UNAIR history can be traced back from two educational institutions, Nederlands Indische Artsen School (NIAS) and School Tot Opleiding van Indische Tandartsen (STOVIT); respectively established by Netherlands East Indies’ government in 1913 and 1928. Post-Independence conflicts had stalled its progress, yet in 1948, Dutch government established Tandheelkunding Instituut (a branch of Universiteit van Indonesie, Jakarta); then re-opened and renamed NIAS as Faculteit der Geneeskunde (also a branch of Universiteit van Indonesie, Jakarta).
Indonesian government officially opened Airlangga University as the first higher education institution in East Indonesia in 1954. The inauguration ceremony was done by the first Indonesia president, Dr. Ir. Soekarno; coincidence with the 9th Heroes Day (November 10th, 1954). Legally, the university was established under Government Regulation No. 57/1954.
When first inaugurated, there were five faculties in Airlangga University:
- Faculty of Medicine
- Faculty of Dentistry; initially a branch of the University of Indonesia
- Faculty of Law; initially a branch of Gadjah Mada University
- Faculty of Literature; located in Denpasar. In 1962, it separated itself from Airlangga University and became a part of Udayana University.
- Faculty of Teacher Training and Education; located in Malang. In 1963, it separated itself from Airlangga University and became Teacher Training and Education Institute (IKIP); currently known as Malang National University (Universitas Negeri Malang—UM).
Since then, Airlangga University has been developing by establishing new faculties. Below are the newly established faculties by order:
- Faculty of Economy and Business; established in 1961 and originated from Surabaya Economy University.
- Faculty of Pharmaceutical Science; established in 1963.
- Faculty of Veterinary Science; established in 1972 and originated from Brawijaya University.
- Faculty of Social and Political Science; established in 1977.
- Faculty of Science and Technology; established in 1982 and formerly named Faculty of Mathematics and Science.
- Non-Degree Health Program; developed from Expert Laboratory Education (PALK), yet in 1993 it was disbanded and integrated to several faculties based on its majors.
- Post-graduate Faculty; established in 1982. In 1991, it was renamed as Post-graduate Program.
- Faculty of Psychology; established in 1993 and developed from Psychology Study Program in the Faculty of Social and Political Science.
- Faculty of Public Health; established in 1993 and developed from Public Health Study Program in the Faculty of Medicine.
- Faculty of Literature; established in 1998 and developed from Indonesian Literature Study Program and English Literature Study Program in the Faculty of Social and Political Science. From 2008, it was renamed as the Faculty of Cultural Studies.
- Faculty of Nursing; established in 2008 and developed from Nursing Study Program in the Faculty of Medicine.
- Faculty of Fisheries and Marine Science; established in 2008 and developed from Aquaculture Study Program in the Faculty of Veterinary Science.
Those developments indicate that the presence and performance of the Airlangga University are widely accepted, appreciated, and needed by the society. The development is currently still ongoing by opening new study programs and enhancing the existing majors and degree programs. Currently, Airlangga University comprises of 13 faculties, 1 post-graduate program, and 127 study programs for various degrees; including academic, vocational, and specialist programs to serve more than 20.000 students.
List of Rectors of Airlangga University:
- Mr. A.G. Pringgodigdo [1954-1961]
- Dr. Moh. Toha. [1961-1965]
- CKH. Chasan Durjat, SH. [1965-1966]
- Dr. Dr. Eri Sudewo. [1966-1974]
- Dr. Kwari Setjadibrata. [1974-1975]
- Abdul Gani, SH., MS. [1976-1980]
- Dr. dr. Marsetio Donosepoetro. [1980-1984]
- Dr. Soedarso Djojonegoro. [1984-1993]
- Dr. H. Bambang Rahino S. [1993-1997]
- Dr. H. Soedarto, DTM&H., Ph.D. 1997-2001]
- Dr. Med. Dr. H. Puruhito. [2001-2006]
- Dr. H. Fasich, Apt. [2006-2015]
- Dr. Mohammad Nasih, SE., Mt., Ak., CMA [2015-now]