The Sunway Group has come a long way since its humble beginnings back in 1974, when Jeffrey Cheah (sans the Tan Sri honorific) established a small tin-mining company with a capital of RM100,000. Since then, the group has grown by leaps and bounds to become one of Malaysia’s most diversified and widely recognised conglomerates, including under its umbrella the fully integrated township of Bandar Sunway.
Among its many branches of business, the Sunway Education Group founded in 1987 has had one of the most profound effects on the country, with a host of institutions owned and governed by the group. And this year, it celebrates 25 successful years in the industry.
The institutions under the education group include Sunway University, Sunway College, Monash University Sunway Campus, the Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine and Health Sciences and Sunway International School. The Jeffrey Cheah Foundation, by which these institutes are governed, makes sure that funds and assets obtained are injected back into the system, to propagate and expand education for future generations. Over RM80 million in scholarships have been granted since 1997, exemplifying the philanthropic culture that prevails throughout the company.
Part and parcel of its ethos is to “inspire hearts and minds”, and in the words of Tan Sri Dr Jeffrey, “…to engage [students] in intellectual activities that inspire them to be creative independent thinkers while identifying their abilities that will sharpen their skills and knowledge in their respective areas”. Inspiration leads to imagination, which are the building blocks of change. This in turn sparks creativity, which finally leads to innovation, and it is at this level that the individual is able to make a difference, to alter significantly and perhaps even to revolutionise.
Executive Director, Sunway Education Group Elizabeth Lee launching the Silver Jubilee celebrations.
This goes hand in hand with the aim of the Sunway Education Expo (SEE), the first of its kind in the group’s history, complementing the Silver Jubilee celebrations this year.
The SEE follows on from Tan Sri’s Jeffrey’s goal to push the boundaries of learning and sharing and as such will be divided into four key areas: Icons/role models, environment, arts & creativity and social innovation.
Visitors will be able to take part in seminars, presentations, workshops as well as view art works by Sunway University’s Department of Communication and Liberal Arts and listen to presentations on culinary masterpieces by the Centre of Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure Management. Rounding out the creative component of the expo will be performances by renowned musicians, which will hopefully help stimulate and motivate young minds.
The ultimate aim of the SEE is to help individuals innovate and create in the BLAST departments, namely Business, Language, Arts, Science and Technology. A number of activities and celebratory events have been lined up to help promote the expo and to further celebrate its Silver Jubilee.
First up on 10 and 11 May is the 1st Peer Counselling Conference focusing on support and assistance from students for students, followed by Students’ Voice, Power and Responsibility centring on the role of education in promoting democracy on 24 May.
The group will also be hosting the 3rd Global Accounting and Organisational Change Conference (GOAC) from 14 to 17 July and the 2nd Pre-University Conference on 8 September. The year culminates with the SEE, which will be held on 6 and 7 October and is open to the public.
The passion and aspirations of Tan Sri Dr Jeffrey have led the group through 25 years of trailblazing education and as a result, the Sunway Group now stands at the forefront of the industry. And, not resting on its laurels, the group now looks to the next 25 years and how the boundaries of education can be further explored and pushed. The central premise and foundation on which the group is built on, however, will remain, and that is to inspire the hearts and minds and ensure that quality education is always the priority.
1st Peer Counselling Conference
Where: Sunway University Graduate Center
When: 10th,11th May