In 1988, the Quezon City Council passed an ordinance to create a technical committee that conducted a series of studies on the establishment of Quezon City Polytechnic University. The committee was composed of Quezon City officials to lead the said committee – QC Mayor as the Chairman, QC Vice Mayor as the Co-chairman, QC Chairman of the Committee on Education as the Vice-Chairman. At the same time, the QC Treasurer, Director of the Bureau of Higher Education (Department of Education, Culture and Sports), a former University of the Philippines President, representatives from Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, Technological University of the Philippines and Polytechnic University of the Philippines, and four members of the City Council were part of the technical committee as members.
As the result of the studies and to kick-off the establishment of Quezon City’s Local University, the Quezon City Polytechnic was created on March 1, 1994, by the virtue of the City Council Ordinance No. SP-0171 for the training and development of skilled and technical workers. Three-year Associate Programs were introduced in the Polytechnic on Academic Year 1994-1995, which were designed to develop highly competent technicians for the industry in Automotive Technology, Electrical Technology, Welding Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Technology, and Fashion Technology. The institution offered additional three-year Associate Programs for Electronics Technology, Mechanical Technology or Machine Shop, Computer Technology, and an industry-led pilot course in Boiler Technology in the following Academic Year. The Polytechnic established its reputation among local government units as a show window and model technology-based institution paving the way for its recognition of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and developing a strong alliance with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
In 1997, the SP-544, S-97 has been passed by the Quezon City Council, which authorized the City Government to establish its own Higher Education Institution by enhancing existing Quezon City Polytechnic – Pamantansang Politekniko ng Lungsod Quezon or Quezon City Polytechnic University. After years of preparations and budget allocations, the Quezon City Council enacted City Ordinance No. SP-1030, S-2001, providing for the Charter and the formal establishment of Pamantasang Politeknikal ng Lungsod Quezon or Quezon City Polytechnic University and strengthened its management.
The University started offering bachelor’s degree programs for Entrepreneurial Management, Industrial Engineering, and Information Technology in the Academic Year of 2005-2006. The Quezon City Council amended the University’s Charter in 2009 through the enactment of City Ordinance, SP-1945, S-2009. This is to provide further fiscal and administrative autonomy to the University, which helped the institution to optimize its academic initiatives and creativity. This ordinance allowed the University to enhance its bachelor’s degree offerings; the curriculums of Information Technology and Entrepreneurship (previously known in the University as Entrepreneurial Management) programs have been improved in AY 2010-2011. In the following Academic Year, the university’s bachelor’s degree program for Electronics Engineering has been offered.
To support the K-12 initiative of the national government, the University started temporarily offering Senior High School programs (ABM, STEM, and TechVoc Strands) through the enactment of City Ordinance SP-2308 in 2014. The QCPU Senior High School started accepting students from Academic Year 2016-2017 until Academic Year 2020-2021. In Academic Year 2019-2020, the Quezon City Polytechnic University has been converted to Quezon City University to align with the RA 10931, also known as Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act, to provide free higher education in State and Local Universities and Colleges. This has been enacted by the Quezon City Council through SP-2812 or known as Quezon City University Charter of 2019. In the same Academic Year, the University started offering bachelor’s degree in Accountancy.
The University prides itself in employing its graduates and serves as a tool for national development, particularly in Quezon City. Under the leadership of Dr. Theresita V. Atienza, the first elected QCU president who was appointed on November 6, 2020, the University received its Certificate of Recognition as a full-fledged Higher Education Institution by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED). QCU became one of the first local universities in the National Capital Region to receive such recognition following the release of CHED En Banc Resolution No. 105-2021 dated March 17, 2021.
The institutional recognition bestowed upon QCU also entitled the University to receive the benefits allotted under the Unified Student Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education or UniFAST according to Republic Act No. 10687.