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(Front row, from left) One for the album as Deepa, Goh, Pei Teeng, Lim, Mushtak, Victor, Yew and Wong pose together with the recipients of the Tan Sri Yeoh Tiong Lay Global Scholarship.

15 December 2019

FIFTY three Heriot-Watt University Malaysia students have been awarded the Tan Sri Yeoh Tiong Lay Global Scholarships.

YTL Corporation Berhad managing director Datuk Victor Yeoh Seok Kian presented the 53 students with the Tan Sri Yeoh Tiong Lay Global Scholarship awards at the university’s campus recently.

The scholarship was launched earlier this year.

Victor, an alumnus of Heriot-Watt University, was accompanied by his wife, Datin Lim Lee Lee and daughter, Yeoh Pei Teeng, at the event.

Also in attendance were YTL Foundation staff members, the principals of Hin Hua High School, Klang, and Methodist College Kuala Lumpur, as well as the proud parents of the scholarship recipients.

Heriot-Watt University Malaysia deputy provost Prof Dennis Wong and chief operating officer Janice Yew were also present.

The £1mil (RM5.5mil) was gifted by Victor earlier this year, in honour of his father, the late Tan Sri Yeoh Tiong Lay, a renowned Malaysian businessman and philanthropist.

Tiong Lay completed his secondary school education at Hin Hua High School in Klang. Although he was not able to pursue higher education, he worked tirelessly, with a determined focus and unwavering perseverance, to form the YTL Corporation in 1955.

In recognition of his hard work and achievements, he received many accolades and titles including an honorary doctorate in Engineering from Heriot-Watt University in 1988.

“Education is one of my greatest passions.

“Education moulds minds, inspires achievements and, ultimately, builds nations. This was instilled in me by my late father, who emphatically believed in the value of education and worked diligently to ensure that his children and grandchildren would have this opportunity.

“Growing up with a role model who was a philanthropist and regularly committed to and supported education programmes, I myself, wanted to honour this tradition and help widen access for Malaysian students, ” said Victor.

The Tan Sri Yeoh Tiong Lay Global Scholarship was launched in tribute to his father’s extraordinary life and success, and honours his belief in the importance of education and how it transforms lives, he said.

The university conferred an honorary doctorate on Victor in 2017 for his immense contributions in the field of construction and his staunch support of educational development.

The scholarship will provide Malaysian students with wider access to quality higher education by contributing to the cost of tuition fees for their undergraduate studies at Heriot-Watt University Malaysia, subsequently creating opportunities for them to make a positive impact in the world.

Fifteen students will also be selected to spend a year at the Heriot-Watt University campus in Edinburgh.

The scholarship recipients expressed their gratitude at being able to pursue their dreams.

“This means that I am able to obtain an education that will help me move up in life, ” said Kishen Manirajan, an Actuarial Science student.

His course mate and fellow scholarship recipient, Ph’ngJia Xin concurred.

“The scholarship means a lot to me and my family; it really helps my family by reducing our financial burden, ” she added.

Her father, Ph’ng Chee Keong, said he used to work in China, adding that his daughter lived there as well. She studied there for 13 years.

“I am excited and proud that she was able to receive this scholarship, ” he said.

R. Ragunathan, the father of Tetisya Ragunathan who received a scholarship to pursue Psychology, echoed Ph’ng’s sentiments.

“I am very happy that YTL and Heriot-Watt presented this scholarship to my daughter, ” he said.

Sharifah Bakar, the mother of Muhammad Zaki, another scholarship recipient, echoed the wish for a brighter future for her son.

“I hope that Muhammad Zaki will pass with flying colours and achieve the goals that he has always dreamt of, ” she said.

The donation extends to another 21 scholarships to be awarded to those who sign up for the Heriot-Watt University Malaysia’s January 2020 intake.

Working together, Heriot-Watt University and the YTL Foundation aim to impact lives by empowering students to be catalysts of change.

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YTL Foundation scholars and alumni came together to witness the 2018 cohort induction ceremony at Stripes hotel. Tan Sri Datuk (Dr) Aris Bin Othman, a member of YTL Foundation Board of Trustees and Puan Sri Sherina shared their experiences in overcoming obstacles to get an education. The event ended with dinner and games.

A team building training session was held for the local scholars in May 2018. The part indoor and outdoor training focused on team dynamics. Scholars were given various tasks to complete during the 2-day training.

“This training session is a good opportunity for us to be exposed to working in a team. It was also good to get to know the other scholars and I can’t wait to work with them in future” - Tan Seow Yee (Scholar)

This was our second UK scholar training session, where scholars enjoyed a weekend at the Grafham Water Centre in Huntingdon. Scholars were required to attend the training session which focused on determining their strengths and weaknesses in a group situation.

"I thoroughly enjoyed myself and felt that the training was not only useful for me in university, but also when I work in a team at work," – Tara Shaleen Bhullar, Law student.

"Working in a team is hard. It was really good to find out where I fit in. Through the exercises and the discussions later, I have learnt that I am more people oriented compared to being task oriented. I have to work on that as it is pointless to have a happy team with no productivity level," -  Ilyssa Badlisham, International Business Student.

In September 2016, the YTL Foundation organised a three-day leadership retreat for our UK-based scholars at Gainsborough Bath and Spa, Bath. The training was focused on character building and to familiarise scholars with the 5 core values of YTL (Moral Responsibility, Honesty, Vitality, Togetherness and Hard Work). Scholars were expected to develop their confidence and leadership qualities throughout the duration of the retreat. Scholars experienced three days of self-discovery while identifying the essential behaviour and attitude of a great leader. Gradually, even scholars with initial trepidations on sharing opened up towards the end.

In July 2016, YTL Foundation organised a Scholar Hackathon where scholars were able to utilise their creativity, work in groups and enhance their problem-solving skills. The scholars were given a problem statement on education and were placed in groups to create solutions. The event went on for 2 1/2 days, with 13 scholars divided into 3 teams.

The winning team proposed an avenue for students in primary and secondary schools to express themselves through a web page called LUNA. LUNA is an online platform catering to the needs of students in Malaysia. LUNA will provides students with a safe outlet to interact and exchange ideas.

The site will host a virtual Frog Classroom for students who do not have the opportunity to experience a Frog Classroom. The winning team received RM3,500 to develop their idea and had the opportunity to present their idea at the YTL Leadership Conference in December 2016. A prize award of RM 500 was also presented to the best team with the best presentation and teamwork.

The YTL Foundation Scholars from universities and colleges all over Malaysia came together for a training session at the Stripes Hotel in Kuala Lumpur in August 2017.

The second part of the 2 part training had the scholars present their community project. 5 groups worked together to help impact various social issues. One group worked on cleaning and beautifying a refugee school, so that the residents could live comfortably. Another group worked on trying to reduce food waste in big hotels while another group helped provide free study assistance to young students struggling in school.

Their hard work and determination is something we look forward to when they graduate and join the YTL Group of companies as employees.

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YTL Foundation was founded in 1997 on the belief that education is the basis on which every society progresses. By improving education, empowering future generations and building tomorrow’s leaders, YTL Foundation aims to empower individuals and communities to be catalysts of change.

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