19 April 2016

Sunway Education Group’s Elizabeth Lee Conferred Second Honorary Doctorate

Elizabeth Lee, Senior Executive Director of the Sunway Education Group and Sunway University was recently conferred Doctorate of the University, honoris causa by the Council and Senate of Victoria University, Australia in recognition of Elizabeth’s role as a distinguished educator, for her work in promoting international education and issues relating to the education of women. The award also recognises her pivotal role in fostering the partnership between Victoria University (VU) and the Sunway Education Group.

Dr Lee received the award from George Pappas, VU Chancellor at VU’s largest ever graduation ceremony in Malaysia with 421 graduates. This year’s ceremony at the Sunway Resort Hotel and Spa is an important one as it coincides with VU’s centenary celebrations on the founding of VU’s predecessor, the Footscray Technical School, in February 1916.

Each year, only a select few are bestowed this award, in recognition of their outstanding achievements and contribution. Dr Lee joins a list of luminaries who have received the award, they include Tan Sri Dr Jeffrey Cheah, Founder and Chairman of the Sunway Group; Puan Sri Dr Susan Cheah, EXCO Member of the Sunway Group; The Hon. Dr Julia Gillard, Chairwoman of the Global Partnership for Education and formerly 27th Prime Minister of Australia; The Right Hon. Dr John So, 102nd Lord Mayor of Melbourne; Dr Bertie Ahern, former Prime Minister of Ireland and Dr Kirsty Sword Gusmao, Founding Director of the Aloha Foundation and former First Lady of East Timor.

This is the second honorary doctorate received by Dr Lee, the first was the Doctor of Laws, honoris causa from the University of Nottingham for her immense and exceptional contributions to education in Malaysia in 2014.

In awarding the degree, Mr Pappas commended Dr Lee’s significant contributions to VU through her instrumental role in the development and stewardship of VU’s partnership with the Sunway Education Group, as well as her tireless efforts to champion education for women.

“Ms Lee is a thought leader in the field of international education and a great role model,” Mr Pappas said.

“She has made a huge contribution to the partnership between Victoria University and the Sunway Education Group. It is especially fitting that her honorary degree will be awarded at the largest graduation ceremony ever hosted by Victoria University at Sunway,” he said.

A prominent member of Malaysia’s education industry, Lee serves on numerous committees and task-forces where she actively contributes her views and insights on the development and promotion of the country’s private higher education. She was this year elected a member in the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) Council, Chair of the MQA Investment Committee and member of the MQA Disciplinary Committee.

Dr Lee also received in 2014 the Outstanding Asian Women Community Contribution Award from Malaysia Women’s Career Building Association and last year received the Visionary Women Leadership Award at the 2nd World Women Leadership Congress and Award (WWLCA) in Mumbai.

Having helmed the education division of the Sunway Group since 1992, Dr Lee has been instrumental to the development of the Sunway Education Group, growing the Group’s one institution, namely Sunway College then, to the dynamic group of thirteen institutions, including the Sunway University, Monash University Malaysia, Sunway College Kuala Lumpur, Sunway College Johor Bahru, Sunway International School and the Sunway-Le Cordon Bleu Institute of Culinary Arts. These institutions are owned and governed by the Jeffrey Cheah Foundation, a unique and first-of-its kind structure in Malaysia in the field of private higher education, modelled along the lines of Harvard University in the US.

Dr Lee currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Sunway Education Group and most of the institutions’ boards within the Group. In her role, she has helped develop and strengthened the group’s partnership with VU which spans over 20 years.

As an industry thought leader, she is also much sought after as speaker and panellist for national and international conferences, especially on issues related to education and women. Dr Lee also serves on the Board of Trustees of MERCY Malaysia.

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