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Southern Utah
2:41 pm
Tue December 4, 2012

SUU's ESL Program "Saturated" with Saudis

The Saudi Arabian government has stopped recommending Southern Utah University's English as a Second Language program to Saudi Students it sends abroad to study.

The Saudi Arabia cultural mission likes its students to study English in ESL programs comprised of no more than 35% Saudi students. Its thought is that doing so maximizes the educational and cultural experience.

SUU's ESL program has 182 students, 158 of which are Saudi -- that's nearly 87%. As a result the Saudi government has categorized SUU's program as "oversaturated" and will discontinue sending new students to Cedar City for the time being.

Last month a former instructor accused some fellow instructors at the same SUU ESL program of tolerating plagiarism in an effort to more quickly move ESL students, including Saudis, on to university matriculation.

While university administrators continue to investigate the plagiarism claims, university provost Brad Cook indicates that the enrollment cap imposed by the Saudi government "makes sense" and is designed to ensure that Saudi students "receive a culturally and diverse education."