Kannur University was established by the Act 22 of 1996 of Kerala Legislative Assembly. The University by the name "Malabar University" had come into existence earlier by the promulgation of an Ordinance by the Governor of Kerala, on 9th November 1995. The University was inaugurated on 2nd March 1996 by the former Hon. Chief Minister of Kerala. The objective of the Kannur University Act 1996 is to establish in the state of Kerala a teaching, residential and affiliating University, promoting the development of higher education in Kasargod and Kannur revenue districts and the Mananthavady Taluk of Wayanad District.