Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) has substantially evolved over the past 50 years through an era of continued progress. This includes the change in name from Institut Teknologi MARA to Universiti Teknologi MARA in 1999. Befitting the occasion, His Royal Highness, Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong is designated the Chancellor of the university . As the third oldest branch campus, UiTM Perlis is also the largest UiTM branch campus, after the main campus in Shah Alam. It is a premier institution of higher learning in Perlis. It was officially established on 5 July 1974, with a pioneer intake 258 students, undergoing 1 preparatory course and 5 diploma programmes.
At its inception, there were 15 academic staff, assisted by 31 administrative and support staff. The campus then operated at a temporary site of the Scouts House at Padang Katong Road, Kangar. In 1980, the campus moved to its permanent site in Arau, on a 335-acre plot granted by the state government. HRH, the Raja Perlis and the state government, totaling 464 acres of campus land. 240 acres of this land are designated for farming and the agricultural unit for the purpose of education, research and as tourist attraction. In 2004, further 129 acres were allocated for research and development activities .
UiTM Perlis has experienced rapid academic progress as well as continuous development in its physical infrastructure. 29 programmes, including 9 degree programmes, 20 diploma programmes are offered by the 7 faculties. Being the largest branch campus, its total full-time student enrolment is 6747. The number of staff is 755, of whom 371 are academic staff, while 384 are non-academic staff. The campus provides various facilities such as 7 male residential halls, 7 female residential halls, dining halls, a library, 82 classrooms, 5 lecture halls, 17 science laboratories, 14 computer laboratories, 2 language laboratories, 7 engineering workshops, a main hall, the mosque, a mini-stadium, and a gymnasium. A number of these facilities namely, the hostels, the main hall and the gymnasium are rented out to the public.