Turkey had a "world university" with the founding vision, in August 1995, from 22 countries, working in different disciplines over 50 scientists, researchers, students and business people met in a search conference in Istanbul. The philosophy of a world university to be established in Istanbul was created at the conference: "To create and develop together".

The search conference was followed by the work of design committees supported by student trends research. During the design process, 13 design committees were formed to work on programs and courses within the framework of interdisciplinary approaches.The University Administration Project was initiated together with Deloitte & Touche consulting firm in order to create the business processes and management structure of the university, as well as the academic design studies.

At the end of Sabancı University's design studies, instead of choosing a single university as a model or imitating different examples and practices, a new and unique university model was created.

Sabancı University's groundbreaking ceremony was held on July 31, 1997. In October 1998, following the emergence of the general structure of the university, an application was made to become a member of the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM). Our university admitted to the EFQM membership is the first university in Turkey and accepted.

Sabancı University started teaching in October 1999 by welcoming its first students. Our university is today taken as an example by many universities in Turkey and abroad.