Friday, 15 February 2013

The University of Western Australia's focus on international engagement will be boosted with the appointment of a new Pro Vice-Chancellor (International) with extensive international experience.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Johnson said Iain Watt - a former long-term Education Counsellor at the Australian Embassy in Beijing - would lead UWA's internationalisation activities at the University as it continues to build its global reputation as a world-class research university.

Mr Watt is currently Director of International Operations and Student Recruitment at the Australian National University (ANU).

"Iain Watt has a record of significant and successful leadership and a thorough knowledge of the key issues facing our University as we aim to enhance our international profile, bringing new opportunities for staff, students and the wider Western Australian community," Professor Johnson said.

"International excellence is the measure of our performance and this is especially important in the dynamic global environment facing universities.

"Iain's professional background in China will be particularly important in continuing to build the University's presence in the Asia-Pacific region, notably countries to our north which encompass our major trading partners and some of the world's fastest growing economies," Professor Johnson said.

Mr Watt will join the University in June.

As well as leading the ANU's international and domestic student recruitment, he has been responsible for international strategic alliances and partnerships.  Mr Watt has also spent eight years with the Australian Embassy in Beijing and is fluent in Mandarin.  While at the embassy he held positions of Counsellor (Education) for four years and later, Minister-Counsellor (Education).  In both positions he was the Australian Government's senior education representative in China.

Media references

Professor Paul Johnson (UWA Vice-Chancellor)  (+61 8)  6488 2809
Michael Sinclair-Jones (UWA Public Affairs)  (+61 8)  6488 3229  /  (+61 4) 00 700 783


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