1970. The NEP was an attempt to restructure and unify the Nation through the restructuring of society to enable the Bumiputeras to compete equally with the other races in commerce and industry. ITM was seen as a vehicle for the implementation of this mammoth task.
The Faculty’s role in this task was to introduce more new and relevant business programmes. This paved the way for the Advanced Diploma Business Administration in Transport -ADBA Transport-and professional courses such as the Chartered Institute of Transport (CIT, UK), the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) and the Chartered Institute of Insurance (CII).
In 1972, the Programme for Executive Development (PED), an innovative programme for working executives was initiated to help tackle the rising rate of unemployment among bumiputera graduates with no business background. Also in the same year the Faculty introduced the Off Campus Diploma in Business Studies programme to those keen on improving their qualifications without taking leave from their work. Classes were conducted in the evenings and weekends.
In 1975 a “twinning programme” with Ohio University, USA leading to the Bachelor in Business Administration was offered to enable Diploma graduates from the Faculty Business to pursue their studies at the degree level in Shah Alam. The BBA ITM-OU programme was conducted by academic staffs from both universities.
The year 1975 also saw the introduction of the Master in Economics Education programmes with Kentucky University for existing academic staffs with first degree to further their qualification.
In the 1980s further academic programmes were offered. In July 1981, a group of 30 top second semester students from the DIB and DBS programmes were selected to sign up for the Diploma in Investment Analysis (DIIA) course. In July 1983, two more new programmes recognised as equivalent to honours degrees-the Advanced Diploma In Business Studies in Marketing (or ADBS Marketing) and the Advanced Diploma in Business Studies in Insurance (ADBS Insurance)-were introduced. For external papers, Graduates of ADBS (Marketing) were exempted by the Chartered Institute of Marketing, UK from all but two final papers-Planning and Control, and the Case Study-as qualification towards the Diploma in Marketing. The Chartered Insurance Institute, UK (CII) recognised six subjects of ADBS (Insurance) for the Associates of the Chartered Insurance Institute, UK. The Executive MBA Ohio-UiTM programme was introduced in 1986 to help acquire the thinking skills and the broad perspective needed by those who form the nucleus of future management.
There was no let up in the 1990s. The Advanced Diploma in Business Studies (Finance) course was launched in 1991. A year later saw the introduction of the ADBS Human Resource Management programme to help develop graduates in the knowledge and skills needed in personnel development. In 1994 ADBS in Retail Management was introduced with an initial enrolment of 22 students. The success of these advanced programmes meant that the BBA ITM-OU programme had to be terminated.
A part-time two year Masters of Business Administration (MBA) undertaken jointly with the Cardiff Business School, University of Wales, was introduced in 1995 This MBA-Cardiff programme provided students with an alternative option to an American MBA. The first batch of graduates had their Convocation in March 1997. In 1996 the Advanced Diploma in Business Studies in International Business was introduced. This was found to be necessary as Malaysia’s role in international trade activities began to increase rapidly.
In1996 the ITM Act was passed in the Malaysian Parliament allowing the institution to confer its own degrees. The Act also allows ITM to conduct master and doctoral programmes on its own. This elevated ITM to a university status. In line with that the School of Business and Management Studies was renamed the Faculty of Business Management. In tandem with the new status, all Advanced Diploma in Business Studies programmes were converted into Bachelor of Business Administration with Honours-BBA (Hons).
In 1998 the Faculty of Business Management launched its own MBA replacing the MBA ITM-OU and the MBA ITM-Cardiff programmes. The introduction of UiTM’s own MBA was timely in face of the increase in the demand of that programme by first degree holders wanting to venture and to hold important positions in the corporate world.
The year 1999 saw a hive of academic activities and upgrading. The BBA (Hons) in Islamic Banking programme was initiated and became a reality in 2001 to fulfill the Government aspiration’s to make Malaysia a hub of the world Islamic financial activities. In addition, the doctoral programme-Doctoral of Philosophy in Business Management (PhD) was introduced to target those keen on conducting research of high quality. A memorable occasion in that year was the award of ISO 9002 by SIRIM to the BBA (Hons) Operations Management programme. This was the first ISO awarded to any academic programme at local universities. In order to make it possible for those working to obtain a relevant postgraduate degree while continuing their profession, the Executive MBA (EMBA) programme was also offered.
The hive of academic activities and upgrading in 1999 culminated in UiTM being renamed Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) by the then Prime Minister Dato’ Sri (now Tun) Mahathir Mohamed. The Faculty took pride at this occasion, as it was a part of the original set up of RIDA that played a pivotal role in to what UiTM is today.
In 2000 due to the merger of the Chartered Institute of Transport, UK with the Institute of Logistic, UK, the CIT programme was renamed Chartered Institute of Logistic and Transport (CILT), UK. The Faculty of Business Management till today is the only business faculty in Malaysia that offers CILT programme. There was no let up at bachelor’s degree where in 2003 and 2011, the degree programmes offered by the faculty expanded with the introduction of the BBA (Hons) Business Economics and BBA (Hons) Entrepreneurship, respectively.
Two new postgraduate programmes were introduced in 2004. One was the Master of Science in Business Administration (MSc). The other was the Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) programme to prepare graduate for positions of professional responsibility in university teaching and research as well as in administrative and research careers in governmental and private organisations. Most recently, in March 2012, the Masters of Business Economics programme was introduced, making the faculty and the University, the first academic institution to offer the program in the country.
On 1st September 2011, another milestone for the faculty was achieved where the then Faculty of Office Management and Technology has merged with the Faculty of Business Management. This merger consequently expanded the faculty in terms of its human capital (staff and students) and academic programs. The number of diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate programs offered by the faculty thus increased with the inclusion of Diploma in Office Management and Technology, Bachelor of Customer Service Management, Bachelor of Health Administration, Bachelor of Event Management, Bachelor in Office Systems Management, Master in Office Systems Management and Doctor of Philosophy in Office Systems Management.
The key to the continued success of the Faculty of Business Management has been the commitment of people involved with it–staff (both academic and administrative), students, alumni and the trust the University has in it. Today, the Faculty is perhaps the largest business faculty in Malaysia with over 50,000 students and about 60,000 alumni. Many of our alumni are in the private sectors holding high positions. The Faculty has played a very important nation-building role and is the leading agent of change, constantly introducing new programmes to reflect the needs of a fast evolving business community. The Faculty has been able to capitalize on its unique approach to attract both students and industry to its wide array of programmes. The Faculty is well prepared for any challenge.