The University Academic Staff Union was founded upon the principles of Social Justice, labour democracy and democratic action. It is dedicated to the achievement of greater Unity among its members for the purpose of improving their terms and conditions of service, standards of living, social responsibility and empowerment. Bringing fairness and dignity to the workplace and ensuring academic freedom and social equity in the universities.

In 1993, the University Academic Staff Union was formed and duly registered by the Government and whose constitution was adopted on the 2nd of May, 2003. To cater for faculty members at the University of Nairobi and the Kenyatta University College.

Unlike the University Staff Association(USA), which was basically a welfare organisation for staff members, UASU was founded with a larger mandate of improving terms of service, as well as to promote relations between its members and the university council and students.

Each public university has a chapter of UASU which has a committee headed by a chairperson. In addition to the lecturers, senior administrative, technical, library, catering and finance staff can elect to be members of the Universities Academic Staff Union. Currently, UASU has about 10, 000 members, most of them academic staff.