Academics join senior management team

Prof Al-Atabi developed the first ever massive open on-line course.

Prof Al-Atabi developed the first ever massive open on-line course.

HERIOT-Watt University has appointed Prof Mushtak Al-Atabi and Prof Dennis Wong to its senior management team in Malaysia.

Working with provost and CEO Prof Robert Craik, and based at the 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.

Prof Al-Atabi who was formerly Taylor’s University pro vice-chancellor (Strategy), 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), Prof 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 United Kingdom, Malaysia and China, Prof 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.

Prof Wong will play a key role in the operation of the Malaysia Campus.
Prof Wong will play a key role in the operation of the Malaysia Campus.

University principal and vice-chancellor Prof 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 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,” said Prof Williams.

Prof Al-Atabi said he strongly believed 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,” he said.

Prof Wong said the university has an exciting strategic vision to which he was hoping to contribute through his leadership experience in leading a STEM-based faculty and his 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,” he added.

Prof Craik who is also vice-principal of Heriot-Watt University, said Prof Al-Atabi and Prof Wong are inspiring additions to the 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,” he added.

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