The idea to establish a university in West Kalimantan grew in the midst of strong emotional attachment among West Kalimantan public figures. This idea was fully supported by society even though there were members of society who were pessimistic about the plan. It is natural that pros and cons exist when it comes to decision making.

Those in favour of the idea envisioned to achieve the goals of Indonesia’s independence proclaimed by Soekarno-Hatta on August 17, 1945, namely the attainment of just and prosperous societies. To attain a just and prosperous society, West Kalimantan province must be led by personnel with advanced knowledge and high dedication. The reality at that time dictated that the establishment of a university was an ideal that should be realized.

With touching and thrilling words, Ismail Hamzah reflected the great attention and longing of the public figure for the coming of a university. He expressed his sincere concern about the fate of the education of the next generations. His principle was that he did not want West Kalimantan to be left behind in education. Finally, with strong determination and firm attitude of the university initiators there came into existence a private university named UNIVERSITAS DAYA NASIONAL, which has now become UNIVERSITAS TANJUNGPURA.

The Daya Nasional University Foundation was verified by the notary public, Achmad Mourthada in Pontianak with Notarial Deed Number 13, dated March 10, 1959, which covered the founders, management executives, commissioners, the board of regents and university directors. The founders of Universitas Daya National are as follows: Eddhy Kresno, Soeharjono, BA, Muzani Abdulrani, Raden Soewarjo, Jusuf Tjun, Mohamad Janis, Djoehoerman Soekardi, Haji Achmad Manshur, Ismail Hamzah, Abi Nurairah Fattah, Madam Soetitah Soedarso, Ramli Saleh, Fransiscus Conradus Palaunsuka, Raden Wignjosoeparto, Tadjuddin Fattah, dr. Lim Khiong Wan, Ali Aswat Saleh, Then Hon Chiap, Raden Djenal Asikin Soedadibrata, Raden Soeharto, Johannes Chrysostomus Oevang Oeray, Raden Mas Honggopranoto, DR. Mas Soedarso, Drs. Amir Nur Rachman, Raden Wariban.

As time passed by, Universitas Tanjungpura (Untan) has gained several advancements. Today, it is the first state university in Pontianak with around 5,000 students enrolling every year. Untan offers 6 diploma programs, 64 undergraduate programs, 21 master programs, 2 doctoral programs, and 3 profession programs and has 9 Faculties: Law, Economics, Agriculture, Engineering, Social and Political Sciences, Teacher Training and Education, Forestry, Mathematics and Natural Science, and Medicine. Graduates of Untan have been very well accepted at government institutions, business companies, and international organizations.

Untan has been working to standardize its services to meet international requirements. This is reflected in its vision that by 2020 Untan graduates will play an important role to advance science and technology in the international community. Pursuing its international compatibility, Untan is regularly sending its lecturers to take master or doctoral degree to high-ranking universities around the world. Recently, Untan has established international cooperation with both business and governmental organizations, among others: HANBAN (Confucius Institute Headquarters), Guangxi University for Nationalities, Embassy of the United States, British Council Indonesia, Rice Research Institute of Guangxi Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Institute Francais Indonesia, University of Poitiers, Sabre Foundation, LIPPO Group, USAID-HELM, and IDB. Besides, Untan also runs eighteen (18) research centres which mostly concern on four major areas: tropical wet and peat soil; sustainable energy; border study; and ethnic and biodiversity.