Statement on Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
The Federation of Post-Secondary Educators of BC is concerned that the recent diplomatic exchange between Canada’s Foreign Affairs department and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has resulted in direction for all Saudi students to leave Canadian schools. This decision has resulted in the unfortunate interruption of the studies of hundreds of students in BC, and thousands across Canada, and has taken away the opportunity of classmates & communities to learn from the rich culture and history of Saudi Arabia.
FPSE commends the Canadian government for calling attention to human rights abuses, regardless of where they occur. FPSE advocates for affordable, accessible education for all regardless of income, gender, religion, political affiliation, or geographic region, and as such advocates for the recognition of human and civil rights in Canada and across the world as a necessary pre-condition required for broad and fair educational access. People of all nations are better equipped to navigate our interconnected global marketplace of ideas and industries with the ability to learn from, and in, other countries. Guided by this principle, FPSE consistently calls on all levels of government to expand access to education and to consider policy positions through a human and civil rights lens.
FPSE also acknowledges the tremendous contribution of Saudi students and scholars to our classes and institutions, and the benefits both Canada and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have enjoyed through our educational and cultural exchanges and experiences for several decades. FPSE respectfully encourages the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to reconsider the directive pertaining to students studying in Canada so we may continue and build upon this relationship.
The Federation of Post-Secondary Educators of BC is the provincial voice for faculty and staff in BC teaching universities, colleges and institutes, and in private sector institutions. FPSE member locals, represented by Presidents' Council and the Executive, represent over 10,000 faculty and staff at 18 public and 12 private sector institutions.