Two members of Court recently visited the Dubai and Malaysia campuses. The visit initiated by the Chairman of Court, Lord Penrose, was an opportunity for the members to meet with staff and students and learn more about the latest developments on the University's international strategy.
Shonaig Macpherson, Chair of the Oversight Board for the Heriot-Watt University Malaysia Project, and David Robinson, Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee, discussed with staff at both campuses the successes and challenges which face them, sharing their experience and insights as members of Court.
David Robinson said: "By meeting and having an opportunity to explore issues with staff, students and the local authorities, we were able to gain a much richer appreciation of the current developments in Dubai and Malaysia campuses and of the opportunities and challenges to come.
"Dubai is already a mature and successful campus, with a very strong reputation in the local market place, something that the Dubai regulator, the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) emphasised to us. Professor Ammar Kaka and his team are highly enthusiastic and committed to sustain the high quality reputation of Heriot-Watt in the United Arab Emirates. Similarly, the students were very positive and proud to be studying at the Dubai Campus. They also gave us their suggestions as to how their experience in Dubai could be improved.
"The Malaysia Campus is also making excellent progress. We met with MBA students and they expressed a high level of satisfaction with their experience so far and with the facilities provided at the temporary campus."
During the tour of the Malaysia Campus, they also met with the British High Commissioner in Kuala Lumpur, Simon Featherstone and Datuk Azlan, Chairman of Putrajaya Holdings (PjH) the University's partner in the development of the campus currently under construction in Putrajaya.
The first purpose-built green campus will open its doors in Malaysia's administrative capital Putrajaya in September 2014. The new campus will create opportunities for up to 4,000 undergraduate, postgraduate and research students to study a range of Heriot-Watt degrees specifically tailored to contribute to the continuing economic success of Malaysia and the South East Asia region.
Shonaig Macpherson said: "We were impressed with the location and the progress in the construction of the new campus in Putrajaya. Our visit to Dubai and Malaysia has been invaluable in improving our understanding of the dynamics of the University's international operations and the factors that contribute to its success.
"Our findings will inform the work of the Malaysia Oversight Board and the Audit and Risk Committee and also the evolution of the University's governance arrangements as they are adjusted to reflect Heriot Watt's growing international presence."