The Wawasan Education Foundation (WEF) has received a government funding of RM30 million spread over five years, to be injected into the running of Wawasan Open University (WOU).
Tan Sri Emeritus Prof Gajaraj Dhanarajan, a member of WEF Board of Directors, and WOU Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Wong Tat Meng received the mock cheque of RM6 million for the university’s operations this year from Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon.
“It’s indeed a remarkable achievement on the part of the President of Gerakan in convincing the government in the last 2-3 years to support a noble venture which the party was very responsible for initiating along with the family of Dato’ Seri Stephen Yeap,” said Prof Dhanarajan when extending his appreciation to the federal government, and particularly to Koh.
“As we grow and develop, our need for resources increases. We are hoping that the university will not have to depend on government or any other philanthropy in about 4-5 years. We think we can quite comfortably pay for the existence of the university, pay for its running and may even have some surplus to support other charitable cause of both the Party and the Foundation. That’s our wish,” he added.
He said that educating millions of working adults in the country who need tertiary education to move to a higher-level income “is an opportunity for the university, party, and certainly for the foundation to demonstrate its social responsibility”.
Koh assured that Gerakan will continue to support WEF, and through the foundation, the university, highlighting that the federal government had given a grant of RM20million to WOU during its official opening in early 2008.
He noted it would take some time for the university to break even “but in the meantime, we still need to top up through donation, allocation and contribution”. He therefore thanked the Prime Minister for approving the grant for the university.
He said the management and financing of the university is kept in a very good shape by WEF. “Every single sen has to be spent wisely and effectively to add value to the objectives of WOU.”
“The RM6m cheque is the beginning of yet another five years of commitment by the federal government in giving support to this unique university, which is run by a group of professionals.
“We would continue to give support and whatever shortfall, there are corporate leaders in their CSR, corporate social responsibility, who have indicated their willingness to continue to give us support. So with the government giving the bulk of the support, I’m sure the private sector should be able to come in,” he added.
The simple ceremony at the Penang Gerakan office was witnessed by State Gerakan chairman Dato’ Dr Teng Hock Nan and several other party members.
Prof Wong, in a written statement, said, “We view this funding support as an expression of the government’s confidence in WOU and its endorsement of the university’s role in providing quality higher education to all Malaysians.”