Asian University for Women is the first liberal arts university for women in South Asia and is one of only two international universities in Bangladesh. It was originally granted land by the government of Bangladesh and its current campus as well as planned new campus are located in the port city of Chittagong.
AUW's first academic program, the pre-collegiate Access Academy, opened in March 2008 with a class of 130 young women from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, India, Pakistan and Cambodia. The first Access Academy class graduated in July 2009 and continued into the undergraduate program. AUW's current student body comes from 16 countries: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, Canada, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Palestine, Sri Lanka, Syria, and Vietnam. The master plan for AUW's planned permanent campus was designed by architect Moshe Safdie.