Yunnan University is the university which has the longest history in Yunnan province. There are one building in the Donglu campus even can be traced back to 1499 AD.
Yunnan Gongyuan is located behind the main building of Yunnan University Huize Garden, it is a traditional Chinese style building. It was built in 1499 AD, already has 500 hundreds years history. Gongyuan is the examination room for the imperial examinations of the Ming and Qing dynasties.
Yunnan University was founded in December 1922, began to enroll students on 20th April,1923.
Private Donglu University transformed to Provincial Donglu University in 1930. Yunnan Provincial Teachers College merged into Provincial University to Donglu in 1932. At that time, university had School of Arts (department of politics and economics and law), School of Engineering (department of civil engineering, mining and metallurgy) and School of Education.
Provincial University of Donglu renamed as Provincial University of Yunnan in September 1934, it has became one of earliest comprehensive universities in the western frontier of China.
In 1938, Provincial University of Donglu transformed into National University of Yunnan. It is the most glorious period in history of Yunnan University. In 1946, National University of Yunnan had five schools, 18 departments, three special training courses and three laboratories. It has been listed in the Britannica Concise Encyclopedia as one of the fifteen most prestigious universities in China.
In this period, Yunnan University affiliated to the Ministry of Higher Education. During the early 1950s, the government began reforming the Chinese education system. After readjustment, Yunnan University only had two shools and six departments.
Yunnan University had affiliated the Yunnan Provincial since August 1958. Yunnan University now has two campus, Donglu campus and Chenggong campus. Chenggong campus has officially put into use as the main campus in September 2010.