Universiti Sains Malaysia or USM specialises in several scientific disciplines. It is located across three academic campuses with 17 research centres. The main campus is on the eastern side of the island of Penang, Malaysia. Two further campuses are situated on the mainland in Kelantan and Nibong Tebal.
The university offers courses in natural sciences, medical sciences and technology with further courses available in social sciences. These subjects include humanities, arts and education. The main campus in Penang includes the USM School of Distance Education, School of Industrial Technology and the Institute of Postgraduate Studies. The popular schooling system supports a vast array of extracurricular activities which allows students to become acquainted outside the classroom. The main campus facilities include a museum, bookshop, pavilions and a fine art gallery. A short car ride away is Georgetown. The city offers vibrant street art, ancient temples, shopping malls, galleries and museums which are free to peruse. Venturing inland from the Universiti Sains Malaysia to Air Itam, visitors can see one of Penang’s national treasures, KekLok Si Temple. Known as one of the finest temple complexes in Southeast Asia, it is home to magnificent images of Buddha, carvings, murals and sculptures. Travellers can admire the decorative elements of temple halls, archways and pagodas.
It is possible to walk around the university’s main campus, as most school buildings are close to one another. Buses operate around the local area to Jalan Sungai Dua just outside campus. Bus services frequently run from Georgetown and Penang International Airport to the University. If travelling from the mainland, ferries operate from Pengkalan Sultan Abdul Halim Ferry Terminal with a journey time of just over an hour. Visitors with rental cars can travel on the E36 from the mainland over Penang Bridge. The bridge is approximately 30 kilometres in length, and its exit point brings visitors close to the university. Taxis and a limited number of Uber services are available on the island.
Universiti Sains Malaysia was established in 1969 and was the second university in the country. It first opened on borrowed premises in the district of Gelugor. In 1971, it moved to its present site approximately 13 kilometres south of Georgetown. The university specialises all disciplines of science and offers courses at undergraduate and postgraduate levels to over 28,000 students.