King honours Provost and Vice-Principal of Heriot-Watt University’s Dubai campus

Heather McGregor

PROFESSOR Heather McGregor, CBE, Provost and Vice-Principal Heriot-Watt Dubai campus has been made a Dame of the British Empire in the New Year’s Honours.

The Honour has been bestowed onto Professor McGregor for services to education and business and heritage in Scotland.

She is among the first to be recognised with the title of Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) by King Charles III.

Giving her reaction to the Honour, Professor McGregor said: “I’m humbled and delighted to be named in the New Year’s Honours List. I firmly believe education is the key to transforming lives all around the world, and I have been privileged to serve in the Scottish higher education sector for the last six years. During my time here I have been able to work with amazing academic, business, and not-for-profit leaders right across Scotland who, like me, share the same belief that access to higher education, professional qualifications and career development should be available to everyone, no matter their background. I will continue to champion, nurture and support that.”

Professor McGregor received a CBE in 2015 and joined Heriot-Watt in 2016 as Executive Dean of Edinburgh Business School where she brought new life to Scotland’s oldest distance learning MBA programme. During her tenure tens of thousands of students in over 160 countries have been recruited to the reinvigorated programme. Her vision-to-completion of the Panmure House restoration in the heart of Edinburgh secured its legacy for Scotland and it is now a world leading centre for thought leadership offering a unique speaking platform in Scotland’s capital for global academics and business leaders. She introduced the Panmure House prize, which provides funding for research into long term capital attracting submissions from all over the world. 

She became Provost of Heriot-Watt Dubai in 2022. Her continued service to charities supporting employment and minority ethnic careers has helped transform the lives of young people including many from across Scotland. 

Professor Richard Williams, Heriot-Watt Principal and Vice-Chancellor said: “Heather is a driving force of positivity and her contribution to our University community globally over the past six years has been an inspiration to all. We are so proud to have such a high achieving, committed, and caring person as a senior member of the global University community. She is the embodiment of our Institutional values and always an ambassador for our University’s Scottish heritage. The award is a fitting recognition of her leadership and vision in making difficult things happen, particularly in assuring diversity in career development of academics, and creating new pathways to enable others in underserved communities to access the opportunities that higher education offers. 

“On behalf of our entire Heriot-Watt community, I would like to express our warmest congratulations to Heather for this richly deserved honour.”

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