UWASS was formed in 1963 and has been at RoyalAF St Athan since that date. It is one of 14 University Air Squadrons established at various locations around the UK, Which provide flying training for undergraduates. The Students may be RAF-sponsored, whilst at University, or just be keen in learning to fly, with a possible view of applying for entry on graduation. Many ex-University Air Squadron students have gone on to achieve high rank and distinguished careers in the Armed Forces, or Industry.
UWAS serves the constituent Colleges of the University of Wales at Aberystwyth, Bangor, Cardiff, including UWIC and the College of Medicine, Lampeter, Newport, Swansea, and from the University of Glamorgan. Successful applicants are offered an Officer Cadetship in the RAFVR for a period of two years; however, this is not a binding contract and a student can resign at any time without obligation. There are different regulations for sponsored students.