Universitas Nasional (hereinafter referred to as UNAS) is the oldest private university (PTS) in Jakarta and the second oldest in Indonesia. Founded in October 15, 1949 on the initiative of prominent figures who gathered in the Association for the Promotion of Sciences and Culture (YMIK). The founders consisted of: R. Teguh Suhardjo Sastrosuwingnyo, Mr. Sutan Takdir Alisjahbana, Mr. Soedjono Hardjosoediro, Prof. SarwonoPrawirohardjo, Mr. Prajitno Soewondo, Hazil, Kwari Katjabrata, Dr. Djoehana, RM Soebagio, Mr. Adam Bakhtiar, Mrs. Noegroho, Drs. AdamBakhtiar, Dr. Bahder Djohan, Dr. Leimena, Ir. Abdul Karim, Prof. Dr. Soetomo Tjokronegoro, Mr. Ali Budiharjo, Poerwodar Minta, Mr. Soetikno, Ir. th. A.Renk, DR. Soemitro Djojohadikusumo, Noegroho, Soejatmiko, HB Jassin, Mochtar Avin, L. Damais, A. Djoehana, Miss Boediardjo and Miss Roekmini Singgih. UNAS was established to accommodate Indonesian senior high school graduates who refused to join Universiteit van Indonesie which was administered under the auspices of the Dutch colonial government.  Founded by a number of prominent Indonesian pro-independent thinkers, the Association had begun offering courses in economics, sociology, politics, and philosophy in 1946 to support the Indonesian independence to meet the needs of the people to learn basic knowledge. The growing numbers of students led the Association to establish a senior high school and afterwards the National Academy as a consequence of the colonial regulation prohibiting Indonesians to set up a university.

The five faculties administered by the National Academy were the Faculty of Social Sciences, Faculty of Economics and Politics; Faculty of Biology; Faculty of Mathematics and Physics; Faculty of Indonesian Literature, and the Faculty of English Literature. These Faculties became the forerunners of UNAS.  As the university gained recognition from the Ministry of Indonesian Education, Teaching, and Culture under the decree No. 548/S issued on December 22, 1949,   further legal process was taken to alter the Association for the Promotion of Sciences and Culture to become the Foundation for the Promotion of Sciences and Culture.  The firm belief and dedication of the founders of the university towards Indonesian independence made the first President of Indonesia, Sukarno, call UNAS a ‘university of struggle.’

Today UNAS, the oldest private university in Jakarta and the second oldest private university in Indonesia remains consistent in upholding its principles on the promotion of sciences and culture. Under the supervision of the Foundation, UNAS has developed 23 undergraduate programs, 6 master programs, and 1 doctoral program,  and have produced thousands of graduates working in various national and international areas. Many of them have been successful in becoming scientists, teachers, business professionals, journalists, cabinet members, members of the People’s Consultative Assembly, heads of local government and national agencies, NGO activists, and artists. In contributing to the development goals of the nation and the challenges of the globalized world, UNAS has upgraded the depth and breath of its curricula into a competence-based curricula, implemented data management information system, and developed researches and community servises to enhance the skills, knowledge, intellectual and moral virtues of its graduates so they will be prepared to take part in finding solutions to the current challenges faced by Indonesia and the global world.  To foster its vision and mission to become one of the best Indonesian research universities, UNAS has strengthened its research programs to raise the quality of its graduates by means of well-directed researches in collaborations with the private sectors, government agencies and ministries, domestic and foreign universities, research institutions, and non-governmental organizations