Kaohsiung City Government, with the aim of promoting adult education and implementing the concept of lifelong learning, established the Open University of Kaohsiung in February 1997 and started student recruitment in August 1997. As the University accepts students with any educational background, has no entrance examination, and provides distance learning, it has become an efficient way for adults who wish to obtain academic degrees. As of today, more than 6,000 students have graduated from the University, making it an important center for adult education in southern Taiwan.
The University started off with five departments: Law and Political Science, Foreign Languages and Literature, Industrial and Business Administration, Mass Communication, and Culture and Arts. To be in line with the industrial development in southern Taiwan, the Department of Technology Management was established in 2006 to nurture the service and management talents required by the industry. In addition to the six departments, there is also a General Education Center that provides a general education curriculum, with varied learning opportunities catering to the public.