Just when President Donald Trump denied to take a stand in the Saudi-Canada diplomatic feud, a US university has decided to welcome Saudi students.
A public research university of Oregon, Portland State University (PSU) has announced to make its admission process easier for the Saudi students, who have been instructed to leave Canada.
The university said that Saudi students transferring from Canadian universities, will receive an “expedited admission decision” on providing their university transcripts.
It also stated that the application fees for these students will be waived, and for successful applicants, the all non-vocational and college-level credits will transfer to PSU. A dedicated “international transfer admissions counsellor” has also been established, to guide the applicant through the transfer process.
Portland State University said that it “wants to extend itself as a partner to Saudi students. As an institution with a commitment to serving diverse learners, we are confident that PSU will provide an innovative environment for you [Saudi students] to continue your studies.”
Earlier this month, an issue that commenced with a statement of concern, intensified into a diplomatic spat between Saudi Arabia and Canada. Since then, Saudi officials have been dramatizing the situation, and placed an embargo against Canada.
Other that the businesses and ambassadors, the political situation of the two countries have also impacted the Saudi students, who are a part of Canadian institutions. At present, over 12,000 Saudi students are studying in Canada, out of which 7,000 are on a Saudi scholarship programme.
After the Canadian foreign affairs minister urged for the Saudi government to release all the peaceful civil society and women’s rights activists, the authorities of Saudi Arabia had announced to withdraw all these students from the institutions of Canada.
A representative of Saudi government had said that they were planning to accommodate their students currently in Canada, in “excellent countries such as the US, the UK, Australia and New Zealand.” However, the experts warned that the relocation of such many students to other international destinations would be troublesome, especially so close to the start of a new academic year.
As the issue continued to escalate between the two countries, some of the influential countries of the world, like the US and Oman, decided to stay outside the situation and not take any stance. However, the initiative of Portland State University might be a sign of the United States’ bend towards Saudi Arabia.