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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Morning Start: Night Owls Tend to Be Smarter Than Early Birds

Your morning start for Monday, Sept. 21, 2020

QUIZ: A celebration of apples

September is the start of the apple harvest

Smoky skies clearing throughout B.C. Interior

Environment Canada expects “widespread” improvement for all affected areas by Sunday

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 20 to 26

Rabbit Day, Hobbit Day and One-Hit Wonder Day are all coming up this week

Interior Health reports three additional COVID-19 cases in region

The number of cases in the region since the beginning of the pandemic are now at 492

Quirky Canadian comedy ‘Schitt’s Creek’ takes Emmys by storm with comedy sweep

Toronto-raised Daniel Levy and Ottawa-born Annie Murphy both got supporting actor nods

B.C. has highest number of active COVID-19 cases per capita, federal data shows

B.C. currently has 1,803 active cases after weeks of COVID-19 spikes in the province

‘Fed bears are dead bears’ Okanagan residents warned

Several bears spotted near Okanagan Rail Trail, and getting into garbage

181 days gone: Family continues to look for man last seen in RCMP custody 6 months ago

Brandon Sakebow’s last known location was leaving Mission RCMP cell, police say; family has doubts

B.C. unveils new cannabis sales programs to help small, Indigenous growers

Government did not say how it will define small producers, but says nurseries will be included in the policy

B.C. transportation minister will not seek re-election

Claire Trevena has held the position since 2017

Squabble over mask policy at LUSH in Kelowna mall

The woman filmed the encounter at LUSH Cosmetics, where wearing a mask in-store is company policy

Cops For Kids ride wraps in Okanagan

No pomp, no circumstance for end of milestone 20th anniversary fundraising bicycle trip

Most Read