US University Loses $5M as Saudi Students Stay Away

World Press

JEDDAH: The revenues of Idaho University are expected to decline by more than $5 million in the new academic year due to a drop in the number of Saudi scholarship students.

This decrease has been attributed to racist attacks suffered by some Saudi students at the university recently.

According to the Associated Press, the level of registration at the university is expected to decline by as much as seven percent next semester, in comparison to last semester.

The annual report of the university which was sent to all employees and the faculty members said that the number of registered students in the upcoming academic year will be less than 9,500 students.

Laura Woodworth-Ney, Idaho State University’s provost and vice president for academic affairs, explained that while the figures reflect the current period alone, the university is getting ready for a further drop in the number of students in the future.

She added that the reason for the declining revenues of the university was the declining number of the Saudi students in addition to Kuwaiti students.

This decreased enrollment at the institution comes after Idaho University witnessed a range of racist attacks on Saudi and Kuwaiti students, which prompted the Saudi Embassy in Washington to reconsider the scholarship program with the university.

The situation stabilized after the intervention of the mayor of the city and the rector of the university, enabling the parties to reach a suitable solution to the issue, with the university pledging to provide security for Gulf students by providing more police patrols around their lodgings.

In an email to Idaho State faculty and students in mid-April, the university’s president, Arthur C. Vailas, said the homes of about 50 Middle Eastern students had been burglarized over several weeks.

“As a result of these crimes, some of our students are seriously considering leaving I.S.U. and Pocatello,” the email said.

The burglaries followed reports that 17 vehicles, many belonging to Middle Eastern students, were vandalized last year, Vailas’s email said. Also, DVDs containing hate messages were left on a number of car windshields on campus.

Saudi and Kuwaiti students make up one-tenth of the population at Idaho State.