The University of Malaya is a public research university located in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It is the oldest and highest ranking Malaysian institution of higher education according to two international ranking agencies.The predecessor of the university, King Edward VII College of Medicine, was established on 28 September 1905 in Singapore, then a territory of the British Empire. In October 1949, the merger of the King Edward VII College of Medicine and Raffles College created the university. Rapid growth during its first decade caused the university to organize as two autonomous divisions on 15 January 1959, one located in Singapore and the other in Kuala Lumpur. In 1960, the government of Malaysia indicated that these two divisions should become autonomous and separate national universities. One branch was located in Singapore, later becoming the National University of Singapore after the independence of Singapore from Malaysia, and the other branch was located in Kuala Lumpur, retaining the name University of Malaya. Legislation was passed in 1961 and the University of Malaya was established on 1 January 1962. In 2012, UM was granted autonomy by the Ministry of Higher Education.