The history of the University is very telling from its humbling beginnings to date as it continues to define a niche for itself in education and training of critical human resources for the development of the country.
The University started as Sunyani Technical Institute (SUTECH) in 1967 to offer technical and vocational education and training to Middle School Leavers, and later on, to Junior Secondary School graduates in hands-on Craft/Intermediate Block-Laying and Concreting, Carpentry and Joinery, Furniture Craft as well as Painting and Decoration programmes. Other programmes offered included Electrical Installation, Motor Vehicle Mechanics, Mechanical Engineering Craft Practice, Welding and Fabrication, Cookery for the catering and hospitality industry and Business Studies with options in Accounting and Secretarial management. It is interesting to note that, some of these courses are still being offered by the University to different targeted groups through the Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (COTVET.
In 1997, Sunyani Technical Institute was upgraded to Sunyani Polytechnic (SPOLY) in line with government policy to stress on Technical/Vocational Education and Training (TVET) at the tertiary level. The enabling law, the Polytechnics Act 745 empowered the institution to offer tertiary education programmes, principally, Higher National Diploma (HND) in areas in response to national human resource needs at the tertiary level. In addition, non-tertiary courses which were being offered in the previous era continued to run as certificated skilled-based courses to serve industry and also feed the HND programmes. Within this period of Polytechnic status, the first corporate strategic plan was formulated to guide the growth and management of the institution from 2005-2015.
In 2016, Sunyani Polytechnic was converted to Sunyani Technical University (STU) and given a new mandate through the coming into force of the Technical Universities Act 2016 (Act 922 as amended). The TUs Act mandates the University to provide higher education and award degrees, diplomas and other certificates in Engineering, Science, and Technology-based disciplines as well as Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), Applied Arts and related disciplines. The conversion to Technical University has necessitated reforms in internal governance structures and realignment of programmes and departments, increased investment in staff capacity development and infrastructures as well as the formulation and implementation of the second corporate strategic plan for 2015-2020, which is currently being replaced by a new strategic plan for 2020 – 2025.