SUNWAY University is becoming a global centre of excellence in higher education thanks to the remarkable vision, energy, commitment, and generosity of its founder Tan Sri Dr Jeffrey Cheah. Universities often take centuries to achieve their preeminence and grandeur. No doubt, the benefits of time and tradition are invaluable for such long-lasting institutions. Yet Sunway University is forging a path to excellence through another means – its relentless focus on the societal challenges that will help Malaysia, Asean and the world to build the future we want.

A day spent on the Sunway campus wonderfully makes the point. At every turn throughout the campus, the students, faculty, and visitors confront the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The message is clear. We are at Sunway University to make a difference to our societies. Of course the campus itself, and indeed all Sunway City Kuala Lumpur, reflect that point in another dramatic way that is easy to overlook. Sunway City Kuala Lumpur sits on a former abandoned tin-mining site, formerly filled with toxic wastes and degraded landscapes that seemed to render the site unusable and unviable. Indeed, that is how it looked to almost everybody – citizens, bankers, public officials – but not to Jeffrey Cheah. He saw the future of world-class higher education, health care facilities, resorts and leisure activities, and he made it come to life.

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