Is Southern Utah U Rushing Foreign Students Into College Classes?

Ann McClure's picture

Southern Utah University has an unorthodox fast track that allows its international students to enroll as undergraduates without completing its unaccredited English as a Second Language (ESL) program or passing a proficiency exam. That opportunity has been a powerful recruiting tool, its former ESL director says.

But the Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission has now banned Saudi students from entering the troubled program, citing both student complaints and its "oversaturation" with Saudi students.

Of the 182 students enrolled, 158 are Saudis, according to the mission, which is concerned that the lack of diversity negates the value of an international education.

The mission’s ban comes as SUU is investigating allegations that its unaccredited ESL program tolerates plagiarism by students. Officials put an instructor on probation last month, and they have pledged to invite an accredited ESL program to review its performance.

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