First Residential College is the oldest of the residential colleges at the University of Malaya. It was built in 1959 and consists of three blocks, namely Block A, B and C. The first group of student staying at this college was only 28. This figure increases to 265 people in the following years. At that time, the residents are the year three students from the Faculty of Arts and Engineering who has been transferred from the University of Malaya, Singapore branch. In 1971, two additional blocks, Block D and Block E has been built to meet the accommodation needs of students in which they can accommodate up to 270 new occupants.
During its early years, it was occupied by male residents only. At that time, there are no female students due to their very number. However, by the year 1968, the college had given permission once again to the girl particularly senior student to stay in college. They are placed in Block A while male student stayed in Block B and Block C. At present, the number of its resident has reached up to 700 students.
College was initially known as the First Colleges as it is the first college was built at the University of Malaya. It was later renamed to the name Tuanku Abdul Rahman College (TARC) in conjunction with the name of HRH His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Sultan Abdul Rahman Ibni Tuanku Muhammad. In 1978, TARC has been changed to the Asrama Tuanku Abdul Rahman (ASTAR). In 1993, it was renamed once again to the First Residential College.
In 1968, the college organized sports activity between TARC-NHP (Duncan Road Hostel, Singapore) for the first time. In 1982, a friendly match between TARC with Sheares Hall was held. As win always favor to the college, it has always been respected by other colleges.
In terms of other activities, PRIMA, the annual college magazine was first published in 1965. TARC news published in 1969 and was replaced to the SINAR ASTAR in 1980. To date, the annual college magazine is still published under the name of FIRST magazine.
The first band of ASTAR, THE RAMANITES was established in 1967. Two years later, the college choir team was formed and named TARC SING ALONG CHOIR. In the same year, the college song, UP FIRST RC has been produced. In 1992, the ALUMNI has been established where members are former residents of this college. The first honorable President is the Datuk K. Pathmanathan. In the early 60’s, the college activities had been governed by the JCRC (JUNIOR COMMON ROOM COMMITTEE) which was later replaced by the MBA (MAJLIS BERMESYUARAT ASRAMA) in 1975. Subsequently, the MBA was repealed and replaced by the JIA (JAWATANKUASA INDUK ASRAMA) and JTA (DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE), which consists Community, Academic, Creative, Sports and Spirituality.
Up to now, there is a change in the name of both the administration and activities of the college. The word “HOSTEL” at the JIA and JTA has replaced the “College” of JIK and JTK appropriate to its function. From there, the five JKP has been maintained and changed its name to Community and Welfare, Academic and Intellectual, Creativity and Arts, Sports and Recreation, and the Ethics and Patriotism.