Appointment of new Provost and CEO for Heriot-Watt University Malaysia



Professor Mushtak Al-Atabi has been appointed as the new Provost and CEO for Heriot-Watt University Malaysia (HWUM).

A global academic innovator and leading engineer, he has been an educational leader in Malaysia for over 18 years, best known for his role at Taylor's University where he led the School of Engineering and, more recently, University-wide strategy as Pro-Vice Chancellor. Professor Al-Atabi has a long established track record in teaching innovation and developed the first ever massive open on-line course (MOOC) in Malaysia, where people from all walks of life could study Global Entrepreneurship.

Since taking up his role as Senior Deputy Provost at HWUM in October 2016, Professor Al-Atabi has worked with senior academics across Heriot-Watt's five global campuses to develop and lead innovative transnational teaching. His innovations include initiatives like the Youth Transformation Programme,  helping young people to develop the skills and resilience required to excel.

Professor Richard A. Williams, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, said, “Professor Al-Atabi is a truly visionary academic leader, with an exceptional track record for teaching innovation that transcends national boundaries. A passionate advocate for the highest quality student experience, his knowledge of transnational university education and entrepreneurial spirit made him an outstanding candidate for Heriot-Watt, itself a leader in international higher education. I am confident that with Professor Al-Atabi leading HWUM we will build on our undoubted success and continue to make a significant contribution to the Malaysian economy and society, delivering exceptional and innovative education to our rapidly growing student community.

“I would also like to thank Professor Bob Craik and recognise the huge contribution he has made as the founding Provost and CEO of HWUM. In just five years he has developed a brilliant team and built a University in Putrajaya which provides exceptional opportunities for nearly 2,000 students and for businesses across Malaysia and the region.”

Strategic initiatives and global research

Professor Al-Atabi will take up his new role from 1 August 2017. He will be based at the campus in Putrajaya, leading the continued growth and development of the University in Malaysia and across Asia as well as delivering innovative strategic initiatives for all five of the University's global campuses. He will also play a leading role in growing the University's international research and building on links with industry and University partners to deliver real benefits to our students and to the Malaysian economy.

Professor Mushtak Al-Atabi said, “I am deeply honoured to have the opportunity to serve the global community of our extraordinary University. At a time where the role of higher education is being redefined in light of the world's challenges, Heriot-Watt is a leading innovator in areas of education, research and human development. It is exciting to be part of our students' journeys of achieving their potential and positively impacting the world.”

Professor Craik will return to Scotland where he will continue to make a major contribution to Heriot-Watt, helping to inform future global strategy and development.