University Canada West (UCW), Vancouver’s pre-eminent independent university offering technology-enabled, business-focused programs, is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Bashir Makhoul as its new President and Vice-Chancellor, effective October 2023.
Dr. Makhoul comes to UCW following a 6½ year term as President and Vice-Chancellor at the University for the Creative Arts (UCA) in the United Kingdom, where he spearheaded the creation of the UK’s first Business School for the Creative Industries. Under his leadership, UCA was named Modern University of the Year by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide in 2019.
A native of Galilee and longtime resident of the United Kingdom, Dr. Makhoul brings a unique breadth of experience to his role at UCW. An artist by vocation and training, Dr. Makhoul’s works explore themes of conflict, displacement and identity, and have been featured in top galleries worldwide. As an academic and professor, he is among the world’s foremost published experts on contemporary Palestinian and Asian art. And as a university administrator and leader, Dr. Makhoul has earned a reputation as a catalyst for academic innovation and quality improvement.
“Dr. Makhoul embodies the qualities we value most in leadership: experience, vision, and a deep commitment to our students’ success,” said Cyndi McLeod, Chair of UCW’s Board of Governors. “His international background and dedication to academic quality make him the ideal person to lead UCW into the future.”
“It is my honor to be appointed UCW’s next President,” Dr. Makhoul said. “I share the university’s commitment to providing high-quality education and fostering a vibrant campus community. UCW is an institution with solid foundations: a dedicated staff, an entrepreneurial faculty, a deeply diverse student body, and an exceptional campus in the heart of a great city— all the essential ingredients for an extraordinary learning experience. I am eager to be part of it.”
UCW as a beacon of quality and student success
As incoming President, Dr. Makhoul will deepen UCW’s commitment to providing quality academic programs that develop students into career-ready graduates and future organizational leaders. Drawing upon his global experience in academia, Dr. Makhoul will lead UCW’s efforts to provide innovative courses and programs that appeal to students’ passions and meet the talent needs of the British Columbia economy.
Dr. Makhoul also plans to enhance UCW’s student services and supports to ensure that every student can excel in their studies and reach their full potential — a theme that runs through his own life and career. “Post-secondary education is the great equalizer,” Dr. Makhoul said. “I know firsthand what it means and what it takes to travel great distances in pursuit of knowledge and a better life.
“Growing up in rural Palestine, the chance to study abroad opened doors that I am still walking through today. I want to ensure UCW provides that same access to opportunity as I enjoyed because with education, anything is possible.”
Dr. Makhoul is also committed to joining Canadians on their shared journey of Reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, and to continuing UCW’s important work in this area.
“Dr. Makhoul is an exceptional academic and administrator who will be an asset not only to UCW but to Vancouver, British Columbia and Canada as well,” said outgoing UCW President and Vice-Chancellor Sheldon Levy. “It’s my pleasure to welcome Bashir to UCW, and I look forward to the fresh new perspective he will bring to the university.”