A Brief History of the University

Sunway University


As one of the entities within the Sunway Education Group, Sunway University has rapidly grown into a leading brand name in Malaysia’s higher education sector, gaining a name for itself as a high-quality private not-for-profit institution. Here are some of the milestones along our journey since our initial foundation in 2004.


  • Business and Management Studies subject ranked in top 450 in the world
  • Sunway University appoints President Sibrandes Poppema
  • Sunway University ranked within the top 200 in the world for SDG 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • The University steadily rises to #651-700 in the QS World University Rankings 2022
  • The University emerged as a 5 Star rated (Excellent) institution for the second time in QS Stars Audit
  • The University also received 5 Stars Specialist Criteria for Bachelor of Science (Honours) Actuarial Studies as well as 5 Stars for other categories: Employability, Academic Development, Internationalization, Facilities, Social Responsibility, and Inclusiveness
  • Sunway University has risen from position #473 in 2020 to #280 in 2021 as the World's Most Sustainable University


  • Entered the UI Green Metric Ranking for the first time (#473)
  • Student number passes 8000 for the first time
  • Construction starts on the next campus building - a lakeside futuristic building providing new homes for the Business School and the School of Arts as well as a hub for community arts in Sunway City to feature a large concert hall and theatre
  • Ranked #172 in QS World University Rankings 2021 edition for Asia region
  • The University rises to 701-750 in the QS World University Rankings 2021
  • Received a QS Subject Ranking for the first time in Business and Management Studies (#451-500)
  • Awarded SETARA Tier 5 in the Emerging Universities category


  • Ranked #194 in QS World University Rankings 2020 edition: Asia
  • Sunway University's Premier Digital Tech University status extended to 2021
  • Sunway University enters the QS World Rankings 2020 for the first time and achieves a ranking within the range of 751–780
  • Sunway University is ranked within the top 150 young universities in the world (under 50 years old) for the first time by QS
  • Two international collaborative research centres launched (The Future Cities Research Institute with Lancaster University, UK, and The Joint Research Centre on IT with Huizhou University, China)
  • Malaysian team won the World Pastry Cup 2019 led by Sunway University team
  • Sunway University awarded honorary doctorate to Tan Sri Dr Teh Hong Piow
  • Awarded Sin Chew Education Gold Award


  • Sunway University is placed 232nd in the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) Asia University Rankings, placing it in the top 2% of universities in Asia
  • Launch of Sunway University Press, the academic publishing arm of Sunway University
  • Launch of iLABS Makerspace at Sunway University
  • Sunway University becomes the first non-governmental linked private university to attain a 5 Star QS Rating
  • Two Sunway University Professors named top 1% most highly cited researchers in the world in 2018
  • Accounting and Finance subject rated 4 stars in QS Stars rating system
  • Achieved Five stars overall rating in QS Stars University rating with five stars rating in individual categories of Teaching, Employability, Facilities, Inclusiveness and Social Responsibility
  • Awarded PUTRA Brand Gold award for Education
  • Malaysian team won the Asian Pastry Cup 2018 led by Sunway University team
  • Top in Asia for campus buildings design and quality according to Student Barometer survey entry wave 2017


  • Sunway University gained its first international ranking in the QS Asia University Rankings, placing it in the top 2.5% of universities in Asia
  • Sunway University became one of only eight universities in Malaysia to be awarded the status of Premier Digital Technology University
  • Attained ISO 9001:2015 certification
  • Awarded SETARA 5-star rating in the “Emerging University” category
  • Awarded 1st Superbrand in education in Asia
  • Top in Malaysia for Overall Learning Experience, Quality Lecturers, and Employability according to Student Barometer survey wave 2016
  • Partnership with Lancaster University extended for further ten years
  • The total number of enrolled students surpassed 7,000


  • Launch of the Jeffrey Sachs Center on Sustainable Development at Sunway University
  • Inaugural Cambridge-Oxford-Sunway Biomedical Symposium held at Sunway University
  • Top in Asia for Employability and Overall Learning Experience according to Student Barometer survey wave 2015


  • Official opening of Sunway University’s new 12-storey campus building
  • Sunway University achieved its first international rating as an overall 4-star university with top 5-star ratings for teaching, facilities and employability by the QS ranking and rating agency
  • Top in Asia for Employability according to Student Barometer survey entry wave 2014
  • The total number of enrolled students surpassed 5,000


  • Establishment of the Jeffrey Cheah Institute on Southeast Asia at Sunway University
  • Awarded SETARA'13 Tier 5 (Excellent) rating


  • Sunway University College officially upgraded to full university status by the Ministry of Education of Malaysia and renamed as Sunway University
  • The total number of enrolled students surpassed 2,500


  • Launch of the Jeffrey Cheah Foundation, a charitable not-for-profit body taking ownership of institutions under the Sunway Education Group including Sunway University College
  • Sunway University College established partnership with Le Cordon Bleu International, which grants professional certification to graduates from the former’s hospitality programme


  • Sunway University College received a 5-star “excellent” rating in the first official rating system for Malaysian universities and university colleges known as SETARA; the University continues to receive 5-star ratings in all subsequent SETARA exercises


  • First cohort of graduates with dual degrees from both Sunway University College and Lancaster University


  • Sunway University College established partnership with Lancaster University, UK, through which graduates can receive dual degrees from both institutions


  • The establishment of Sunway University College as an independent degree-awarding institution of the Sunway Education Group


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