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Malaysia’s only and largest education social enterprise of its kind in Malaysia, the Jeffrey Cheah Foundation (JCF) held its Scholarships and Awards Ceremony 2019 today, which saw the highest scholarship amount awarded in the history of the Foundation. A total of RM80 million scholarships was disbursed this year to more than 6,000 students.

 To-date, JCF has contributed RM482 million in scholarships and growing, along with education grants, and donations to Malaysian schools in an effort to provide access to quality education for all.

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng who graced the ceremony presented the scholarships to students for the Sunway University Postgraduate Studentship and Scholarships, The Chancellors Scholarship, Sunway Excellence Scholarship, The Jeffrey Cheah Travel Grants for Southeast Asia Studies at Harvard University, Jeffrey Cheah Foundation-Sunway Group Scholarship and Jeffrey Cheah Foundation Community Scholarship.

“No matter how big the Government’s budget is, our efforts alone are not sufficient to establish an entrepreneurial economy. We need the involvement of the private sector through a 4P partnership, which involves close collaborations between the public sector, the private sector, professionals and the people. Help us prepare the future for our young as we prepare the young for the future,” he said in his speech.

“The setting up of the Jeffrey Cheah Foundation exemplifies how the private sector can help Malaysia achieve our shared vision through collaboration. I understand that JCF has robust global partnerships with top universities of the world, which will contribute towards the raising of standards of excellence in Malaysia. Such collaboration in education will help deliver skilled talent we need to bring our country to the next level,”

“Having said that, the Government also appreciates the offering of scholarships. The Government also gives out scholarships and many of them are for overseas study. Unfortunately, this is not within our means currently , but scholarships are being offered for study locally. Those who wish to study overseas, we have to wait until our national situation becomes better. But with better local higher institutions of learning, whether private or public, I believe we can get quality education, and you will be valued by the market and the industry when you graduate,” he added.  

Tan Sri Jeffrey Cheah said that the Foundation’s primary mission is to make quality education affordable and accessible to as many Malaysians as possible,

“I believe that a family’s limited financial circumstances should not be an obstacle to advancing the education of their children. Apart from making quality education accessible to more deserving Malaysians, the Foundation is committed to advancing knowledge. In the process, we are also enhancing Malaysia's credentials as a regional hub of excellence in education and research.

Our active partnerships with Cambridge, Harvard and Oxford universities as well as University of California, Berkeley are all part of this mission. We are now in the process of establishing partnerships with MIT in Boston and Peking University in Beijing. We believe in working with the best and learning from the best.

My ultimate dream is to establish Sunway University as the ‘Harvard or Cambridge of the East.’ I accept that this will not happen overnight, perhaps not even in my lifetime. However, what I am doing is laying the foundation for those who follow me to complete the task. “

Other awards and scholarships presented during the ceremony were the Jeffrey Cheah Scholastic Award, Sunway ECA Achievers and Sports Awards, Sunway Sports Scholarship, School of Arts Music Scholarship, Sunway University Young Chef Scholarship, Jeffrey Cheah Foundation Scholarship, Sunway-Teach for Malaysia Scholarship, Sunway Education Group-Elena Cooke Education Fund Scholarship, Nanyang Tertiary Education Fund, Sin Chew Daily Education Fund and The Star Education Fund.

This year, the JCF established two new scholarships to study in the area of entrepreneurship which will lead towards the award of The Doctor of Philosophy in Business with the SMM Centre for Nested Entrepreneurship. JCF also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to fund a Chevening – Jeffrey Cheah Foundation scholar for the 2019/20 and 2020/21 academic years pursuing a medical, physical or life sciences related Masters course at either the University of Cambridge, the University of Oxford, or Lancaster University.

The JCF also hosted a fundraising dinner for SJK (C) Chee Wen and raised a total donation of RM 1 million for the school’s restoration work and enhancement. JCF also launched the SJK (C) Gunong Hijau’s new administrative building with a donation of RM20 million for school upgrades. The Foundation also hosts installations of Jeffrey Cheah Distinguished Speaker Series public talks by world-renowned experts and Nobel laureates that benefit students as well as members of the public.