Wawasan Open University (GPS: 5.42702, 100.32437) is the first private, not-for-profit open learning institution. By the "open" concept, they endeavor to make higher education accessible to all, anytime, anywhere. The institution is funded by charitable trusts, corporations and the general public.
The main campus of Wawasan Open University is on the grounds of Homestead, the residence of Yeap Chor Ee, which was donated to the university by the grandson, Dato' Seri Stephen Yeap, Chairman of the Wawasan Education Foundation. Dato' Seri Yeap and trustees of the Yeap Chor Ee Endowment Trust also donated properties along China Street Ghaut to the Wawasan Education Foundation for the use of the university.
Yeap Chor Ee statue, Wawasan Open University (22 December 2009)
The idea for Wawasan Open University came about during the 28th Gerakan National Delegates Conference in Penang, when it was put forward by the then president of the party, Dato' Seri Dr Lim Keng Yaik. It was initially known as the Gerakan Education Foundation, but was renamed the Wawasan Education Foundation in August 2002. Tan Sri Emeritus Prof. Gajaraj Dhanarajan was appointed the first vice chancellor of the university inj July 2005.
To provide administration and academic space to the university, a 12-storey block was constructed on the seaward side of Homestead. Groundbreaking on the building was done in January 2006, and a year later, the first intake of students, numbering 720 aged from 21 to 71, was carried out. Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu was nominated to be the first Chancellor of the university on May 2007. In December 2009, Professor Dr Wong Tat Meng succeeded Tan Sri Emeritus Prof. Gajaraj Dhanarjan as the vice chancellor.
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