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International education leader named head of Curtin Dubai

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Curtin University has appointed Professor Ammar Kaka as its new Pro Vice-Chancellor and President of its Dubai campus.

Professor Kaka brings extensive experience in international higher education to the role — including in Dubai.

He is a Professor of Construction Economics and Management and has an international reputation for research on planning, management and control of construction projects.

After beginning his academic career at the University of Liverpool’s School of Architecture and Building Engineering, Professor Kaka spent nine years in senior positions at Heriot-Watt University in Scotland before going on to lead Heriot-Watt Dubai as Provost and Vice-Principal.

Most recently, he was President of Applied Science University in Bahrain.

With 15 years of experience working in the United Arab Emirates and the broader region, Professor Kaka said he was honoured and excited to join Curtin Dubai.

“Curtin University’s global reputation for excellence sets a strong foundation and my vision is to unlock its full potential to make a lasting impact in the region,” he said.

“With its cutting-edge programs, renowned faculty, and commitment to innovation, Curtin Dubai is poised to become a driving force in shaping the future of education.”

Professor Kaka has supervised more than 30 PhD students to completion and said producing world-class graduates would be a major focus.

“My goal is to further elevate our standing by nurturing a culture of creativity, collaboration, and forward-thinking to empower students with the skills and mindset to navigate the complexities of a rapidly evolving world,” he said.

“By forging strong partnerships with industry leaders and community stakeholders, we will create opportunities for students to engage in real-world experiences and contribute meaningfully to society.

“I am deeply committed to expanding the university’s impact.”

Professor Kaka succeeds Professor John Evans, who was appointed Curtin Dubai’s inaugural Pro-Vice Chancellor and President in 2018.

Curtin University Vice-Chancellor Professor Harlene Hayne congratulated Professor Kaka on his appointment and thanked Professor Evans for his service to Curtin.

“Professor Evans has forged a long, stellar career in higher education including as Pro Vice-Chancellor Curtin Malaysia and Director of the University’s Asia Business Centre,” Professor Hayne said.

“His leadership and oversight have been crucial in the establishment of Curtin Dubai and its development into the success it has become.

“The Curtin community wishes Professor Evans every happiness in the next stage of his life adventure.”

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