Academic freedom: I spent four months at UAE’s national university – this is what I found

Press/Media: Articles in 'The Conversation'


The case of the Durham PhD student, Matthew Hedges – who has been arrested and placed in solitary confinement on the charge of spying – exposes the extreme limits on academic freedom in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). But Hedges’s plight, while outrageous, is not altogether shocking for seasoned observers of the oil-rich Gulf monarchy.

This year I spent four months as a visiting professor at the UAE’s national university. I found much to admire in their universities. Staff conduct research in campuses endowed with world-class facilities that arouse awe and jealousy from visiting academics. Highly motivated students make teaching rewarding.

Period22 Oct 2018

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