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Sunway-Oxbridge Essay Competition 2021 Offers Prizes Worth More Than RM200,000

Published by SchoolAdvisor | Feb 25, 2021

Sunway Oxbridge Essay Competition

Sunway Group’s Sunway-Oxbridge Essay Competition 2021 is now open, with prizes worth more than RM 200,000 in cash, bursaries, Sunway PALS points and a laptop. In its eighth year, the competition aims to promote and boost English proficiency among schools using the Malaysian syllabus nationwide.  

Touted as the longest-running and most popular essay competition locally, the Sunway-Oxbridge Essay Competition is open to secondary school students, and divided into Category A (Form 1 to Form 3 students) and Category B (Form 4 and Form 5 students). 

A new Category C has been introduced this year and is open to Malaysian secondary school teachers.  

All Malaysian secondary school students and teachers can participate in the Sunway-Oxbridge Essay Competition, except for those using international syllabus. 

According to Sunway Group deputy executive chairman Tan Sri Datuk Seri Razman M. Hashim, Sunway has been working with the Ministry of Education and the Oxford and Cambridge Society of Malaysia to bring this essay competition across schools to equip secondary school students with critical skills such as proficiency in the English language, critical reasoning, creativity and emotional intelligence that will prepare them for the future. 

“This programme is part of Sunway’s corporate responsibility encapsulated in the #SunwayforGood initiative that comprises three key pillars – education, healthcare and community enrichment,” he said.  

“Under the education pillar, we strive towards advancing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 4: Quality Education. At Sunway, we are deeply committed to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals towards enriching the lives of communities that we serve.”

Established in 2014, the competition has drawn a combined 19,042 participants to-date. Just like previous years, the competition will accept original and unpublished English-language stories based on this year’s theme “Health and well-being”. 

For Category A, submissions – with a minimum word count of 200 and a maximum of 350 words – will centre on the question: “The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed the challenges of online learning throughout Malaysia. What could make this better?”

For Category B (minimum word count: 500; maximum 650 words): “The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed the challenges of online learning throughout Malaysia. How could this be alleviated in the future?”

Meanwhile, Category C (minimum word count: 1,000; maximum 1,500 words) relates to the Covid-19 pandemic has exposed - the challenges of online education throughout Malaysia. How could this be alleviated in the future?” 

Each participant is allowed to submit one essay only.

The judging panel comprises Oxford and Cambridge Society Malaysia and English teachers from Ministry of Education.   

Winning entrants must show originality and flair, a link to academic standards and competent use of English as a written language, including proper spelling, grammar and punctuation.

50 finalists in the Klang Valley and 10 to 20 finalists at each venue in other parts of the country will then be selected for the on-site final.

These finalists from Categories A and B will be notified via email to undergo a sit-down essay competition on May 29 at nominated location(s) nationwide by Sunway. 

They will bear their own accommodation and travel costs to the nominated location(s). 

For Category C, there is no on-site final. 

“The Sunway-Oxbridge Essay Competition is a great opportunity for students to refine their command of the English language and develop values as well as other soft skills necessary for their own future prospects, so that they can thrive career-wise and ultimately succeed in life,” said Sunway Education Group chief executive officer Professor Elizabeth Lee.

“The soft skills include critical thinking, creativity, emotional intelligence, complex problem solving, as well as judgement and decision-making,” Lee added.  

Thirteen winners each from Categories A and B will be chosen and notified via email to attend the prize-giving ceremony on July 10 at Sunway University in Sunway City Kuala Lumpur. 

The first prize consists of RM5,000 in cash, a full Sunway bursary, 10,000 Sunway Pals Points, an award certificate and a trophy. 

The second prize – RM3,000 in cash, a Sunway bursary worth RM15,000, 10,000 Sunway Pals Points, an award certificate and a trophy. 

The third prize – RM1,000 in cash, a Sunway bursary worth RM10,000, 10,000 Sunway Pals Points, an award certificate and a trophy. 

There are 10 consolation prizes, with each consisting of RM500 in cash, a Sunway bursary worth RM5,000, 10,000 Sunway Pals Points, an award certificate and a medal. 

The Category C champion will receive a laptop and certificate of commendation while the four consolations participants will each receive a token of appreciation and a certificate of commendation. 


All entries must be submitted through the official portal from February 24 to March 31 by 1.00 pm


The Sunway-Oxbridge Essay Competition is organised by Sunway Group, the Oxford and Cambridge Society Malaysia, Jeffrey Cheah Foundation and Sunway University with support from Sunway PALS. The competition is fully endorsed by the Ministry of Education.