Professor Sharifah Hapsah Syed Hasan Shahabudin is exemplary in the development of medical and higher education in Malaysia. She is credited for the development of the quality assurance framework for all qualifications in Malaysia. As Vice-Chancellor of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), a position she retired from in 2013, she developed a transformation plan for UKM, introduced the commercialization of research products and initiated innovative programmes for human capital development. She has combined her social activist work as President of the National Council of Women’s Organisation (NCWO) to strengthen community engagement projects at UKM. She is a prolific writer and a columnist in the mainstream newspapers focusing on education, health and gender issues. She has received numerous international and national recognitions, including the Fred Kartz Memorial Medal and the COL-ICDE Award of Excellence.