“I would like to congratulate Tan Sri Dr Jeffrey Cheah for the opportunity of yet another impactful initiative which will help transform the lives of young people by giving them merit-based access to quality education regardless of their socio-economic backgrounds. What you do, is just not about business success, but also to invest in the future generation. You cannot do better than invest in the young, and that is the greatest gift that anyone can give to the country they love,” said British High Commissioner to Malaysia, Her Excellency Vicki Treadell CMG, MVO at the launch of the Oxford-Jeffrey Cheah Graduate Scholarship at Sunway University.
Speaking on the importance of education in the bilateral relations, she said, “Education is one of the key pillars of our bilateral relations. It stands front and centre of the relationship between Malaysia and the UK. There is just a little under 20,000 Malaysian students in the UK, a number, which is second largest only after China. The Malaysian alumni who has graduated from UK education institutions, which is a little over half a million in the country, is a key part of our people to people links. This initiative will further strengthen the ties between two excellent education institutions in the UK and in Malaysia, and is symbolic of stronger bonds between our two countries.”
Sunway University, which is owned and governed by the Jeffrey Cheah Foundation, first partnered Brasenose College (BNC), University of Oxford in late 2015. The agreement, allows for a two-way flow of scholars between the universities in perpetuity.
The University of Oxford is a world-leading center of learning, teaching and research and the oldest university in the English-speaking world. The University has produced UK Prime Ministers, Olympic medalists, Nobel Prize winners, world leading scientists and world leaders. Amongst its renowned alumni are Stephen Hawking, Bill Clinton and Indira Gandhi.
“We are honoured to have the continuous support of the University of Oxford and the University’s Brasenose College. Through their support, we hope to see more young Malaysians fulfill their potential by having the opportunity to learn at one of the top education institutions in the world,” said Tan Sri Dr Jeffrey Cheah AO, Founding Trustee of Jeffrey Cheah Foundation.
“The Oxford-Jeffrey Cheah Graduate Scholarship, came about following the decision by Oxford University in October 2017 to launch a ‘Matched Funding Scheme’. Under the scheme, the University would match any funds raised by the Colleges for scholarships and other scholarly activities on a 1:2 basis,” he said.
On the new scholarship, he explained, “We have a close relationship with Brasenose College, Oxford and we got together and came up with a Doctorate of Philosophy (D.Phil) scholarship scheme, which we put to the University. The scheme was accepted and the agreement between the University of Oxford, Brasenose College and the Jeffrey Cheah Foundation was signed in Oxford in March 2018. The scholarship is open to candidates from ASEAN countries, with first preference to Malaysians.”
Tan Sri Dr Cheah presented a congratulatory scroll to the first Oxford-Jeffrey Cheah Graduate Scholarship recipient, Vivien Ho Wei Wen who received funds for four years of doctoral studies in interdisciplinary bioscience. The Scholarship covers her tuition fees, college fees and living costs.
“I’m very fortunate to receive this scholarship from the Jeffrey Cheah Foundation, and I would like to thank Tan Sri Dr Jeffrey Cheah in particular for giving me this opportunity to pursue my doctorate at the University of Oxford. I look forward to making new discoveries and contributing to my fields of interest when I return to Malaysia,” she said.
The 20 year-old, Ipoh-born scholar received her early education at SJKC Ave Maria primary and secondary schools in Ipoh before being selected, at the young age of 15, to attend PERMATApintar National Gifted Centre, the only centre of excellence in Malaysia at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) tasked with the responsibility to identify gifted and talented children for potential-building. She was then admitted to University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 2014 to study for her Bachelor of Science where she scored a CGPA of 3.921.
The University of Oxford and Brasenose College had together selected Vivien to be the recipient of the fund based on her exceptional academic record and other activities.
The Oxford-Jeffrey Cheah Graduate Scholarship is one of many scholarships under the Jeffrey Cheah Foundation. Other scholarships available include the Jeffrey Cheah Foundation–Sunway Group Scholarship, Jeffrey Cheah Travel Grants for Southeast Asia Studies at Harvard, Jeffrey Cheah Scholar-In-Residence at Oxford, Jeffrey Cheah Scholar at Cambridge, Sunway University Postgraduate by Research Scholarship and the Continuing Scholarships at Monash University Malaysia, Sunway University and Sunway College. The Jeffrey Cheah Foundation has disbursed in excess of RM402 million in scholarships to date.