Universitas Andalas is the oldest university outside of Java island and the fourth oldest university in Indonesia. It is ranked amongst the ten best universities in Indonesia with 15 Faculties offering undergraduate, postgraduate, professional and doctoral programmes.
As a leading university in Sumatera, Universitas Andalas actively pursues collaboration with diverse international partners and is a member of the Association of Indian Ocean Rim Universities within the IORA (Indian Ocean Rim Association).
Besides academic infrastructure, the campus accommodates a modern hospital. Universitas Andalas has a Disaster Research Center (DRC) that was established in 2007 to fulfil the needs of communities in West Sumatra dealing with disasters. The objective of the centre is to develop knowledge and technology through research, education, training and consultation with communities and governments.
Along with related government agencies, the DRC has mapped natural disasters in West Sumatra, and they have a regular monitoring and data analysis agenda. The DRC has also been involved in the German-Indonesia Last Mile project which developed and implemented a tsunami evacuation system. In this project, the DRC had the role of conducting a feasibility evaluation of existing buildings in Padang to establish their suitability as vertical evacuation targets.