The University has a unique history that has evolved through different educational phases. It was started in April 1929 by a British Colonial farmer cum educationist by the name William Thomas Alfred Levet.
The Institution was by then a whites’ only primary school with a large farm, which was sold to Guy Bullen in February 1959. Mr. Bullen sold it to Ministry of Agriculture in 1965. Between 1965 and 1970, the Institution served as a Large–scale Farmers training (LSFTC) college.
Since August 2005, several Stakeholder Workshops have been held between the Upgrading Committee and community leaders to sensitize the community on the need to partner and collaborate with the University in higher education management and delivery of services. It was observed that the University would establish satellite campuses in Maralal, Isiolo, Nyahururu and Nanyuki as learning centres for various tailor made programmes. The District Education Board (Laikipia District) was also informed about the plans to upgrade the Campus into a constituent of Egerton University.
Laikipia University was awarded Charter on 19th February 2013 by the then President & Commander in Chief of the Defence Forces of the Republic of Kenya; his Excellency Hon. Mwai Kibaki E.G.H., This made the institution a fully-fledged University.