microRNAs (miRNAs) are short noncoding RNAs, which modulate the expression of numerous genes by targeting mRNAs. Numerous abnormal miRNA expression patterns are found in various human malignancies, and certain miRNAs act as oncogenes or tumor suppressors. microRNA-155 (miR‑155) may not only function as an oncogene but also as a tumor suppressor in various types of cancer cells, such as melanoma. Although miR-155 has been found to be upregulated in glioma, its role has not yet been eludicated in glioma tumorigenesis. Based on the prediction of the target genes of miR-155, we hypothesized that there is a significant association between miR-155 and FOXO3a, a negative regulator of Akt signaling. In the present study, we found that FOXO3a expression was significantly downregulated and miR-155 was upregulated in a panel of glioma cells and tissue specimens. Furthermore, we demonstrated that miR-155 induced cell proliferation by inhibiting apoptosis and promoted the migration and invasiveness of glioma cells, while miR-155 had no effect on the cell cycle as determined by gain-of-function and loss-of-function experiments. Moreover, we confirmed that miR-155 downregulated the expression of FOXO3a by directly targeting its 3'-UTR. These findings indicate that miR-155 may function as an oncogene by targeting FOXO3a in the development and progression of glioma.