DS MUSTAFAUUM ONLINE: After 35 years of sowing the seeds of Knowledge, Virtue and Service at Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM), Prof. Dato’ Seri Dr. Mohamed Mustafa Ishak completed his service as Professor at UUM Kuala Lumpur Campus which in one fell swoop ending his term as the Director-General of Higher Education, Department of Higher Education at the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE).

After serving as the Director-General of Higher Education for 8 months, beginning form 4 May 2020, Prof. Dato’ Seri Dr. Mohamed Mustafa Ishak will retire on 11 January.  He clocked out for the last time at the MOHE Tower at about 5pm yesterday witnessed by the Secretary-General of MOHE, Dato' Seri Dr. Mazlan Yusoff and members of staff at MOHE.

Prof. Dato’ Seri Dr. Mohamed Mustafa holds a Doctor of Philosophy (Political Sociology) from the University of Leeds and a Master Degree (Politics) from the University of York, England.

Prior to his appointment as the Director-General of Higher Education last year, he was the 7th Vice-Chancellor of UUM from 2010 to 2018. Prof. Dato' Seri Dr. Mohamed Mustafa brought about many transformation and changes when he led UUM.  With him at the helm, UUM succeeded in becoming a world-renowned international university and known for attaining various prestigious international accreditations such as AACSB, AMBA and EPAS.

Apart from that, he was also steered UUM to successful attain various ratings such as 5 Stars in SETARA and MyRA, in fact UUM also made it into the GreenMetric UI list for the first time as well as other world rankings namely the QS World University Rankings and Times Higher Education (THE) University Rankings.

Prof. Dato’ Seri Dr. Mohamed Mustafa also created the UUM Strategic Plan Phase 1 (2010-2015) and Phase 2 (2016-2020). And the legacy continues into Phase 3 (2021-2025) with Prof. Dato' Dr. Ahmad Bashawir Abdul Ghani being at the helm to ensure the agenda of the University towards becoming the Eminent Management University is achieved. Prof Dato’ Seri Dr Mohamed Mustafa was also the brainchild of the UUM Welcome Centre (Anjung Tamu)- the one-stop centre for visitors which has become an icon of UUM as well as the Circle of Time, a clock tower to remind the campus denizen to always appreciate time.

Prof. Dato’ Seri Dr. Mohamed Mustafa not only succeeded in transforming UUM and the country's higher education sector. His ideas and views were also often taken into account particularly in political analysis and comments, be it on television or in the press due to his expertise as a Professor in the field of Political Science and International affairs.

At the international stage, he was the recipient of the CEEMAN Champions Awards 2017 for Institutional Management.  His accolades reach as far as being awarded the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Education Administration by the Crown Prince of Thailand, His Royal Highness Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn (the present King of Thailand) and was appointed the 86th Member of the Professional Body (Companionship) by Chartered Management Institute (CMI), London.

For the record, he also held the position of Head of the Political, Security and International Affairs Cluster, National Council of Professors (MPN) at the national level and President of the Association of International Studies, besides holding the position of Chairman of the Malaysian Examinations Council (MPM).

Among the quotes he often shared, ‘If we cannot become a rose, smell like a rose’.

Happy retirement! Prof. Dato’ Seri Dr. Mohamed Mustafa, the person who transformed UUM and propelled it to the International Arena. Your Knowledge, Virtue, Service will forever be in our hearts. We pray that you have good health and continue to serve the community and the country.