About UPF

University Presidents Forum (UPF) is a signature programme of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) since 2009. It is a shared platform to address and discuss current issues relating to higher education, and to outline strategy and action plans to improve collaboration and cooperation among participating universities. Responding to the current needs and demands of international higher education, university presidents, vice presidents, and other senior representatives of universities are invited to participate in this prestigious event.
Through strong friendship and partnership of the university presidents who attended the UPFs in the past, Asia Technological University Network (ATU-Net) was forged on the 9th August 2016, during the 8th University Presidents Forum. ATU-Net was officially launched with 22 member institutions from 15 countries on board with a mission to connect technology-focused institutions of higher learning across Asia through a strategic international alliance. With UTM as the Chair and Secretariat of ATU-Net, the Network has since then expanded to include more members and more programmes.


In the face of global competition, universities have to adapt to the challenge in innovative and impactful ways to make a difference. Thus, sustainable innovation and entrepreneurial mindsets are called for towards creating a versatile and dynamic human capital able to adapt to rapid challenges. Embracing sustainability requires resourceful mindsets and solutions in our everyday undertakings and work practices, merging efficiency, effectiveness and ‘out of the box’ way of doing things with a strong entrepreneurial thinking.
As a premier research university in Engineering & Technology, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) recognises the importance of preparing its students to be global citizens. One of the major events relevant to fulfilling this quest is the organisation of the annual University Presidents Forum generally held in March each year in conjunction with the university’s convocation ceremony. The purpose of the University Presidents Forum (UPF) is to identify common issues and opportunities for research universities that would further strengthen the roles and relevance of universities. Presidents or Vice Chancellors of the selected universities are invited to present their diverse views, insights and experience on global education and research. We hope to forge an international network of universities that will strengthen the efforts of the participating universities and create active and effective alliances in research and education through this forum.

Why UTM University Presidents Forum?

  • Platform to discuss current issues relating to higher education
  • Outline strategy and action plan to improve collaboration and cooperation amongst participating universities

Glimpse of University Presidents Forum

Year 2009 “International Collaboration in Research and Academic Programs”

Year 2010 “Positioning University Focus in Innovation-led Economy”

Year 2011 “Sustainable Innovation and Entrepreneurship – Challenges for Universities”

Year 2012 “Innovative . Entrepreneurial . Global”

Year 2013 “CO2 Reduction, Innovation and Sustainability”

Year 2014 “Global Collaboration Opportunities in Knowledge Creation and Innovation”

Year 2015 “Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Nation Building”

Year 2016 “Innovation and Sustainable Development”

Year 2017 “Institutional Sustainability: Meeting Challenges of the 4th Industrial Revolution”

Year 2020 “Embracing the New Norm: Leadership, Values & Skills” (in collaboration with ATU-Net)

Year 2021 “Brave New World of Higher Education: Realities & Vision” (in collaboration with ATU-Net)

Year 2022 “Reshaping Ideas and Practices in International Higher Education: Towards Sustainable Development for the World and Humanity