Growing from strength to strength

LOOKING at how far it has come, it is hard to believe Sunway Education Group is merely three decades old.

To honour its achievements, the group hosted a dinner and fundraising to showcase its progress and the pathways its alumni and the Jeffrey Cheah Foundation (JCF) Community scholars have chosen to pursue post their education at Sunway University and Sunway College.

Among the alumni who were present were Adrian Ooi and Jagadesan Chandra Mohan; both of whom are donors to the JCF Community.

Ooi, a corporate advisor for Global Capital Ltd, sees higher education as a catalyst for change in society.

“With education, you have the opportunity to enhance your knowledge, wisdom and value,” he said.

Jagadesan, on the other hand, was a JCF Community Scholarship recipient, who subsequently became the chief executive operator and founder of an information technology company called Mitra IT Solutions.

JCF founding trustee and Sunway University chancellor Tan Sri Jeffrey Cheah’s love and dedication towards education is no secret, as he believes it is central to changing lives.

Growing up in the small town of Pusing, Perak, Cheah was witness to wasted talent due to the inability of of families to send their children to institutes of higher learning.

“I became convinced that education was the best way out of poverty. I was lucky enough to have the chance to pursue my education and because of this opportunity, I was able to build the Sunway Education Group, and in the process, create more jobs, improve education, healthcare and make a difference for other Malaysians.

Navaratnam (fifth from left) with some of the 30 Sunway alumni who received awards in recognition of their achievements.
Navaratnam (fifth from left) with some of the 30 Sunway alumni who received awards in recognition of their achievements.

“I want to see more young people like Jagadesan overcome the toughest challenges to spearhead their own companies,” he added.

Cheah said the foundation now owns and governs 16 educational institutions under the Sunway Education Group.

“It has given out more than RM330mil in scholarships and I hope to disburse more than RM1bil in my lifetime.

“We have built links with some of the best educational institutions in the world such as the University of Cambridge, Harvard University and University of Oxford.”

The varsity recently signed two agreements; one with Cambridge to assist Sunway Medical Centre in establishing its Clinical Research Centre in Sunway City.

“Eventually, the Centre would be designated as a regional site partner of the School of Clinical Medicine at the University of Cambridge,” he said.

The second agreement involves working with the Papworth Hospital.

Cheah shared, this move will help Sunway Medical Centre in its goal to become Malaysia’s first private teaching hospital.

Sunway Education Group and Sunway University senior executive director Elizabeth Lee said in addressing the financial needs of disadvantaged students, and helping them gain access to quality higher education, the foundation aims to mould future dynamic leaders and innovators.

“Through the scholarship, we are providing students more than just an education as we are giving them an experience in preparation for life.

“At Sunway, we believe a good education is the best hope for a better future,” she added.

Lee said, since the JCF Community Scholarship was first offered in 2002, some RM10mil have been

given out to 185 scholars.

The proceeds from the dinner is directed to the JCF Community Scholarship.

This scholarship will allow deserving students to pursue their tertiary education, who may not have the chance otherwise, Cheah added.

Sunway University pro chancellor and Jeffrey Cheah Foundation Board of Trustees member Tan Sri Dr Ramon Navaratnam was also present.

Thirty Sunway alumni receive an award each in recognition of their business achievements, talent and contributions to the community and to the Sunway Education Group at the event.

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