The Inter-University Gliding Competition has a history of over 35 years, starting in 1979 with a flying competition organised by Nottingham at their home site of Saltby, between themselves and Edinburgh. The year afterwards Cambridge were added to the competition as well, and they hosted it the following year at their home airfield of Duxford.

Since then, the competition has been hosted by different universities in different years, at many different sites, each year making a slight tweak to the rules and the organisation to try out new ideas and keep it interesting for the teams.

The Inter-Unis isn't like a standard gliding competition with races around a set task - instead, it is more of a fun week in which flying and progression is heavily encouraged, and points are given for achievements of any kind, whether it is learning landings or a 500 km cross-country task. Task suggestions are given in the mornings, but competitors are free to decide where they want to fly on a given day, or they might choose to stay flying locally and try and do well in the soaring competition or attempt a duration flight for a gliding badge. Points are also given for some social activities in the week, such as a quiz.

The week is different things to different people - some like to get away from home and fly in a different part of the country, some like to come along to make a lot of progress in their flying with a concentrated week of training, some like the challenge of flying cross-country every day and some like socialising with like-minded people from other parts of the country.