USTC was established by Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) in Beijing in September, 1958, which was hailed as "a major event in the history of Chinese science and education". In the early 1970s, the University was moved to Hefei, the capital city of Anhui province. As a university affiliated to CAS, USTC has been regarded as the cradle of scientists and research engineers in China.
As a part of CAS, the University has functioned as an important national base for scientific research and technological innovation,operating two national laboratories——National Synchrotron Laboratory and Hefei National Laboratory for Physical Science at the Microscale.
USTC has gained an international reputation for its excellence in education and research. It was ranked the 2nd in mainland China and 49th in the world according to the 2010 World University Rankings by the Times Higher Education Supplement (THES).