Although the independent Tomáš Bat'a University was established on 1 January 2001, the first engineers studied at the university as early as 1960. At that time, a detached workplace of the Slovak Technical University was established in Zlín, where chemical and engineering technology was taught. Nine years later, in 1969, the local university department functioned as an independent Faculty of Technology of the Technical University.
The 1990s brought a new impetus to the development of higher education in Zlín. Petr Saha, then Dean of the Faculty of Technology (and later Rector of UTB), defined a clear vision. The vision gradually became a reality. In 1995, the Faculty of Management and Economics was established, and in 2001 the university was formed from these two faculties. The founding of the university was actively supported by Tomáš Bat'a jr., who agreed that the school should bear his father's name and served as the chairman of the UTB Board of Trustees until his death in 2008.
The establishment of faculties was accompanied by the building of research capacities and, of course, the construction of new buildings. Thanks to the fact that the university cooperates with renowned architects, such as the world-renowned architect Eva Jiřičná, it offers its students truly modern and well-equipped buildings with ideal conditions for studying, which are also one of the ornaments of the city centre.