University College, Thiruvananthapuram established in 1866 was built to impart English education to the common folk of the erstwhile Travancore by H.H. Sri Ayilyam Thirunal Rama Varma Maharaja. Mr. John Ross, a scholar of repute was appointed Principal of the College. Today, after more than a century of dedicated service to the state, the College stands tall for having produced thousands of luminaries that includes former President of India late Sri. K.R Narayan, Cabinet Secretaries, Ambassadors, Civil Servants, IT doyens, Teachers, Poets, Writers, Artists and Politicians.
Offering 18 UG, 20 PG, 14 M.Phil and 16 Ph. D programmes, the College is undoubtedly vibrant academically. Its architecture, location, history and resourcefulness have made University College a spot not to be missed in the city, if not in the State.The College has staff strength of 215, of whom more than sixty per cent are research degree holders. The College has sixteen research departments, 55 research guides and 141 research scholars. Thus, University College is both a “University” and a “College”. Its student-strength of 3200 comprises pupils from all social classes, mostly from the lower strata. Since the selection procedure to all the courses is based on merit alone, the percentage of financially challenged but meritorious students is the highest in this College.
University College has been re-accredited at grade 'A' with a CGPA of 3.16 by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council of UGC. The college has also been accorded "College with Potential for Excellence" (CPE) status by the University Grants Commission. University College is also one of the Heritages Colleges in Kerala identified by the Government of Kerala.