Heriot-Watt University Dubai today announced the appointment of Professor Heather J. McGregor, CBE* as the new Provost and Vice Principal for its campus in Dubai Knowledge Park. Previously the Executive Dean of the Edinburgh Business School at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, as well as Professor of Management Practice, Professor McGregor is a qualified accountant and had an earlier career in investment banking, and then spent 17 years as an entrepreneur leading her own executive search firm prior to her move into higher education. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh**.
Speaking on the occasion, Professor Heather McGregor said, “I am delighted to take up office as the new Provost and Vice Principal of Heriot-Watt University Dubai. Equally, I am very pleased to be moving to the UAE at such an exciting time, when so many transformational projects are underway. The nation is today a diversely productive economy, with pioneering developments that have garnered world-wide attention. In my new role, I look forward to making the most of these opportunities and driving the Dubai campus towards even greater heights.”
Professor McGregor will replace current Provost and Vice Principal Professor Ammar Kaka, who has led the University in Dubai for 12 years, growing it to 4,000 students. During his tenure he has overseen set-up and expansion of Heriot-Watt from its initial campus to a new state-of-the art facility in Dubai Knowledge Park. He has been instrumental in shaping the higher education sector in the Middle East and in the creation of a world-class higher education experience in Dubai, both for students and faculty.
Professor Kaka will now take up the role of Emeritus Provost. As Emeritus Provost, Professor Kaka will adopt a wider role in the Middle East and North Africa, with responsibilities for further positioning Heriot-Watt University Dubai, partnership development and recruitment more broadly.
Heriot-Watt University Dubai established its presence in the UAE in 2005, as the first University to open a campus in Academic City. Starting with an initial offering of three programmes and a student population of 120, it has since then have grown to be the largest international university in the UAE. Today it is home to approximately 4000 students enrolled across 90 programmes and is one of the top UK universities for business and industry with a five-star rating by the KHDA three years in a row.
* Standing for Commander of the Order of the British Empire, CBE is the highest-ranking Order of the British Empire award (excluding a knighthood/damehood). It is awarded to individuals for having a prominent role at national level, or a leading role at regional level or for distinguished and innovative contribution to any area. Prof. McGregor received this award in 2015 for exceptional services to Business, especially Employment Skills and Diversity in the Workplace.
**Fellowship is granted to individuals that the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Scotland's national academy of science and letters, judge to be "eminently distinguished in their subject"