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David Cameron to start teaching post at Abu Dhabi university

Position in one of region's most repressive countries will see former British prime minister lecture on politics
Former British prime minister David Cameron set to start teaching in the UAE (Reuters/File Photo)

David Cameron, Britain's former prime minister, will start teaching politics at a university in Abu Dhabi starting in January.

As first reported by the Financial Times, Cameron will take a post at New York University Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and will lecture students on "practising politics and government in the age of disruption" in a three-week course that is also expected to touch on the war in Ukraine and migration in Europe. 

Cameron was the UK prime minister from 2010 until 2016, overseeing the referendum on Britain leaving the European Union, which badly backfired for the pro-EU politician when the final result ended up as 52 to 48 per cent for the leave camp.

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The results triggered not only his dramatic resignation but also upended British politics, leading to an economic and political upheaval that the country is still contending with.

It is unclear whether Brexit will be part of his teaching course.

A friend of Cameron speaking to the FT said the teaching post was a "logical extension" of talks he had given in the years since leaving politics.

"He led the Tory party for 11 years and the country for six years and will draw on his experience in teaching the course about politics and government in the age of populism and disruption," added the close friend. 

It is unclear how much Cameron is expected to make from this current teaching post. 

Academic freedom 

The UAE is an authoritarian state, and academic freedom is strongly suppressed. 

In 2018, Emirati authorities arrested the British academic Matthew Hedges and held him in prison for six months. Hedges was jailed for life on spying charges and subsequently pardoned after pressure from the British government. 

The British academic, following his release, claimed that the UAE tortured him, and he later started civil proceedings in the High Court in London against four of the senior officials who he says were involved.

The university campus that Cameron will be teaching in was built with abused and captive labour.

In 2015, Andrew Ross, a professor at New York University who specialised in labour rights, was banned from flying to the UAE without any reason being offered.

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