Sunway Strengthens Research Collaboration and Education Link with University of Cambridge

Minister of Higher Education, Datuk Seri Dr Noraini Ahmad witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the University of Cambridge and Sunway University, through the Jeffrey Cheah Foundation (JCF) recently at the University of Cambridge, UK. It was aimed to formalise their joint commitment towards strengthening educational and research collaboration between Malaysia and the United Kingdom.

The MoU was signed by Prof Dr Stephen Toope, Vice Chancellor, University of Cambridge and Prof Elizabeth Lee, Chief Executive Officer, Sunway Education Group.

Dr Noraini Ahmad stated, “Partnerships between renowned institutions and Malaysian entities, such as the one we are witnessing here, are crucial for Malaysia to achieve its goal of building a sustainable future for our citizens.”

Present at the signing ceremony were Prof Dato’ Dr. Husaini Omar, Director General of Higher Education Malaysia; Prof David Cardwell, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Strategy and Planning, University of Cambridge; Prof Sibrandes Poppema, President, Sunway University and Prof Abhimanyu Veerakumarasivam, Provost, Sunway University.

The MoU expands on the existing partnership between JCF and Cambridge University, which has spanned over two decades and resulted in many significant research opportunities, producing various strategic successes for Malaysia, such as the appointment of Sunway as the Cambridge University Clinical Research Centre Regional Site Partner, the ASEAN Emerging Researchers Conference organised by Sunway University and Wolfson College, Cambridge University, and the Cambridge-Oxford-Sunway Biomedical Symposium.

A major highlight of this partnership is the recent establishment of the Jeffrey Cheah Biomedical Centre at the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, the centerpiece of one of the largest biotech clusters in the world, which was set up in 2019. The centre has contributed towards the advancement of biomedical knowledge and research and has enabled scientists to explore cutting-edge research to tackle some of the world’s major health challenges, such as COVID-19.

Dr David Cardwell expressed his enthusiasm to continue working with like-minded and visionary institutions, passionate about being at the forefront of medical research: “The deepening of this collaboration between two world-class institutions is truly exciting. Our work together so far has produced significant results that can address real-world issues, and we are confident that this partnership will lead to breakthroughs in science and medicine in the coming years.”

Upon the completion of the MoU signing, Dr Noraini Ahmad and all guests in attendance proceeded to tour the state-of-the-art Jeffrey Cheah Biomedical Centre at the Cambridge Biomedical Campus. Among them were Professor Dr Serena Nik-Zainal, a Malaysian Prof of Genomic Medicine and Bioinformatics at the University of Cambridge who has made outstanding contributions to breakthrough efforts in cancer research; and Prof Ken Smith, Director of the Jeffrey Cheah Biomedical Centre, who led the tour.

“The Jeffrey Cheah Foundation, which owns and governs Sunway University is fully committed towards nation-building and supporting Malaysia’s goal to become a strategic transnational education and research hub in Southeast Asia. This partnership with the University of Cambridge is one crucial step we are taking to realise that goal,” said Prof Elizabeth Lee.

Launched in 2010, JCF was established by Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Dr Jeffrey Cheah AO, founder and chairman of the Sunway Group. JCF is the largest education-focused social enterprise in Malaysia, owning and governing all institutions and entities under the Sunway Education Group, which includes Sunway University. The foundation has disbursed more than RM600 million in scholarships to date, and it is Tan Sri Jeffrey Cheah’s personal goal to award RM1 billion worth of scholarships in his lifetime.

Sunway College Ipoh which is part of the Sunway Education Group is also set to benefit from this MoU. For instance, it enhances Dr Jeffrey Cheah’s vision to make Ipoh (and the larger Kinta Valley) an education hub by providing greater access to quality education for all Malaysians and for the benefit of the community in greater Ipoh.

The MoU, which represents a commitment to continuous research and education excellence, opens up the possibility of Ipoh as a destination for research, educational exchange programmes and more, facilitated by the local know-how of Sunway College Ipoh as it works closely with Sunway University.

For more information on the nation-building efforts through quality education and world-class research by the Jeffrey Cheah Foundation, please visit

Meanwhile, Sunway College Ipoh can be reached via 05-545 4398 or its website.

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