First Residential College (Tunku Abdul Rahman Residential College) is the oldest residential college in University of Malaya. It was built in 1959 and was comprised of 3 blocks, namely block A, B and C. Since the pioneer batch of only 28 students who resided in this college, the college has grown to house 265 students. The pioneer batch mainly consisted of third year students from the faculty of arts and the faculty of engineering, who were previously based in the Singapore campus. With the growth of students, the year 1971 saw two new blocks built, block D and E, which can host up to 270 new students each.
Initially, the First Residential College only housed male students, but in 1968, the college opened its doors to female students, who were put up in block A, with their male counterparts occupying blocks B and C. The number of students who stayed here grew rapidly and reached 700 and today it regularly houses over 800 students.
The college's first annual magazine, prima was published in 1965. KTAR news was published in 1969 and was subsequently replaced by Sinar ASTAR in 1980. Currently, ASTAR's magazine is fondly named PERTAMA. In 1992, alumni were established to unite ex-residents of ASTAR, and were headed by Yb. Datuk K. Pathmanathan as its first president.
The college was initially named First College, being the foremost residential college to be built in UM. The name was subsequently changed to Kolej Tuanku Abdul Rahman (KTAR), in honor of the first D.Y.M.M Seri Paduka Baginda Yang Di-Pertuan Agong, Tuanku Abdul Rahman Ibni Almarhum Tuanku Muhammad. In 1978, KTAR was changed to Asrama Tuanku Abdul Rahman (ASTAR). In 1993, ASTAR was also known as First Residential College.
Dr. Firdaus Hariri