04 October 2021

Now in its 6th year running, the CIMB ASEAN Scholarship programme aims to provide high potential youths from ASEAN countries with the opportunity to pursue their higher education of choice.


Kuala Lumpur: CIMB Group Holdings Berhad (“CIMB” or “the Group”) announced today that it has awarded RM5.6 million in scholarships to 13 youths across the ASEAN region under its 2021 CIMB ASEAN Scholarship programme (the “Programme”). The scholarships were presented to recipients during a virtual award ceremony which was held recently. In Malaysia, the scholarships are being granted through CIMB Foundation, whilst in other ASEAN markets they will be granted by the Group’s respective local banking entities. Now in its 6th year, the Programme aims to provide high potential youths from ASEAN countries with the opportunity to pursue their higher education of choice.


The 2021 Programme was well-received with close to 11,000 applicants from Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and the Philippines. Scholarship recipients will receive a full scholarship covering tuition fees, living allowances, insurance and other related fees for any field of study at any established university worldwide. They will also be paired with a mentor who will provide career mentorship as they navigate their way into full-time employment.


In addition to career mentorship, CIMB ASEAN Scholars will be offered internships during study breaks and employment upon graduation, including the opportunity to enter CIMB’s structured management trainee programmes such as The Complete Banker (“TCB”) and TCB Digital. This ensures that they will have a holistic foundation as they begin their careers, enabling them to realise their potential through a well-rounded approach to professional development.


Some of the top-ranked renowned universities the 2021 CIMB ASEAN scholars are headed to include Imperial College London, University College of London, University of Toronto, University of Melbourne, National University of Singapore and University Malaya, for degrees in various disciplines such as Economics, Data Science and Analytics, Environmental Technology, Computer Science, Engineering and Psychology. Candidates were required to undergo a rigorous five-stage selection process comprising an online assessment, pre-screening, in-country interview, regional virtual assessment and a final regional face-to-face virtual interview.


Gurdip Singh Sidhu, Group Chief People Officer of CIMB Group said, “The CIMB ASEAN Scholarship programme represents our ongoing commitment to building a holistic foundation for ASEAN’s brightest minds. Since its inception in 2016, we have provided academic support and opportunities to ASEAN-based scholars, opening doors for high potential students to not only pursue their higher education of choice, but to also develop their career as part of CIMB Group. As a purpose-driven organisation, our hope is that they will grow into becoming the future leaders and drivers of the ASEAN economy. On behalf of CIMB, we congratulate our 2021 CIMB ASEAN scholars and look forward to witnessing their growth as they chart their path towards success.”


Rafe Haneef, Chief Executive Officer of CIMB Foundation, said “Promoting education is one of the key impact areas of CIMB Foundation, and we are committed to nurturing the best ASEAN talent from all walks of life. Education is crucial to ensure that youths have the right knowledge, skills and foundation for the future, whether they choose to enter the workforce, start a business or pursue a trade. By enabling them to achieve their higher education of choice, we are investing in not only their future, but also in the sustainability of our communities. As they pursue their education and realise their academic aspirations, our hope is that they will in turn be inspired to give back to the community and become part of the solution to some of society’s most pressing needs.”


This year, the Programme was also expanded to include master’s degree students and those who have a minimum of one academic year left in their course of study. Previously, the scholarship was limited to recipients who are pursuing their bachelor’s degree as well as those with at least two academic years remaining. The expansion of eligibility criteria was introduced in recognition of the ongoing global pandemic which has affected the individual and financial circumstances of many students, and led to delays or changes in plans to pursue higher education. In the case of candidates from Malaysia, 80% are from the M40 and B40 category.


Since 2016, CIMB has awarded a total of over RM54 million in scholarships for 92 scholars to date, 28 of whom have started their careers with CIMB. For more information about the CIMB ASEAN Scholarship, please visit:




Dato’ Abdul Rahman Ahmad, Group CEO of CIMB Group (bottom row, centre), Gurdip Singh Sidhu, Group Chief People Officer of CIMB Group (bottom row, third from left) and Rafe Haneef, CEO of CIMB Foundation (bottom row, third from right) pictured with the 13 ASEAN youths who have been selected as scholars under the 2021 CIMB ASEAN Scholarship programme during the virtual award ceremony.