B.C. officials seek clarity after Saudi Arabia to reportedly remove students

Feud develops after Canada’s global affairs minister tweeted for release of human rights activists

B.C. officials are trying to understand a report from Saudi Arabia’s state news agency that the country will be pulling its international students from Canadian universities following last week’s recent diplomatic row.

On Monday, the Al-Arabiya news agency reported the government will be transferring students enrolled in “training, scholarships and fellowships” programs in Canada to other countries.

According to Canadian Bureau for International Education, roughly 10,000 students are in Canada from Saudi Arabia.

About 2,450 Saudi students are enrolled at B.C. schools from kindergarten to post-secondary, the ministry of advanced education told Black Press Media. It did not provide a breakdown.

“Our first and foremost concern is the well-being of all students. Our universities, colleges and institutes are working to clarify the situation and determine how current and incoming students might be affected. It’s important that impacted students receive support as needed,” an emailed statement read.

READ MORE: Saudi Arabia’s diplomatic dispute with Canada, explained

University of British Columbia president Santa Ono said in an email the university is working to clarify the situation and determine how many current and incoming UBC students might be affected.

Universities receive three to four times more fees per coure credit from international students than domestic.

Black Press Media has reached out to other post-secondary institutions for comment.

The tension between Canada and Saudi Arabia erupted last Thursday when Canada’s foreign minister Chrystia Freeland sent out a tweet about human rights activist Samar Badawi. Her brother is a blogger who was convicted of “insulting Islam” and sentenced in 2014 to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes.

“Canada is gravely concerned about additional arrests of civil society and women’s rights activists in Saudi Arabia, including Samar Badawi. We urge the Saudi authorities to immediately release them and all other peaceful human rights activists,” the tweet read.

A similar tweet was sent by the Global Affairs Canada.

Saudi Arabia has since expelled Canada’s ambassador to the country, Dennis Horak, pulled back its own ambassador, and frozen all trade with Canada.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Garagellenium XX starts with pancake breakfast

Annual Oak Bay Garage Sale coming Saturday, June 8

Comic Con swings into town, June 9

Variety of cosplay prizes to be won from $100 – $450

Mayfair visitors can check out “Heartmelt Motel”

Cross-country pop-up exhibit stops in Victoria from May 29 to June 9

Canadian breaks women’s world record for longest plank

Dana Glowacka, of Montreal, held a plank for four hours and 20 minutes

Five takeaways from the Court of Appeal ruling on B.C.’s pipeline law

It’s unclear how many tools are left in B.C.’s toolbox to fight the project

Pacific Rim National Park Reserve investigating after sea lion found shot in the head

Animal is believed to have been killed somewhere between Ucluelet and Tofino

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of May 21

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Were you satisfied with the Game of Thrones series finale?

Millions gathered in front of their televisions Sunday night to watch the… Continue reading

B.C. port workers set to strike on Monday in Vancouver

A strike at two container terminals would affect Canadian trade to Asia

Volunteers already rescuing fry from drying creekbeds around Cowichan Lake

It’s early but already salmon fry are being left high and dry

So, they found ‘Dave from Vancouver Island’

Dave Tryon, now 72 and living in North Delta, will reunite with long-ago travelling friends in Monterey, Calif.

Most Read