Access to quality higher education


(From left), Prof Whitford, Quest International University Perak COO Nicholas Goh, Nilai University corporate communication senior manager Serena Cheah, Multimedia University dean, Faculty of Computing and Informatics Dr Ho Chiung Ching, Vogiatzakis, Prof Walker, Methodist College Kuala Lumpur CEO Angela Pok and Management & Science University vice president, Media and Strategic Communication Norizah Mohd Said at the event on Wednesday.

SIBLINGS Leow Sher Yuen and Sher Joe are the second set of sisters to apply for the Star Education Fund and receive scholarships in the same year. Sher Yuen, 20, is pursuing a Bachelor of Business (Victoria University Australia) at Sunway College and Sher Joe, 18, has started the Foundation in Built Environment leading to the Bachelor of Arts in Interior Architecture at Limkokwing University of Creative Technology.

After completing their STPM and SPM respectively, Sher Yuen and Sher Joe left their home in Kangar, Perlis to work in Genting Highlands. They wanted to save some money to help ease the family’s financial burden.

Their father is a mechanic while their mother is a home-maker. They have a sister who is sitting for the STPM this year and a 15 year old brother in school.

Sher Yuen who obtained a CGPA of 4.0 in the STPM, was offered a scholarship by Sunway College. She was to have started in July but asked to enrol in the September 2019 intake instead as she needed to give one month’s notice to resign from her job.

“I started my studies on Sept 23, ” she said, thanking the fund and Sunway for the opportunity.

Sher Joe who scored 9As and 1B in the SPM, said she was excited to get the scholarship.

“I was back in Kangar for a four-day break after I started working. This is when I found out about the Star Education Fund and asked my sister to apply as well.

“We’re happy we both get to follow our dreams, ” she added.

Their mother Tan Kin Wah said she is proud of her daughters.

“Our family is very happy that Sher Yuen and Sher Joe could get the scholarships in the same year.

“They have inspired their sister and some of their friends in Kangar to study hard and apply for a scholarship, ” she said.

No relation to the sisters, self-realisation made Leow Wei Li, 19, become a better person and student.

“I was in the bottom two in class during most of my time in secondary school but decided to try to do better in life, ” he said.

He went on to obtain 5As in his O-Levels in 2016.

One for the album as Vogiatzakis (14th left, seated, second row), partners of the fund and this year’s scholarship recipients at the presentation ceremony. — Photos: AZHAR MAHFOF & YAP CHEE HONG/The StarOne for the album as Vogiatzakis (14th left, seated, second row), partners of the fund and this year’s scholarship recipients at the presentation ceremony. — Photos: AZHAR MAHFOF & YAP CHEE HONG/The Star

“The scholarship will allow me to gain quality education, ” said the eldest of three siblings, who was born in Kuching but raised in Brunei. His father was the breadwinner of the family but was diagnosed with stage three colon cancer recently, he added.

He is pursuing a degree in International Business and Marketing at Taylor’s University.

Being the youngest of six children, Kamarul Shayree Kamarulzaman, 18, would not be able to pursue his dream if it weren’t for the Star Education Fund.

KDU University College Admissions and Bursary senior manager David Tai Yew Keong (fourth left) with the happy recipients.KDU University College Admissions and Bursary senior manager David Tai Yew Keong (fourth left) with the happy recipients.

He wants to become a well-known broadcast journalist in the future, following in the footsteps of one his elder sisters who is currently a broadcast journalist in TV3.

“I was speechless when I was notified that I was going to be a fund recipient.

“It is a dream come true, ” he said.

Originally from Kuantan, he is now living in Selayang and has enrolled in HELP University to pursue a Foundation in Arts leading to a Bachelor of Communication in Media Studies.

The former Sekolah Seni Malaysia Johor student said his mother is the sole breadwinner while his father is disabled due to diabetes and is on dialysis.

His mother Suzana Mohd Suboh who was present, was on the verge of tears when she expressed her relief that her son managed to become a scholarship recipient.

“This means he is able to pursue a course which he loves, ” she said.

Brendan Chew Yiun Cherk was visibly emotional when he received the Star Education Fund scholarship award to study at the University of Nottingham Malaysia.

The 20-year-old is now in his first year pursuing a degree in International Communication with Film and TV.

The happy smiles say it all as Prof Kendall (third left) poses with the recipients who have started studying at the University of Nottingham Malaysia.The happy smiles say it all as Prof Kendall (third left) poses with the recipients who have started studying at the University of Nottingham Malaysia.

“We have been living on the Bantuan Sara Hidup programme (formerly known as BR1M) as my father is retired and my mother is a housewife, ” he said at the presentation of the scholarship awards to recipients on Wednesday afternoon.

“I found out about this scholarship through my cousin, who is also a recipient.

“It’s such a relief... at least I will not have to worry about my tuition fees, ” he added.

On completing her secondary school education in Perak, Azwin Syazwanie Zamiedy, 19, knew that taking the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) programme was the way to go.

The eldest of three children, said she took up the accounting programme because of her father.

“I want to help him expand his photography business which he runs with my uncle, ” she said, adding that the shop was inherited from her grandfather.

After completing the ACCA programme, Azwin Syazwanie who has started her tertiary studies at Sunway College, plans to be an auditor.

“My dream is to join the property sector and when I gain enough experience, I would like to open my own property company, ” she said.Making a difference

The Star Education Fund was launched on March 24,1994 by the late Tan Sri Dr Sulaiman Daud who was Education Minister at the time.

Since its inception, the Star Education Fund has benefitted 4,050 scholarship recipients with a value of RM136.5mil.

Vogiatzakis (centre) and Sunway Education Group director, public relations Jerrine Koay (right) present the award to Sher Yuen.Vogiatzakis (centre) and Sunway Education Group director, public relations Jerrine Koay (right) present the award to Sher Yuen.

Star Media Group chief executive officer Andreas Vogiatzakis said a total of 141 scholarships valued at RM9.15mil were awarded this year.

“The success of the Star Education Fund is largely due to the amazing partners-in-education, some of whom have been with us since we began in 1994.

“This year, we have 30 partners who share our vision of making quality education accessible to high-performing talents, ” he said.

Thanking the partners-in-education for their support, Vogiatzakis added that the company looked forward to working hand in hand with them to continue providing an avenue for aspiring young Malaysians to reach for the stars.

“Across different continents, I have been lucky to work with amazing people. But, truth be told, one of the things that I am truly passionate about, is having the opportunity to mentor young talent.

“Without a doubt, I believe that with the right guidance and support, the young generation - that is you - can achieve remarkable things for yourselves, and for the world.

“This belief is what drives me to spend much of my free time supporting students through mentorship, providing consultation for student-led projects and initiatives, giving talks.

“Today, as I look around the room, I am so glad that alongside our partners-in-education, Star Media Group is able to give you the opportunity for you to chase your dreams and ambitions.

“By the end of this journey, you will be joining an elite alumni, many of whom have become Malaysia’s movers and shakers, ” said Vogiatzakis.

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