Saudi Arabia's Taif University recently announced that its Arab Poetry Academy opened submissions to their first-ever extra-curricular music and performance program.

The course offering made headlines earlier this week and caused quite the stir on the kingdom's Twitter.

This is because the country's academic institutions have long excluded music from both their curricular and extra-curricular academic activities.

Speaking to MBC News, the university's official spokesman Saleh Al Thubaity explained that though the new course isn't part of an academic track, it has been a hit among students.

"College education has a lot to do with what students do outside their studies," Al Thubaity said.

When asked if musicology is one of the academic majors the university plans to launch in the future, he explained: 

"Music might be launched as an academic offering in the near future, both at our institution and in any other place across the kingdom." 

News of the music course divided people on Twitter

Some were completely against it

"Launching a music course in Taif University is such an unfortunate thing." 

Others were outraged by it

"We were asking for summer courses at Taif University and they suddenly launch a music and performance course! May God protect our academic institutions. I am going to take my kids out of school if they allow music to be taught there. I'd rather they live without education." 

Many were excited for the course though

"We thank Taif University for this initiative. I just enrolled in it." 

A few now want their own institutions to launch similar classes

"Taif University started teaching music and singing. Why don't our schools teach us too?" 

Music was previously not taught at Saudi education institutions

While music is allowed on national occasions and at specific school events, public education institutions across the ultra-conservative kingdom do not offer music classes to students.

There is also no musical academy or national conservatory in the country. 

The subject has long sparked controversy in Saudi Arabia, with many claiming the ban on these classes stems from religious edicts stating that music is haram (unacceptable in Islam).

The issue has also been debated on Saudi social media platforms time and again