Sabancı University (Turkish: Sabancı Üniversitesi), established in 1994, is a young foundation university located on a 1.26 million squaremeter campus which is about 40 km from Istanbul’s city center. Its first students matriculated in 1999. The first academic session started on October 20, 1999.
Under the guidance of one of Turkey’s leading family foundations, Sabancı Vakfı (Sabancı Foundation), the Sabancı Group established Sabancı University in July 1994. More than 50 academics from 22 countries, students and private sector leaders participated in the Search Conference in August 1995. This conference was followed by university development committees, which worked under the direction of a Student Trend and Preference Survey and other academic program design activities. The groundbreaking ceremony for the University campus took place on July 31, 1997. The university began its second academic year on October 20, 1999.
In fall 2014, the University entered the Times Higher Education (THE) rankings in the 182nd position – the Turkish university with the highest rank upon initial entry to the list. Moreover, it was the only foundation university in Turkey to be included in the rankings. In Spring 2016, Sabancı University ranked 10th worldwide in THE’s list of small universities, those institutions with fewer than 5,000 students but that teach and research across more than four disciplines. SU also placed among the top 10,000 universities globally in the QS World University Rankings. In addition, the University was named the most innovative and entrepreneurial university in 2012 and 2016, and the most innovative foundation university in 2013 and 2014, in the Ministry of Science, Industry and Technology’s University Entrepreneurship and Innovation Index.