The history of PTUK has been closely associated with the historical development of the Palestinian issue. It also had been directly affected by those who ruled the area, such as the British mandate and the Jordanian rule up to present day Palestinian Authority and the State of Palestine as a member of the UN member states.
Towards the end of the Ottoman’s rule, there was a state of illiteracy spreading in the Palestinian area in general and in the rural areas in particular. This had facilitated the coming of the British Mandate as a new occupation of the Palestinian land, including Jordan, which was followed by the infamous Belfour Declaration, promising the Jews a state in Palestine. These tragic events prompted the Palestinian communities – which were mostly rural at that time – to do something significant to help change the situation. They decided to begin a process of educating their children. Their aims were, through education, they can preserve the national identity of the future generation and also help them get rid of illiteracy as a mean of challenge to the occupation.
Part of this effort was translated in donating land and money to build schools and colleges in the areas where there was widespread illiteracy. The people of Tulkarem and district for instance donated a massive 600 Acers (an equivalent to 600,000 m2) from the best plot they have to build an agricultural school. They achieved their objectives with the help of a donation of 140 Palestinian pounds from a British Jewish business man named Ales Eely Kadoorie (who was a resident of the British Colony Hong Kong at the time). This financial donation and the donated land resulted in the building of the agricultural school in 1930 and it was called it Kadoorie in recognition of the kind donation made by the British donor, Mr. Kadoorie.
The school was established under the auspices of the Palestinian Agriculture and Forestry Service with the collaboration of the Palestinian Education Bureau. The school consisted of two floors incorporating, in addition to the classrooms, a library, a kitchen, dining room as well as a student resident section – as it was designed to be a boarding school in 1934 .
Teaching commenced in the school in 1931 with a total of 60 students. The enrolled students were selected from those who completed their secondary education with excellent grades. Each student paid 12 Palestinian pounds per year as a tuition fee as well as for boarding. The duration of the study program was 3 years leading to a diploma in agriculture upon successful completion.
Between 1936 and 1939, which was the time of the Arab revolt, and the eve of World War II, the British military took control of the school. A major part of its agricultural land remained under the British Mandate until 1946. Then in 1948, the Jews annexed 200 Acers from the land that was on the western side of the Railway lines.
In 1948, the British lifted their mandate on Palestine. However, a few months after this date, the UN declared its resolution # 181 which resolved to dividing the land of Palestine between the Arabs and the Jews. Fortunately, Kadoorie and most of the remaining land came within the area that was to be run by the Jordanian Administration. In 1961, the school was upgraded to a college and was given the name “Hussein Agricultural College” which was administered by the Jordanian Ministry of Education. The duration of the program changed to 2 years instead of three.
In 1965, the college opened its first teacher training department, to train teachers of mathematics and science, on a two years training program following the completion of the secondary education.
The name of the college had changed yet again in 1968, following the Israeli occupation of the remaining Palestinian area. The new name was AL Husain Agricultural Institute .
After the Israeli occupation of the rest of the Palestinian territories with regard to its rehabilitation in 1968 the university name was changed from the Faculty of Agricultural Hussein to the Agricultural Institute / Tulkarem, and in the beginning of 1982 has been added new specialties to prepare teachers in literary disciplines, In 1993 it changed its name to Polytechnic College.
In 1994, the College's responsibility was transferred to the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) and the Ministry of Education and Higher Education. Its name became “The College of Technical Technology-Tulkarem-Kadrooie” . In 1999,the college started giving the bachelor degree in two specialist which are electrical engineering and P.E.(Physical Education) . In 2004, a new specialization was added, granting a bachelor's degree in technological education.
As the Al-Aqsa Intifada began, 28 September 2000, the Palestine Technical College-Tulkarem "Kadoorie" faced the worst violations and attacks against the institution and its human and material capabilities. The process continues to confiscate and steal more than 23 Acers of university land.
On August 28, 2007, it was transferred to Technical University (Palestine Technical University-Kadoorie). It is awarded a bachelor's degree in a number of specializations: technical bachelor, electrical engineering, physical education, technological education, industrial automation engineering and computerized financial and banking sciences.
On July 26, 2008, a presidential decree was issued appointing Dr. Daoud Al Zaatari - the first president of the Technical University of Palestine – Kadoorie , and working to promote this ancient academic edifice and reach it to the best local, regional and international universities.
Since that date, the Department has worked on the establishment of the statute of the University and the completion of the organizational structure and academic, administrative and technical staff. The development plan was developed in two stages: the first five years and the tenth through the construction of new colleges and the opening of unique specialties and complementary to the other disciplines available in the other Palestinian universities to meet the needs of the Palestinian labor market, local and Arab and international also. The development plan aims at improving the level of technical and technological higher education at the university and its quality through attracting qualified cadres with distinguished expertise and providing all the necessary modern equipments for all the university facilities.
In 2009 new disciplines were opened in Communications Engineering, Computer Engineering, Mechatronics Engineering, Applied Mathematics and Industrial Management.
In 2013, under the leadership of its second president, Prof. Marwan Al-Awartani, the University's administration managed to dedicate the "Pioneering, Innovation and Discrimination" approach by expanding the University's existing academic and research programs, attracting Palestinian and Arab scientific and scientific cadres and strengthening the exchange of knowledge with dozens of international universities. And the recovery of nearly 140 acres of university land which was held by several official institutions.
In the context of the University's efforts to make a quantum leap, the University is close to complete the process of rectifying and completing the legislative reform of the status quo through the adoption of a special administrative and financial law