Political Tensions between Canada and Saudi Arabia Represent the Three Wave of International Students

The diplomatic and political tussle between Saudi Arabia and Canada is going to disrupt the lives and educational ambitions of Saudi student. It will also hurt enrollments of Canadian universities hosting Saudi students. This political turbulence is characteristics of the Third Wave of international student mobility which has already affected the UK with Brexit and the US with the Presidential elections. After the drastic reduction of Saudi Government's scholarship program, many American universities have already experienced the risky scenario of decline in enrollment due to dependency on Saudi government.

Students from Saudia Arabia formed 3.15% of total international student enrollment in Canadian universities and colleges according to UNESCO data of 2017.

Top-10 Source Countries of International Students to Canada

Int'l Students in CanadaEnrollment
China60,936
India19,905
France15,603
United States8,355
Nigeria5,982
Saudi Arabia5,979
Korea, Rep.4,743
Iran, Islamic Rep.3,735
Pakistan2,658
China, Hong Kong2,076
Source: UNESCO (2017)

International Enrollment Trends of Saudi Arabian Students


YearSaudi Students
Abroad
% Increase
201785,2770%
201685,288-1%
201586,2232%
201484,17712%
201374,85516%
201264,37825%
201151,352-
Source: UNESCO


Top-10 Countries Enrolling Saudi Students

CountryEnrollment
United States53,637
United Kingdom8,469
Canada5,979
Australia4,387
United Arab Emirates1,983
Jordan1,727
Malaysia1,066
Bahrain1,017
Ireland915
Poland850
Source: UNESCO

Dr. Rahul Choudaha