Saudi decision to withdraw scholarship students will affect dozens in Calgary
52 students from Saudi Arabia are enrolled in fall-winter semester classes at the University of Calgary
Dozens of students will be impacted in Calgary by Saudi Arabia's decision to withdraw its citizens studying under scholarships at Canadian universities.
There are 24 students currently enrolled in spring-summer semester classes at the University of Calgary while there are 52 registered in the upcoming fall-winter semester, which includes new and returning students.
"The University of Calgary is currently assessing the impacts that this decision may have on Saudi Arabian students currently attending or planning to attend UCalgary," read a statement issued Tuesday. "UCalgary is committed to working closely with these students to ensure they are provided with support during this uncertain situation."
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Only one student will be affected at Mount Royal University.
"We are concerned about the effect this decision will have on students across Canada," reads a statement from Phil Warsaba, associate vice-president of enrolment management and registrar at MRU.
"There is one Saudi Arabian student enrolled at Mount Royal this fall, among five active students (enrolled in courses over the past six semesters)."
Officials are working with the student, says the statement, adding "we will continue to gather information and work with our university partners."
Withdrawal a response to tweet
The announcement from the kingdom came after it said Sunday it would be halting all investment and trade activities in Canada. It has also expelled the Canadian ambassador, Dennis Horak.
On Friday, Global Affairs Canada had tweeted, "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 Saudi foreign ministry ordered Horak to leave the country, and called the use of "immediately release" in Canada's tweet "unfortunate, reprehensible, and unacceptable in relations between states."
It also said, "Any other attempt to interfere with our internal affairs from Canada means that we are allowed to interfere in Canada's internal affairs."
There are 16,000 Saudi Arabian students enrolled in university in Canada, according to a note signed by Horak on the embassy's website. The Saudi government funds the tuition of many of those students.
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