Insaniah University College (IUC) is a university owned by the Kedah State Government and is registered with the Ministry of Higher Education [KPT/JPS/DFT/VS/K03]. IUC which was formerly known as Institut Agama Islam Negeri Kedah Darul Aman (INSANIAH) has been upgraded to Insaniah University College on 15 May 2006. IUC aspires to be a center of knowledge of international standard in its effort to produce graduates who are able to acquire knowledge in the religious and professional fields towards achieving excellence in this world and the hereafter. Integration between academics from abroad and from within the country attracts many local as well as international students from the Republic of China, Iraq, Cambodia, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Brunei, India and others.
HISTORY OF THE ESTABLISHMENT AND DEVELOPMENT OF INSANIAH
INSANIAH’S EARLY HISTORY
The idea of establishing Insaniah first emerged in 1993 when two senior government officials, the Honourable Dato ' Paduka Hj. Ahmad Basri Mohd Akil, State Secretary of Kedah and Tuan Hj. Sukri Hashim, the General Manager of the Islamic Foundation of Kedah (YIK) were on an official visit to Cairo, Egypt. They were in Cairo to meet Kedah students studying at the University of Al-Azhar to monitor their welfare. On this visit, the idea emerged to create an Islamic centre of higher learning in the state of Kedah Darul Aman and to submit the proposal to the state government.
Accordingly, the Honourable Chief Minister of Kedah Darul Aman at that time, Tan Sri Dato 'Sri Hj. Osman Hj. Arof was instructed to draw up a concept paper to set up an Islamic Institute of Higher Education in the state of Kedah which would run a twinning programme with the University of Al-Azhar, Egypt and to propose a working visit to hold initial discussions with the University of Al-Azhar from March 26 to 31, 1994.
The University of Al-Azhar made a reciprocal visit to Kedah from 1st to 7th of September 1994, led by His Excellency the Rector Prof. Dr. Abdul Fatah El-Sheikh Husaini which culminated in the signing of a cooperation agreement (MOU) at the Wisma Darul Aman, Kedah by the former Chief Minister of Kedah, Tan Sri Dato 'Seri Hj. Osman Hj. Aroff and the Rector of Al-Azhar University, Assoc. Dr. Abdul Fattah El-Sheikh Husaini on the 3rd September 1994.
Following these efforts, the Kedah State Legislative Assembly approved the establishment of INSANIAH, on 7th December 1994 in enactment No 4 / 1995 which was subsequently gazetted on 22 June 1995.
The institution was called the 'Islamic Institute of Kedah Darul Aman' or INSANIAH for short. The name of this institute in Arabic is "Al Jamiah Al Islamiah Al Hukumiah Bi Kedah Darul Aman”.
At that time, INSANIAH was officially recognized as a Government Higher Education Institution [IPTK]) by the Ministry of Education and registered under the Education Act 1996 with the registration number K/IPTK/07 (021). INSANIAH also has an executive body which is known as the Majlis, which functions as the organising, regulatory and governing body of Insaniah. The INSANIAH Majlis is chaired by the Honourable Chief Minister of Kedah Darul Aman.
INSANIAH started its operations on October 1, 1995, and at that time just ran a twinning programme in Islamic Studies with Al-Azhar University, Egypt, offering programmes at the first degree level in the fields of Usulluddin, Sharia and Arabic. At that time, Insaniah had only nine Associate Professors consisting of six academics from Al-Azhar University, one from Indonesia and two from Malaysia. The first intake in the 1995/1996 academic year totaled 43 students.
In the early stages of its development, INSANIAH was located in a temporary campus at No 45, Lorong Perak 18, Seri Mergong, 05150 Alor Setar Kedah. The site of the campus was at the Light Industry Park, Mergong, about 1.5 Kilometres from the city of Alor Setar, Kedah Darul Aman. In January 1998, INSANIAH was allocated a budget worth about RM 7 million by the state government to purchase two blocks located in Taman Wira Mergong, Jalan Sultanah, 05350 Alor Setar, Kedah Darul Aman. In the year 2004 INSANIAH was provided a further RM 7.3 million by the state to build two blocks of four additional buildings on its main campus.
ESTABLISHMENT OF KULLIYAH MUAMALAT
In May 2000, INSANIAH took a further stride forward with the establishment of a second campus at Jalan Kg. Baru Alor Setar, called the Kulliyyah of Management Branch Campus to coordinate the programmes in the Diploma in Management and Diploma in Accounting which started in the 2000/2001 session on 11st August 2000. One year later, INSANIAH offered the Diploma in Information Technology studies at the start of the 2001/2002 session. Each of the programmes offered was run under the supervision of Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM).
