Gauhati University was established by an act of the State Legislature, namely, the Gauhati University Act 1947 (Assam Act, XVI of 1947), of the Government of Assam in the year 1948. The University is funded by the University Grants Commission and the Government of Assam. Besides, various agencies of the Central and State Governments provide various grants and assistance for Research and other Academic activities. The University is in its 58th year of existence, and is the oldest, the largest, and the most premiere seat of higher education in the entire North Eastern Region of India.
The first Court meeting of the University was held on 26-1-48 at the old Sudmerson Hall of Cotton College, Guwahati. Accordingly the date '26 January' is observed as the Foundation Day of Gauhati University. Thanks to the relentless and untiring efforts of a band of dedicated workers like Gopinath Bordoloi (the first Chief Minister of Assam. He was awarded 'Bharat Ratna' posthumously), Madhab Bezbarua, Bhubaneswar Barua, Sarat Chandra Goswami, Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed (former President of India), and many others, and the help and co-operation of the people of Assam, the University could be established in 1948.
The University which started functioning from the city centre was shifted to the present campus in 1955-56.
The University has been awarded a "B" Grade on a four point scale, the score point of the Gauhati University being 2.91 by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) of UGC.