Saudi students at U of O given reprieve

Saudi Arabian students attending the University of Ottawa have been granted a three-week extension of their government-ordered deadline to leave Canada, the school has confirmed.

Students on state-funded scholarships ordered to leave over diplomatic spat

The University of Ottawa has the most registered Saudi students of any post-secondary school in the capital. (Andrew Foote/CBC)

Saudi Arabian students attending the University of Ottawa have been granted a three-week extension of their government-ordered deadline to leave Canada, the school has confirmed.

Earlier this month Saudi Arabia ordered all Saudi students on government-funded scholarships to Canadian schools to return home by Aug. 31. The order followed a diplomatic disagreement with the Canadian government.

Riyadh also froze new trade with Canada, expelled the country's ambassador and blocked imports of Canadian grain.

The University of Ottawa confirmed Thursday it's among several universities that had received a letter saying the students could remain in Canada until Sept. 22.

A spokesperson said approximately 250 Saudi students and medical residents are currently enrolled at the university.

'A stressful time'

"The university recognizes that this is a stressful time for the students affected," the university said in an email to CBC.

"The first priority is to ensure the wellbeing and success of our students and trainees, and we will work with those students who must comply with the Saudi measures."

Any students with questions are asked to contact the school's international student office.

There are 130 Saudi students registered for fall classes at Carleton University and 74 Saudi students at Algonquin College, according to data from those schools earlier this month.

Algonquin College and Carleton have not received word of an extension, according to spokespeople.