OPERATIONS OF KULLIYYAH AL QURAN UNDER INSANIAH
INSANIAH was also given further recognition in January 2001 when the Kedah State Government took the decision to transfer the administration Ma'ahad Tahfiz Al-Quran (MTAQ) State of Kedah Darul Aman, which had been operating since 1985 under the Islamic Foundation of the State of Kedah (YINK ) and the Majlis Agama Islam Negeri Kedah (MAIK), to INSANIAH
UPGRADING TO INSANIAH UNIVERSITY COLLEGE
The development of INSANIAH has not only been from the physical perspective but also arrangements are continually being made for the College to upgrade its human capital through various workshops and strategic planning meetings. As a result, on May 15, 2006 INSANIAH received a letter of approval to be upgraded to University College status. Dato 'Mustafa Mohamed, the former Minister of Higher Education presented the official letter of approval to Prof Dato' Dr Sayyid al Mahdaly Muammad Aqiel, the INSANIAH Rector at that time at a ceremony at the Cinta Sayang Golf and Country Club in Sungai Petani. This heralded the beginning of the transformation of INSANIAH with large-scale student entry including many students from overseas.
GROWTH IN THE NUMBER OF PROGRAMMES AND KULLIYYAH
When the new Chief Minister of Kedah, Dato' Seri Ustaz Azizan Bin Haji Abdul Razak, took office he also became Chairman of the INSANIAH Board of Directors. He appointed Prof Dato' Dr Jamil Osman as the fourth Rector of INSANIAH in May 1, 2008. INSANIAH continued to make substantial progress and by the year 2009 was offering 40 courses ranging from the diploma level up to PhD compared to the initial seven programmes. A total of four new Kulliyyah were established, namely the Kulliyyah of Engineering and Technology, the Kulliyyah of Nursing, the Postgraduate and Research Centre and the Foundation Centre.
ESTABLISHMENT OF THE INSANIAH BRANCH CAMPUS IN SUNGAI PETANI
INSANIAH has also opened its new branch campus in Bandar Aman Jaya, Sungai Petani after obtaining approval to operate a branch campus. The official approval letter was presented on January 1, 2009 by Dr Zubaidah Binti Aman, Chief Assistant Director of the Department of Higher Education. As a result, the first group of students enrolled in Sungai Petani on January 19, 2009 in the field of Multimedia and Creativity.
OFFICIAL PROCLAMATION OF HIS MAJESTY TUANKU SULTAN AS CHANCELLOR
On the occasion of the 12th Convocation held on 10 August 12, 2008 His Majesty Tuanku Sultan of Kedah was officially proclaimed as Chancellor of the University College INSANIAH. At the same ceremony, Dato 'Dr Abdul Halim Ismail was appointed as Pro-Chancellor of INSANIAH.
THE PERMANENT KUALA KETIL CAMPUS
On February 18, 2009 INSANIAH continued to carve out its place in history when the dream of having a more conducive and comfortable campus took one step closer to becoming a reality. The campus groundbreaking ceremony for the INSANIAH Kuala Ketil campus was officially carried out on schedule by YAB Dato 'Seri Ustaz Haji Azizan Abdul Razak. A land area of 832 acres is expected to be completed in the first phase by 2012.
INSANIAH is also fostering academic cooperation with institutions both inside and outside the country. An MoU Signing Ceremony between the Sultan Ismail Petra International Islamic College of Kelantan (KIAS) and INSANIAH took place in the office the Chief Minister of Kedah to conduct INSANIAH programmes at KIAS. An MoA was also signed between INSANIAH and University College MAHSA to conduct the MAHSA nursing programme in INSANIAH on December 30, 2008 in the same office.
On August 18, 2009 an MoU between INSANIAH and the Islamic Research and Training Institute (IRTI) - International Development Bank (IDB) Jeddah, Saudi Arabia was signed in the presence of the Chief Minister of Kedah at the Awana Porto Malai, Langkawi in conjunction with the International Conference on Islamic Economics, Banking and Finance.
A working visit was made from 13 to 16 September 2009 to Yemen and Saudi Arabia the fruits of which were the signing of three Memorandums of Understanding between INSANIAH and the King Abdul Aziz Islamic Economic Research University of Saudi Arabia, the Yemen University of Science and Technology and the Charitable Society for The Teaching of al Quran Al Karim Yemen, respectively. The cooperation covers the areas of research and publications related to economics and Islamic banking.
On January 7, 2010 INSANIAH signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the University of Tuanku Imam Padang Indonesia
- envisages itself to become a university that would constantly be under the protection of Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala in its effort to strengthen educational quality of international standard.
- will achieve excellence through the dissemination, exploration and the process of Islamization of knowledge.
- glorifies true knowledge; builds, practises and disseminates that knowledge so as to achieve happiness here and the hereafter through a: Combination of knowledge and civilization. Combination of studies as well as temporal and spiritual activities.
- "Paving the Way to Wisdom"
- To produce a group of people possessing Islamic knowledge and also skilled professionals who practise Islam,
- To develop the Muslim community founded upon the belief espoused by ahlussunnah wal jamaah; displaying open mindedness, rational thinking, vision, character and strong faith,
- To build a body of knowledge based on Islam and to disseminate that knowledge for the benefit of all,
- To exploit the information technology in all aspects of learning, research, consultation, publication and other academic activities,
- To establish academic ties at the international level,
- To create a generation that is pious, noble, balanced, harmonious and holistic.