The concept of Akwa Ibom State University started in October, 2000, when the State Government inaugurated a Committee for its establishment. The Committee which consisted of academics, technical experts and professionals submitted an interim report to the then State Governor in April 2001 and a final report in September, 2001.
Following the acceptance of the report of the University Establishment Committee, the State Government set up an Implementation Committee in December 2001 to carry out the necessary basic functions including the drafting of the enabling law towards the takeoff of the university. The Bill establishing the Akwa Ibom State University of Technology (AKUTECH) was passed by the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly and signed into Law by the then Executive Governor of the State, Arc. (Obong) Victor Attah on 16th of April, 2003.
Given the socio-economic realities in the state, and in order to meet the yearnings and aspirations of the totality of Akwa Ibom people, major changes in the concept and scope of the university had become necessary. Although the philosophy of a technically-biased university was retained, His Excellency, Chief (Dr.) Godswill Obot Akpabio, the Executive Governor of Akwa Ibom felt that the policy thrust of Government should be the establishment of a conventional, multi-campus institution known as Akwa Ibom State University, hence, the change of the name of the university from Akwa Ibom State University of Technology (AKUTECH) to Akwa Ibom State University (AKSU). The bill formally establishing Akwa Ibom State University was signed into law by His Excellency, Chief (Dr.) Godswill Obot Akpabio, the Executive Governor of Akwa Ibom in September 2010.
Professor Sunday W. Petters was appointed the substantive Vice-Chancellor with effect from 1st January 2010. Full academic activities in Akwa Ibom State University started on 1st November 2010 with the admission of the first batch of 300 students in the Main (Mkpat Enin) and Obio Akpa Campuses for the 2010/2011 academic session. This first batch of students were admitted into the Faculties of Engineering, Natural and Applied Sciences, Oceanography and Naval Architecture and Agriculture. Faculty of Social and Management Sciences was introduced in the 2011/2012 academic session.