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

Charges upgraded against mother of murdered Langley girl

Kerryann Lewis now faces first- rather than second-degree murder in the death of Aaliyah Rosa.

WATCH: Farm Country Brewing in Langley City expected to open in summer

Farm Country Brewing is currently under construction and is planned to open in summer 2019.

LETTER: Langley letter writer takes jabs at mayor’s jersey choice

A sports fan chides Langley City’s mayor for sporting an Oilers jersey in Canucks country.

LETTER: Local Liberal MP challenges letter writer’s facts on immigration

The local MP makes the distinction between asylum seekers, immigrants and refugees.

Dr. Keith Lamont, founder of Langley Community Music School, passed away at age 89

Dr. Keith Lamont’s funeral service is on Jan. 20 at the Langley Community Music School

VIDEO: U.S. Congress to probe whether Trump told lawyer Cohen to lie

At issue is a BuzzFeed News report that about negotiations over a Moscow real estate project

Rookie Demko backstops Canucks to 4-3 win over Sabres

Young Vancouver goalie makes 36 saves to turn away Buffalo

UPDATE: Injured firefighter in stable condition

Kelowna fire crews responded to a blaze at Pope’sGallery of BC Art & Photography on Friday

Book a ride on a driverless shuttle in Surrey or Vancouver

Automated vehicle demos are being offered, as the two cities plan pilot projects with the shuttles

Heavy snowfall expected on the Coquihalla

Snowfall warning in effect for the Coquihalla Highway, from Hope to Merritt

Rare ‘super blood wolf moon’ takes to the skies this Sunday

Celestial event happens only three times this century

Arrest made after historic B.C. church hit by arson

The fire at the 150-year-old Murray United Church in Merritt was considered a possible hate crime

Missing man from Crowsnest Pass could be in Lower Mainland

58-year-old Stuart David Duff was last seen on Jan. 6, 2019.

B.C. dangerous offender in court for violating no-contact order, sends letter to victim

Wayne Belleville was shocked to see a letter addressed to him from his shooter, Ronald Teneycke

Most Read