Andhra University is not just one of the oldest educational institutions in the country, but is also the first to be conceived as a residential and teaching-cum-affiliating University, mainly devoted to post-graduate teaching and research.
The people of the State have an emotional attachment to the institution, since it came into being after a prolonged and collective struggle of the Telugu elite for a University in the educationally backward northern Circars and Ceded districts of the erstwhile Madras Presidency.
Andhra University was constituted in the year 1926 by the Madras Act of 1926. The 86-year-old institution is fortunate to have Sir C.R. Reddy as its founder Vice-Chancellor, as the steps taken by this visionary proved to be fruitful in the long run.
Former President of India Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan was one of its Vice-Chancellors who succeed Dr. C. R. Reddy in 1931. The University College of Arts was inaugurated on 1 st July, 1931. The inaugural courses were Telugu language and literature, History, Economics and Politics. A year later, the College of Science and Technology came into being with Honours courses in Physics and Chemistry. The University pioneered in introducing many new courses in Science, Arts, Management and Engineering in the country.
The leaders of the university always believed that excellence in higher education is the best investment for the country and engaged the services of famous educationists such as Dr. T.R. Seshadri, Dr. S. Bhagavantham, Professor Hiren Mukherjee, Professor Humayan Kabir and Dr. V.K.R.V. Rao, to mention a few who set high standards for teaching and research. Nobel Lariat C V Raman was the proud alumnus of the University and closely associated in laying research foundations in Physics. Padmavibhushan Prof. C R Rao, the renowned statistician of the world, was also the proud alumnus of the University.
Keeping in pace with the global needs and challenges under the leadership and guidance of successive Vice-chancellors, the University is offering several new Courses of relevance and Contemporary significance.
Ever since its inception in 1926 Andhra University has an impeccable record of catering to the educational needs and solving the sociological problems of the region. The University is relentless in its efforts in maintaining standards in teaching and research, ensuring proper character building and development among the students, encouraging community developmental programmes, nurturing leadership in young men and women and imbibing a sense of responsibility to become good citizens, while striving for excellence in all fronts.
As a sequel to this, the University has always subjected itself for continuous self-evaluation for maintaining standards and to reach set targets. Further, to assure quality in Higher Education the University has gone through the process of assessment and accreditation by National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) in April 2002. The Peer Committee has analyzed the strengths and weaknesses of the institution and has assessed the University with ‘A' grade awarding it with the best percentage among the State Universities of Andhra Pradesh. The University designed and implemented Quality Management System successfully and became the first general University in the country to get ISO 9001: 2000 Certification in 2006.
The University Presently is Offering 313 Courses in Arts, Commerce, Management, Science & Technology, Engineering, Law, Pharmacy and Education. The University has five constituent colleges and four AU Campuses. The Colleges of Arts and Commerce is the biggest constituent college in the University with 26 Departments offering 42 courses including four Diploma Courses. The College of Science and Technology has 21 Departments, which offers 63 Courses including one PG Diploma. The College of Engineering has 15 Departments offering Undergraduate, Postgraduate and Research Programmes. The College of Law has been identified as an advanced Center in Law by UGC. The college of Pharmaceutical Sciences is first of its kind in South India, which is offering one UG Programme and six PG Programmes, besides Research Programmes leading to Ph.D. Degree. The AU campus at Kakinada (East Godavari District) has five Departments and the AU Campus at Etcherla (Srikakulam Dist) has Eleven Departments. The AU Campus at Tadepalli Gudem has four departments and AU Campus at Vizianagaram has five Departments.
The University is spread in a sprawling campus of 422 acres dotted with 121 buildings of Academic, Administrative and support services with a plinth area of about 20 lakhs sq.ft., and 324 staff quarters. Presently the University catering the Educational needs of five green districts of Andhra Pradesh namely Visakhapatnam, East Godavari, West Godavari, Vizinagaram and Srikakulam.
The University campus is having 23 hostels for men which can accommodate more than 3200 students and 10 hostels exclusively for women with a capacity of more than 2000 seats. Two Hostels are specially constructed for foreign students. The University has also two Residential Health Centres one at south campus and the other at north campus and a homoeo Dispensary. The University has four Guest Houses, Central Canteen and four canteens at various locations, Press and Publication division, Women Waiting Halls, Faculty Club and Schools for Employees Children.
The University is also having student services and welfare centres in the campus like post and Telegraph office, Banking facilities, University employment and Guidance bureau, training and placement centre and a sports complex including a Gymnasium Hall.
The other infrastructural facilities available in the University include Academic Staff College, Computer Centre and Press & Publications division. The University is also having 25 Research centers/institution in the campus like Agro- Economic research Centre, Centre for Religious studies, Centre for Women s Studies, Delta studies Institute , Institute of public sector management, Institute for yoga and Consciousness and population Research Centre, OASTC, Bay of Bengal, etc.,
The University has started school of Distance Education in the campus in 1972. It offers Courses ranging from Certificate Courses to Post Graduate and Professional Courses. The School of Distance Education presently offering 4 UG Programs, 18 PG Programs, 5 Certification Courses, 9 PG Diploma Courses, 15 Professional Courses and 7 Collaborative Courses through Distance Education Mode. The School has 35 study centres across the State. The enrolment in UG, PG, and Professional Programmes in the School of Distance Education is about 80,000 students. The School has 23 permanent faculty. It is Equipped with the latest infrastructure.
The University has well experienced and export faculty known world wide for their research contributions. There are 354 Professors, 198 Associate. Professors and 115 Asst. Professors serving the University. Organization of International and National events is a regular feature of the University. There are more than 2500 support staff working in the University.
The alumni of the University occupy important positions in government administration, Industry and research organizations with in and out side the country. The Government of Andhra Pradesh has appointed the professors of the University as chairman and vice-chairman of the APSCHE and presently ten Universities had Vice-chancellors from Andhra University.
The University has recently organized the 95 th session of the Indian Science Congress, from 3 rd to 7 th January, 2008. The Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh has inaugurated the Congress and in his address he refered to the University as a Magnificient University and has all appreciation for the way the mega event was organized.
There are 365 affiliated colleges spread across five districts under the territorial jurisdiction of Andhra University. The enrolment in Affiliated Colleges is about one Lakh.