- Karnataka State Open University (KSOU) was established on 1st June 1996 with the assent of H.E. Governor of Karnataka as a full fledged University in the academic year 1996 vide Government of Karnataka notification no ED 1 UOV 95 dated 12th February
1996 (KSOU Act – 1992). The act was promulgated with the object to incorporate an Open University at the State level for the introduction and promotion of Open University and Distance Education systems in the education pattern of the State and for the Co-ordination and determination of standard of such systems.
- With the virtue of KSOU Act of 1992, Karnataka State Open University is empowered to establish, maintain or recognize Colleges and Study Centres at such places in Karnataka and may also open outside Karnataka at such places as it deems fit.
- Karnataka State Open University is a recognized University of Distance Education Council under the aegis of Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) (Revised notification F. No. DEC/OU/Recog./2008).
- Karnataka State Open University is a regular member of the Association of Indian Universities (AIU), New Delhi since 1999 (No. EV/11(80)/99/203935-4172).
- Karnataka State Open University is a permanent member of Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU), London, United Kingdom since 1999. Its member code is: ZKASOPENUINI.
- Karnataka State Open University is a permanent member of Asian Association of Open Universities (AAOU), Beijing, China since 1999.
- Karnataka State Open University has association with Commonwealth of Learning (COL), Vancouver, Canada since 2003. COL is an intergovernmental organization created by Commonwealth Heads of Government to encourage the development and sharing of open learning / distance education knowledge, resources and technologies.