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overseas campuses appoitments

Newcastle University appoints new senior leaders for overseas campuses

Published on: 19 July 2023

Newcastle has announced the appointment of two senior roles overseeing the University’s campuses in Malaysia and Singapore.

Professor M. L. Dennis Wong has been appointed as Provost and Group CEO (ASEAN), while Professor Vishna Devi V Nadarajah will be the new Vice Provost and CEO of NUMED (Newcastle University Medicine Malaysia).  

Provost and Group CEO (ASEAN) of Newcastle University

Professor Wong assumes the role of the University’s first Provost and Group CEO Newcastle University (ASEAN – Association of South East Asian Nations) on 1 October. He will oversee Newcastle University’s campuses in Malaysia and Singapore. This strategic appointment will enable the University to provide a more diverse range of education programmes and cultivate even further research collaboration supporting the needs of ASEAN countries, building on the institution’s existing links and ongoing research in the region.

Professor M. L. Dennis Wong holds a BEng (Hons) in Electronics and Communication Engineering and a PhD in Signal Processing, both from The University of Liverpool, U.K. With over 20 years of transnational education experience, he has held key positions at several universities in the region.

Before assuming his role as the Provost and Group CEO (ASEAN) of Newcastle University UK, Professor Wong served as the Deputy Provost for Heriot-Watt University Malaysia. He has also held the position of Dean at the Faculty of Engineering, Computing and Science, Swinburne University of Technology (Sarawak Campus), Malaysia, and worked for a brief time at the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (XJTLU), Suzhou, China.

His research interest lies in the areas of statistical signal processing, pattern classification, machine condition monitoring, and VLSI design for digital signal processing. More recently, he has focused on green and sustainable engineering systems and solutions, both in education and research.

Professor Wong said: “I am honoured to assume the role of Provost and Group CEO (ASEAN), and my foremost objective is to leverage our ASEAN campuses as a catalyst for realizing the University's Vision and Strategic Ambitions on a global scale. I take great pride in joining Newcastle University and am fully committed to driving the growth and success of our endeavours in the ASEAN region.”

Professor M. L. Dennis Wong

Vice-Provost and CEO of NUMED (Newcastle University Medicine Malaysia)

Professor Vishna Devi V Nadarajah takes office on 1 October 2023. She will lead NUMed Malaysia, Newcastle University’s purpose-built campus delivering high-quality medical and biomedical education. Located in Johor, Malaysia, and established in 2011, NUMed provides undergraduate degrees in medicine (MBBS) and biomedical sciences (BSc).

Professor Nadarajah graduated with a First-Class Honours degree in Biochemistry from the University of Malaya, obtained her PhD in Microbial Biochemistry at the University of Cambridge and is a Masters in Health Professions Education (MHPE) graduate from Maastricht University.

She has published and presented research papers in both biomedical sciences and medical education, supervises research students and reviews for indexed and international journals. Her areas of research for health professions education include faculty development, assessment and innovative teaching learning methods. Professor Nadarajah has shared her experience and expertise in health professions education via invitations to speak at conferences, conducting faculty development workshop and consultancies, appreciating that she has also learnt very much from these collaborative sessions with other educators.

She joins NUMed Malaysia and Newcastle University with 24 years of experience in higher education especially health profession education. In her previous role as Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Institutional Development and International at the International Medical University in Kuala Lumpur, she led and engaged with faculty across five schools and three centres to deliver and obtain accreditation for over 30 academic programmes.

Vishna continues to teach and facilitate in both undergraduate and post graduate programmes especially for subjects related to biochemistry, genetics and molecular biology and health professions education, a role she values and keeps her engaged with students. She was recently awarded the ASME Gold Medal 2023 for her outstanding contributions in medical education.

Professor Nadarajah said of her appointment: “I am very pleased to be joining NUMed Malaysia and Newcastle University and I am looking forward to working with colleagues across all three of our campuses and to contributing to the fantastic work that is taking place strengthening the range of education programmes and research collaborations we have to support the needs of ASEAN countries.

“My approach has always been one of engagement, collaboration and community focused. In this way I hope to strengthen and build on the existing relationships and grow sustainably with positive impacts within NUMed, our local community, and our wider university.”

Speaking of the appointments, Professor Chris Day, Vice-Chancellor and President of Newcastle University, said: “I warmly welcome Professor Nadarajah and Professor Wong to the Newcastle University community.

Their exceptional qualifications, extensive experience, and passion for education will be instrumental in supporting us to continue delivering high-quality education, research and impact on a global scale.

Professor Vishna Devi V Nadarajah

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