Provost & Vice-Principal, Dubai

Ref: 5471

Heriot-Watt University


Apply Now

Role Managed by:

Simon Epsley

Senior Project Manager

t: 0207 340 6222


Primary Practice Group: Higher Education and Research

Salary & Benefits: Competitive

Closing Date: 06/12/2021

Formal Interview Date: Interviews for the role will take place on the 9th and 10th of January 2022 in Dubai in the Campus

Heriot-Watt University has a rich heritage and an established reputation as a leading research-led university and provider of education with five global campuses in the UK, Dubai and Malaysia alongside considerable on-line learning provision around the world. 

The University is truly distinctive in its operationally integrated global structure, offering students access to education and research across the Group and unparalleled opportunities for mobility during their study and research.

Established for sixteen years, Heriot-Watt Dubai has an enviable heritage of scale and success in the UAE, enhanced by its 2021 move to a brand new digital campus located amongst the international business community in Dubai.  It is one of just three universities to be awarded a top five-star rating by the Dubai Knowledge and Human Development Authority, in recognition of the quality of its teaching, research, learning environments, creativity and social responsibility.  In 2019, Heriot-Watt Dubai was crowned the ‘Best University’ at the first ever Forbes Middle East Higher Education Awards.

We are now seeking a Provost & Vice-Principal to lead Heriot-Watt Dubai. Reporting to the Principal & Vice-Chancellor, this leader will assure the development of the Dubai campus in line with the University’s 2025 Strategy.  This will mean a values-led and ethical approach to leadership, which foregrounds the needs of staff, students, and alumni and thus enables them to flourish and make a positive impact on the world.  Relationship building with businesses and state represents a significant part of the role, strengthening engagement and developing partnership opportunities that lead to sustainable income and direct benefit to staff, students, and the community.  Driving recruitment across the Dubai campus’ educational offering and supporting the integration of research with local and regional institutions are also important priorities for the new Provost & Vice-Principal.  Furthermore, this individual will make an impactful contribution at Group level, supporting institutional strategic development and working closely with the Principal and Vice-Chancellor to achieve the goals of the University’s Bicentennial Campaign that is expected to launch in 2022.

The ideal candidate will be an academic leader of Professorial standing who has led sizeable and complex academic units.  Accustomed to working in a matrixed environment, they will demonstrate a detailed understanding of global Higher Education as well as the operating environment in Dubai and the wider Middle East.  Cultural awareness is a must; Arabic language skills are advantageous but not essential.  A values-led approach to leadership with a multinational, team-oriented mindset will set the strongest candidates apart.

To apply, please submit an up-to-date CV and a maximum two page Covering Letter indicating why you think you are suitable for this post.

Informal enquiries can be made in the first instance to our executive search consultants at

Closing Date for Applications is midnight (GMT) on Monday 6th December 2021.

Interviews for the role will take place on the 9th and 10th of January 2022 in Dubai in the Campus.

All applicants are requested to submit a completed version of an Equal Opportunities Monitoring form with their application. The information provided will be handled in the strictest confidence and will only be used for statistical monitoring purposes.

Protecting your personal data is of the utmost importance to Perrett Laver and we take this responsibility very seriously. Any information obtained by our trading divisions is held and processed in accordance with the relevant data protection legislation. The data you provide us with is securely stored on our computerised database and transferred to our clients for the purposes of presenting you as a candidate and/or considering your suitability for a role you have registered interest in.

As defined under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Perrett Laver is a Data Controller and a Data Processor, and our legal basis for processing your personal data is ‘Legitimate Interests’.  You have the right to object to us processing your data in this way. For more information about this, your rights, and our approach to Data Protection and Privacy, please visit our website