Empowering Bold Leaders

Projected to open in September 2016, the AWLU will be a private, not-for-profit university modeled on the U.S. "Seven Sisters" liberal arts colleges. With Smith College (USA) as the chief academic planning partner, the institute will combine American-style liberal arts and sciences education with a leadership and entrepreneurship curriculum relevant to Asia. We will seek promising women from diverse backgrounds to be a part of our vibrant residential learning community.



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The AWLU Project regrets to inform all of its supporters and stakeholders that, despite our best efforts and major milestones achieved in the establishment of the AWLU - including collecting commitments of RM35 million to meet the Ministry of Education of Malaysia's capital requirement - our applications for a university license to establish the AWLU in Malaysia have been rejected.  The Board has thus decided to suspend all activities related to the establishment of the AWLU in Malaysia while we look for other avenues to pursue our goals of supporting women's empowerment and leadership development throughout Asia and other developing regions.  We thank you for your continued support and look forward to sharing more news with you as our activities progress.

- Board of Directors of the AWLU Project, April 2015

The international team of the Asian Women’s Leadership University (AWLU) Project is working to establish a global educational institution dedicated to empowering women across Asian, the Middle East and other emerging regions to become engaged and socially conscious leaders who will promote cross-cultural understanding, regional development, and international cooperation.

With Smith College (MA, USA) as the chief academic planning partner, the AWLU will be the first of its kind: a not-for-profit women’s liberal arts university in Asia, modeled along the tradition of the prestigious “Seven Sisters” colleges in the United States, which have yielded graduates prominent in every field of endeavor.

The AWLU will offer an exceptional liberal arts and sciences curriculum grounded in a regional context, with leadership emphasized in all aspects of student development. The curriculum will foster historical and comparative perspectives, critical thinking and problem solving skills in a variety of learning environments, including classroom, residential settings and internships.

The University’s diverse student body will exemplify a common spirit of enterprise and social commitment.  Together, the alumnae of AWLU, as the next generation of leaders, will promote positive change at the community, national, regional and global levels.

We invite you to learn more about the AWLU Project's vision, our team of international supporters and how you can participate in the Project.




AWLU Project Chairperson S. Mona Sinha receives Ellis Island Medal of HonorThe AWLU Project is pleased to announce that its Chairperson, S. Mona Sinha, has received the 2015 Ellis Island Medal of Honor. The award, given by the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations (NECO), is presented annually to American citizens who have distinguished themselves within their own eth Read More
UPDATE FROM THE AWLU PROJECT BOARDThe AWLU Project regrets to inform all of its supporters and stakeholders that, despite our best efforts and major milestones achieved in the establishment of the AWLU – including collecting commitments of RM35 million to meet the Ministry of Education of Malaysia’s capital requirement & Read More
AWLU Project Welcomes its new Social Media Intern Hui Xin NgWe are pleased to welcome Hui Xin Ng, currently a philosophy major at Smith College, to the AWLU Project team as a Social Media Intern. Hui Xin’s specific academic interests lie in the philosophy of history and philosophy of science and medicine. In the past, she has dabbled in the arts and pa Read More



AWLU Project Board member Datuk Dr. Rebecca Fatima Sta. Maria to participate in 24th annual Global Summit of WomenAWLU Project Board member Datuk Dr. Rebecca Fatima Sta. Maria, current Secretary General at the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) in Malaysia, will be traveling to Paris June 5-7th, 2014, to participate in the 2014 Global Summit of Women, an annual event bringing together women lea Read More
Board member Zarinah Anwar to speak on women’s impact on national development in LondonWe are pleased to announce an upcoming presentation by AWLU Project’s Co-Chair Tan Sri Zarinah Anwar in London this week. Zarinah, former Chairman of the Malaysian Securities Commission and former Deputy Director of Shell Malaysia, will be speaking to a gathering of Malaysian students from universit Read More
AWLU Board Member Judy Cheng-Hopkins invited to speak at London School of Economic (LSE) on Peacebuilding*This event is open to the public. For information on reserving a seat or accessing the transcripts and podcasts of this event, please visit the event page here.* AWLU Project Board Member and UN Assistant Secretary-General of Peacebuilding Support Judy Cheng-Hopkins has been invited by the Departme Read More


“A place with so many choices”: An Interview with Madhu GiriMadhu Giri hails from Singapore, where she completed her A-levels before following her instincts to study abroad by finishing her high school in Canada and applying for schools in the US. Now a fresh graduate (class of 2014) of Mount Holyoke College – one of the Seven Sister’s – in Read More