Azerbaijan State University of Culture and Arts (ASUCA; Azerbaijani: Azərbaycan Dövlət Mədəniyyət və İncəsənət Universiteti) was founded in 1923 on the basis of the Baku Theatrical College. It is Azerbaijan's main state-funded institution of higher education in performing arts.
Azerbaijan State University of Culture and Arts upon its establishment in 1923, ASUCA operated under the name of Theatrical Institute. First admitted students were educated in the fields of theatrical performance, acting and film making. In 1954, Theatrical Institute was named after the famous actor Mirzaagha Aliyev. Since 1959, the school also trained specialists in Cultural Education and, since 1963, in Applied Decorative Arts.
In 1968, the Theatrical Institute was renamed into Azerbaijan State Institute of Arts. During 1981-1991, a number of new disciplines were introduced in curriculum, including those of Painting, Drawing, Sculpture, Art Specialties, Theatre, Cinema, Culturology, and the Industry of Art.