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Why study in Canada?

Canada is one of the great place for learning and have developed one of the world’s finest education system with high standards. The country spends more on education (as a percentage of GDP) as compared to the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) average, and is the second highest among G-8 countries.

A Range of Choices

Canadian universities provide a full spectrum of undergraduate and graduate degree programs, with faculty undertaking research of national and international importance.

Universities in Canada range from large urban, multi-campus and research-intensive universities, offering a wide range of undergraduate, graduate and professional programs, to small liberal arts colleges with a focus on undergraduate education. Others provide specialized professional programs in fields such as business, engineering, art and design or agriculture.

You will find that Canada is nothing if not diverse! University colleges represent a new model for postsecondary education, combining practical vocational programs with more theoretical offerings. Since Canada is a bilingual country, our universities demonstrate this by offering instruction in English, French, or even both!

Three universities are devoted entirely to distance education – a field in which Canada, a country of vast spaces and outstanding achievements in telecommunications, is a world leader. In fact, most universities in Canada offer a wide selection of courses through distance education, with formats ranging from traditional print or audiotape correspondence courses, to teleconference or computer conferences. Support systems for students who study at a distance are common, including counseling and study skills seminars, tutorial assistance by phone, fax or computer, and direct online links to campus libraries.

A Reputation for Excellence

Canadian universities have earned an international reputation for excellence. Their faculty have recognized research and teaching strengths in areas such as computer sciences, business (including MBA programs), health sciences, law, ocean studies, natural resources and agriculture.

In addition to their teaching, universities play a vital role in their local communities, offering concerts and plays, day care centers, sports and fitness facilities, lectures, museums, on-campus radio stations and art galleries open to all. Research is central to the mission of Canadian universities. In fact, 25% of Canada’s research capacity is found in our universities – a far higher proportion than most others countries. Universities in Canada employ about one-third of the country’s PhDs, who spearhead the national research effort. Students at Canadian universities are frequently involved in research projects, often during their early undergraduate years. Professors see research as an integral component to their classroom teaching. Canadian university research has yielded a wealth of innovations as important as insulin, Pablum, the artificial pacemaker, improved strains of wheat, and the identification of the genetic causes of diseases such as cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy and Lou Gehrig’s disease. Today, Canadian researchers are world leaders in areas such as helping people cope with pain and stress, improving human memory, pulp and paper chemistry, dealing with the impact of technology in the workplace, and finding new treatments for cancer, osteoporosis and arthritis.

Quality of Life

Canada is currently ranked 4th on the United Nations Human Development Index, an annual survey that uses a number of factors (life expectancy, literacy, education, standard of living, and GDP per capita) to determine quality of life. It also includes abundance of fresh water, comfortable population density, low incidence of violent crime and a health care system that is a model for the world.

Canada also has the highest ranking cities in North America for living according to the Mercer Human Resource Consulting Worldwide Quality of Living Survey 2007. This ranking is based on two important criteria of safety and stability. Five Canadian cities ranked within the Top 25 cities in North America include Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Calgary.

The System in Profile

Universities in Canada operate under provincial government charters. There is no formal system of university-wide institutional accreditation. Instead, membership of AUCC, in conjunction with the university’s provincial government charter, is seen as serving in lieu of institutional accreditation, both in Canada and abroad. In addition, graduate programs and professional schools such as law, nursing, medicine and engineering have rigorous discipline-specific accreditation procedures. Computer science is also developing its own accreditation system.

There are currently 500,000 full-time undergraduates at Canadian universities, 200,000 part-time undergraduates, 75,000 full-time and 40,000 part-time graduate students. Student profiles have changed dramatically over the past decade, with older students, more women and a greater multicultural mix. The social sciences remain by far the largest field of study in Canada, followed by education and the humanities. Biochemistry and computer science have been among the fastest growing disciplines at the bachelor’s level in the last five years, closely followed by nursing, sociology and psychology. A wide range of student services is offered by most universities, including special tutoring in writing and math skills, help in finding off-campus housing, academic, career or personal counselling, and health services.

Many universities provide support to students with special needs, including single parents, women, those with physical, sensory or learning disabilities, aboriginal students, part-time students, gays and lesbians, mature students, and students of diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Special programs are also often available to help first-year students improve their chances for success at university. Some offer for-credit courses aimed at integrating students to university life and studies. Many universities provide such assistance on an on-going basis throughout the academic year, with workshops in areas such as essay and exam writing, study and research skills.

A Lasting Reward

A university education translates into new skills, better job prospects and higher salaries. University graduates also have a better chance at promotion throughout their career, better health and benefit packages, as well as better pension plans. Clearly, the rewards of a university education last a lifetime.

Internationally recognized degrees

All public and private recognized and authorized post-secondary institutions in Canada have been given the authority to grant academic credentials by their provincial or territorial governments, through charters or legislation that ensures or enables mechanisms for institutional and program quality. At the provincial and national levels, Canadian professional-regulatory bodies (for example, in the fields of nursing, architecture, and engineering) participate in the establishment and review of postsecondary curriculum standards. Accreditation reviews are conducted through analysis of reports and on-site visits.

There are a number of organizations in Canada that promote quality and the use of high academic standards in post-secondary programs such as the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC), the Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC) and the Association of Accrediting Agencies of Canada (AAAC). Higher education degrees from Canada are accepted and respected worldwide.

Competitive tuition fees

By studying in Canada, you can receive a high quality education in a friendly and welcoming environment for a reasonable cost.

Living in Canada

Canada has been ranked as one of the top ten places to live in the world since 1994 according to the United Nations (UN) and the Economist Intelligence Unit. In the UN survey Canada earned particularly high marks for its access to education, high life expectancy (due to universal health care system); and low crime and violence rates.

Canada is the second largest country in the world with a total land area of 9,984,670 square kilometers. Although Canada has a huge landmass, most of its 31 million people—80 percent—live in towns and cities in the southern areas of the country. Canada is made up of 10 provinces and 3 territories. Most of Canada’s population lives within 250 km of the United States border.

Canada has two official languages which are English and French. All government of Canada services and documents are available in both languages. English is the most common language spoken in all provinces except Quebec. In Quebec, French is the official language.

Canada has traditionally been a country of immigrants and has a policy of encouraging multicultural diversity. In this vibrant setting, different perspectives are respected and learning together is encouraged. Almost all of the world’s ethnic groups are represented in Canada. As a result, most ethnic foods and recreational activities associated with specific cultures are available in Canada. Clubs, informal clubs and associations representing a multitude of ethnic backgrounds are also easily accessible. International student advisors at schools can help students get in touch with such groups.

All major urban centers have a variety of shopping malls, restaurants, theatres, art galleries and museums. Canadian cities provide numerous parks, gardens and beaches for public use, as well as excellent sports and recreation facilities.

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