Steve Chapman, who has led the Scottish university since 2009, will start a five-year contract at Edith Cowan University in Perth, Western Australia, in early 2015.
During his time at Heriot-Watt, Professor Chapman helped to improve its performance in the National Student Survey, taking it from 108th in 2009 to fifth in 2012.
He also oversaw the creation of the university’s new £35 million campus in Dubai, which opened in November 2011, while also picking up The Sunday Times’ accolade of Best Scottish University in 2011-12 and 2012-13.
“I am immensely impressed by what I see at Edith Cowan University,” said Professor Chapman. “It is an institution with excellent values, a clear identity and a strong vision for the future – it will be an honour and a privilege to serve as the next vice-chancellor.”
Edith Cowan’s chancellor Hendy Cowan said Professor Chapman’s appointment followed a global recruitment process that attracted a very strong field of candidates.
“His leadership and experience will be great assets to take ECU into this next phase of its development as a modern, innovative university,” he said.
Established as a university in 1991, Edith Cowan is named after the first woman elected to the Australian parliament.