THE University of Cambridge and the Jeffrey Cheah Foundation (JCF) have signed a Memorandum of Agreement to establish the Jeffrey Cheah Professorial Fellowship Fund.
With a benefaction of £1,200,000 (RM 6.2mil) by the fellowship, the fund, which will include allocations for travel, and support in perpetuity, two University of Cambridge professors who will be known as Jeffrey Cheah Professorial Fellows.
Each Professorial Fellow will visit Sunway University at least once a year to provide public lectures, conduct classes and contribute to academic development and research excellence.
The collaboration establishes academic and research ties between the Sunway Education Group (SEG) and the University of Cambridge, which has produced many Nobel Prize winners.
The collaboration will elevate the academic profile of SEG, and will support Malaysia in its ambition to become a global education hub.
In recognition of his unwavering commitment towards advancing higher education, Sunway Group founder and chairman Tan Sri Jeffrey Cheah has been matriculated as a fellow and admitted as fellow benefactor of the University of Cambridge.
In addition, Cheah’s name has been inscribed on the Benefactors’ Wall, which records the names of the university’s greatest benefactors since its foundation in the 14th century.
Cheah who is also Jeffrey Cheah Foundation founding trustee and Sunway University chancellor, is the first Malaysian to have received such an honour. In addition, he will be admitted as a companion of the Guild of Benefactors of Cambridge University at a ceremony in the Senate House of the University.
Prof Kay-Tee Khaw and Prof John Todd have been named as the first holders of the Jeffrey Cheah Professorial Fellowships.
Prof Khaw is a professor of Clinical Gerontology, and her expertise is in the maintenance of health in later life and the causes and prevention of chronic diseases including cardiovascular disease, cancer and osteoporosis with a focus on nutrition and hormones.
Prof Todd is a professor of Medical Genetics, and is an expert in the genetic causes of and potential treatments for Type 1 Diabetes.
In his speech at the Commemoration Dinner following the admission of fellows ceremony, Sir Alan Fersht said, “Tan Sri Cheah has striven to offer the best possible education opportunities to young people. The university he has established already has links with Harvard, Trinity College (Dublin), and the University of Lancaster.”
Cheah added that the collaboration with University of Cambridge would pave the way for SEG to excel in teaching and boost research related to medicine and life sciences.
“As we strive to be a research-based educational institution, this partnership will propel us to a different league amongst private learning institutions in Malaysia.
“It is imperative for Malaysia to gain access to the wealth of medical research methods and techniques to nurture the talents in this country to focus on research on tropical diseases and preventative medicine, which may affect the region.
“Such research is a lifelong effort and we are committed to making Malaysia the centre of excellence in medical research,” said Cheah.
Sunway University director Prof Jarlath Ronayne was also present at the ceremony.