In reaction to the news that the Saudi Arabian government plans to withdraw its sponsored students at Canadian schools, the University of Saskatchewan is trying to contact any enrolled students from the Islamic Kingdom.
In fact, the U of S is also trying to contact students from the last year as well.
Patti McDougall, Vice-Provost of teaching, learning and student experience, says there are 9 Saudi students registered for this fall, but there were 26 in the last academic year and it’s expected there would normally be more registering before classes begin in September, particularly graduate students.
The university is reaching out to students to identify what their needs are, their circumstances, whether they are in Canada and what the immediate future looks like for them.
McDougall says some students may not be receiving government funding, so they wouldn’t necessarily be called back.
The university is assessing each situation and anticipates a great deal of anxiety, so supports will be offered to students and possibly any family that may also in Saskatoon.
All of this is because the Saudi government wasn’t impressed with the federal government calling for the immediate release of civil rights activists.
A tweet from Saudi Arabia’s foreign ministry says the post from Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and her department was a major, unacceptable affront to the Kingdom’s laws and judicial process, as well as a violation of the Kingdom’s sovereignty.
The Saudis recalled their ambassador over the weekend and has put a stop to all new business and investment deals.
This morning (Tues), Saudi Arabia announced suspending airline operations to and from Canada as of next Monday, August 13th.