UCSI bids farewell to VC, president

UCSI University’s third vice-chancellor Senior Prof Datuk Dr Khalid Yusoff (pic) has passed away.

Prof Dr Khalid, who was also the varsity’s president, died at the age of 66 at Hospital Pengajar Universiti Putra Malaysia on April 5.Describing him as “never one to rest on laurels”, UCSI Group founder and chief executive officer Datuk Peter Ng said Prof Khalid had made a profound impact on UCSI’s student experience.

“Tapping into his research networks, he single-handedly formed a collaborative arrangement with Harvard University that empowered UCSI medical students to pursue year-long research programmes at an institution many regard as the world’s best university.

“May we emulate his commitment to excellence, and his unwavering focus to finish every endeavour in his burning desire to create a better world, ” he said in a press release.

Prof Dr Khalid had been instrumental in enhancing the university’s standing ever since he took charge in 2013.

Under his leadership, UCSI emerged as Malaysia’s best private university for two consecutive years in the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings (WUR) 2019 and 2020.

In the QS WUR by Subject 2021, UCSI’s Institute of Music (IMus) was placed among the world’s top 50 in the performing arts, while three of its faculties – the Faculty of Hospitality and Tourism Management (FHTM), the Faculty of Engineering Technology and Built Environment (FETBE), and the Faculty of Business and Management (FBM) – secured their respective rankings.

FHTM made it to the top 100 in the world in the hospitality and leisure management subject; FETBE the top 150 in petroleum engineering; and FBM the top 300 in business and management.

Through Prof Dr Khalid’s efforts, UCSI was placed in Tier 5 (Mature Category) of the Rating System for Malaysian Higher Education Institutions (Setara) 2019 awarded by the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA).

His international outlook was demonstrated in his establishment of strategic partnerships between UCSI and world-leading universities such as Imperial College London, Tsinghua University, the University of Queensland and RMIT University.

Prof Dr Khalid was a clinical cardiologist by training. He began his medical career as a student at the University of Melbourne, Australia. He was then trained in cardiology at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne in the United Kingdom.

Upon returning to Malaysia, he set out to build a career in academia, bolstered by national and international recognition of his contributions.

He was a firm advocate of research and development, and his findings were frequently published in high-impact international journals.Prof Dr Khalid is survived by his wife, Prof Datin Paduka Dr Khatijah Mohd Yusoff, and two children, Nur Azzah Che Khalid and Muhammad Zulqarnain Che Khalid.

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