Sunway Group Founder and Chairman, Tan Sri Dr. Jeffrey Cheah, receiving his honorary doctorate from Universiti Malaya Pro Chancellor, Toh Puan Dato’ Seri Hajjah Dr. Aishah Ong.
- Honoured for sterling contribution to education sector in Malaysia
- Tenth honorary doctorate, and first by a public university
Founding trustee of the Jeffrey Cheah Foundation, the largest education-focused social enterprise in Malaysia, and Sunway Group founder and chairman, Tan Sri Dr. Jeffrey Cheah was conferred an Honorary Doctorate of Education by Universiti Malaya at the university’s convocation ceremony today.
Tan Sri Cheah was recognised for his outstanding contributions to the Malaysian community, and in particular, his lifelong commitment to advancing the cause of education for the country. Besides being heralded as the visionary entrepreneur who had spurred socio-economic transformation by converting a tin mining wasteland into the internationally-acclaimed Sunway City; Tan Sri Cheah is well-known for his philanthropic work and the creation of the unique not-for-profit Jeffrey Cheah Foundation (JCF).
“The University of Malaya is proud to pay tribute to an outstanding Malaysian whose achievements have deeply inspired us. Tan Sri Dr. Jeffrey Cheah has led the way for the country in many ways – from transforming wasteland into wonderland; from creating jobs to creating hope; he stands as a true inspiration to not just other corporate leaders but for our youths. Above all, we recognise his efforts in changing the landscape of education in Malaysia, paving the way through strategic partnerships with world-class institutions and setting new standards in teaching and research.” said Tan Sri Professor Dr Mohd Amin Jalaludin, Vice-Chancellor, Universiti Malaya.
The JCF was launched in 2010 to continue the mandate of the Sunway Education Trust Fund formed in 1997, when Tan Sri Cheah transferred his equity of the Sunway Education Group’s 12 learning institutions then, including Sunway University and Monash University Malaysia, valued at more than RM720 million (now in excess of RM 1 billion with 16 institutions) towards providing and sustaining quality education, in perpetuity, for Malaysian youths. The JCF retains ownership of 16 learning institutions to-date, and has given out RM270 million in merit-based scholarships benefitting thousands of deserving students.
In six short years since its inception, the JCF has established strategic ties with some of the world’s oldest and best universities including Harvard University, University of Cambridge and University of Oxford to facilitate a two-way flow of scholars and researchers between the Sunway Education Group’s institutions and the world-class universities towards advancing the standards of teaching and research in this part of the world. More recently, the JCF has entered a strategic collaboration with the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (UNSDSN), to establish the Jeffrey Sachs Center on Sustainable Development at Sunway University aimed at advancing the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
Upon receiving the conferment, Tan Sri Cheah said, “I would like to sincerely thank Universiti Malaya for conferring on me this honorary doctorate. That it is an honorary doctorate in the field of education makes it even more meaningful to me. I am humbled by this award, particularly because it is from our nation’s oldest and best-known university. I hope to continue to benefit our young people through education while inspiring others to give back to society.”
This is the tenth honorary doctorate that has been conferred to Tan Sri Cheah who has been awarded nine honorary doctorates, by universities in Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom. His honorary doctorates are from: Victoria University, Australia (1993); Flinders University, South Australia (1994); University of Western Australia (1994); Western Michigan University, United States (1994); Monash University, Victoria, Australia (1995); Leicester University, United Kingdom (1996); Oxford Brookes University, United Kingdom (1998) Greenwich University, United Kingdom (2001) and Lancaster University, United Kingdom.