World-leading academics join the Heriot-Watt University strategic team in Malaysia


Heriot-Watt University is delighted to announce the appointment of Professor Mushtak Al-Atabi and Professor Dennis Wong, two globally recognised academic leaders, to its senior management team in Malaysia. Working with Provost and CEO, Professor Robert Craik, and based at the stunning new lakeside campus in Putrajaya, they will help to lead the continued growth and development of the University in Malaysia and across Asia, as well as delivering innovative strategic initiatives for all of the University’s campuses across the world.

Professor Mushtak Al-Atabi, formerly Pro Vice-Chancellor (Strategy) for Taylor’s University (Malaysia), has extensive experience in teaching innovation in universities and developed the first ever massive open on-line course (MOOC) in Malaysia, where people from all walks of life could study Global Entrepreneurship. Taking up the newly created position of Senior Deputy Provost (Malaysia), Professor Al-Atabi will be working with senior academics across Heriot-Watt’s five global campuses to help develop and lead innovative transnational teaching. He will also play a key role in student recruitment, particularly for international and postgraduate students, helping Heriot-Watt deliver the global research-led educational experience

Bringing a wealth of experience in leading the academic delivery of engineering, computing and science in the UK, Malaysia and China, Professor Dennis Wong will be taking up the newly created position of Deputy Vice-Principal (Malaysia). He will play a key role in the operation of the Malaysia Campus, growing the University’s international research base and building on its links with global industry and university partners to deliver real benefits to students and the Malaysian economy.

University Principal and Vice-Chancellor Professor Richard A Williams said, “We are delighted to be welcoming two such impressive new colleagues who bring with them the breadth of experience, innovation and leadership on which we can grow and develop the success of Heriot-Watt University Malaysia.

“They have a knowledge of and enthusiasm for innovative transnational education, combined with a wealth of innovation in teaching and learning and an entrepreneurial approach, which are fundamental to the University’s operation.

“These are qualities which will both support the continuing growth of Heriot-Watt University in Malaysia and will feed into the whole strategic development of our global university.”

Professor Mushtak Al-Atabi said, “I strongly believe that one of the main roles of education is to help individuals achieve their full potential. I have for some time been encouraging people to develop emotional intelligence and to use systematic thinking to solve everyday challenges and to unlock the inherent values in them, and as such, I am delighted to be joining a University which has the stated aim of transforming people and the world.“

Professor Dennis Wong said, “I am really thrilled to be joining Heriot-Watt. The University has an exciting strategic vision to which I am hoping to contribute through my leadership experience in leading a STEM based faculty and my decade-long experience in transnational education delivery.

“The campus in Putrajaya is developing fast, and my first impression of the University is that it is a warm and close knit community which I am delighted to be joining.”

Professor Robert Craik, Provost and CEO of Heriot-Watt University (Malaysia) and Vice-Principal of Heriot-Watt University, said, “Professor Al-Atabi and Professor Wong are inspiring additions to our leadership team. They will be a tremendous support as we build on the successful foundations of the University’s Malaysia Campus to provide the enterprising graduates and real world solutions which Malaysia and the wider region are looking for.”

Both Professor Al-Atabi and Professor Wong is expected to take up their new positions in October this year.

Heriot-Watt is a specialist university, globally minded and calibrated to the needs of society. A leading technological and business university, renowned for innovation in business, engineering, design and the physical, social and life sciences, Heriot-Watt defines its presence on the international stage in areas of world importance and value.

Our communities of scholars come from across the world and are leaders in ideas and solutions; delivering innovation and educational excellence, the University is ranked in the top 10 for Research Impact in the UK.

With roots in Scotland but a truly international reach, Heriot-Watt is a leader in transnational education and a powerful driver and engine of the economy, transforming people and the world.

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