The Cultural Centre began in 1970 as the Culture Unit under the Office of Public Affairs of the University of Malaya. In 1975, the Unit was renamed the Cultural Centre, and placed under the Chancellery of the University. The Centre’s responsibilities include the planning, management and organisation of activities, and the promotion of arts and culture to students and staff of the University. Since 1997, the Cultural Centre has expanded into a research and teaching faculty, offering courses in drama, music and dance. In 2017, the Centre’s Visual Art Department will begin offering an undergraduate programme.
The Cultural Centre of the University of Malaya is part of the academic network of SOUTHEAST OF NOW: Directions in Contemporary and Modern Art, and supports in the promotion of discourse and scholarship of the region.