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The January 2023 program marks the first J-Term at NYUAD since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) has announced an impressive line-up of lecturers and courses for its 2023 edition of January Term (J-Term), including former British Prime Minister David Cameron and former Italian Prime Minister Senator Matteo Renzi.

NYUAD offers its undergraduate students J-Term courses in many locations around the world. The January Term courses are taught by renowned scholars, writers, artists, journalists, and policy analysts, who teach only during the J-Term, as well as distinguished professors from NYU, NYUAD, and other leading universities. Students take one course full-time for approximately three weeks. The courses are designed as immersive experiences that intensify the student’s intellectual focus, reach beyond the classroom to incorporate experiential learning, and are often site-specific, connecting students to the place where they study.

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The January 2023 program marks the first J-Term since the COVID-19 pandemic began, heralding the resumption of travel and the global experience provided to the 1,200 NYUAD students taking J-Term courses this year. Students have selected one of the 77 courses offered, covering a diverse range of topics in environmental governance, politics, leadership and innovation, business and entrepreneurship, marketing, arts and culture, and history, among others.

David Cameron

Former British prime minister David Cameron is teaching a course titled Practising Politics and Government in the Age of Disruption. Meanwhile, Italian politician and former prime minister Senator Matteo Renzi is giving a course titled From the Renaissance to Artificial Intelligence: Cities, Innovation, and Building the Future.

Merritt Moore, a professional ballet dancer and academic quantum physicist at the University of Oxford, asks what the future of human and robot interaction will look like. Dana Burde, Associate Professor and Director of International Education at New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development, is delivering a course titled International Peacebuilding and the Role of Education and holding a seminar for the class in Athens, Greece.


NYUAD Vice Chancellor Mariët Westermann, who is teaching her signature J-Term course on Gardens of Eden in Abu Dhabi said: “J-Term is more than a single distinctive international learning experience; it reflects our university’s deep commitment toward global education. The courses are designed to illuminate the interdependence of local knowledge and global awareness while fostering cross-cultural research and insights into complex global issues. Our aim is to equip students with the right tools and shared experiences to act with ethical intelligence, as responsible citizens and leaders in their communities both here in the UAE and the wider world.”

Associate Vice Chancellor and Vice Provost of Global Education and Outreach Carol Brandt added: “Although J-Term’s duration is only three weeks, it has a great and lasting impact because of its immersive character and linkage of theoretical and experiential learning. The courses include multiple engagements in their local community, whether in Abu Dhabi or Paris, to take the students into the classroom of the real world through field research, joint projects with organisations, and guest experts. The intensity of shared experience between the professors and students tends to build an unusually strong bond between them that lasts long after J-Term ends.”