Universiti Utara Malaysia was established to primarily develop and promote management education in the country. Its academic programmes are especially geared towards providing a broad spectrum of academic knowledge and intellectual skills in the areas of arts, sciences, businesses, law, government and international studies.

In addition to its core business of providing quality teaching, conducting extensive research, and promoting a culture of scholarly publications, the University will contribute to the social, economic, and intellectual development of communities beyond the campus. The University plays this crucial role through engaging the surrounding local communities in community-based projects, and in developing or strengthening community-univeristy partnerships through collaboration with other government agencies and the private sector.