In Canada, each province or territory is responsible for defining schools at the post-secondary level, and each higher education institution has its own set of rules on how to apply, what level of English or French is required, what the corresponding application and tuition fees will be.
What are the characteristics of colleges in Canada?
- Colleges usually focus on specific job placement skills, vocational training, and vocational induction.
- Colleges tend to have smaller class sizes: this is useful for students who need personalized attention.
- Many international students or professionals with prior degrees also appreciate the shorter certification and degree programs offered by colleges in Canada. In the context of continuing education and professional development, college programs can be used to complement a degree from outside Canada as a cumulative certificate.
- College programs usually last up to three years. Further, students can stay after the end of the program: the student is allowed to stay in the country up to 2-3 years after graduation (depending on the program) and apply for a Post Graduate Work Permit visa.
IMPORTANT : not all educational institutions provide this opportunity, you need to check the list on the embassy website.
What about Canadian universities?
- A university in Canada is an academic institution governed by provincial law, but autonomous in terms of academic issues: quality of programs, faculty, internal policies and procedures. Unlike colleges that issue degrees, universities in Canada are defined as institutions that award degrees: bachelor's, master's and doctorate.
- Universities usually focus on analytical skills (the ability to understand and use information), academic and professional programs.
- Due to the longer time it takes to complete a university program (usually three to four years), these programs are sometimes less attractive options for international students or professionals who are interested in a faster, more affordable education.
- Obtaining a university degree requires higher financial costs.
- For those looking to pursue a first bachelor's degree or are interested in a professional program such as medicine and law, universities are a good option. A university degree is also essential for anyone interested in pursuing academic or research careers.
- With a higher student-to-faculty ratio, university programs offer more independence than many college programs. This requires independence and initiative from students. In the later years of the bachelor's program, during the master's or doctoral degree, the volume of self-study increases and students can focus on more specific areas that interest them.
- After graduating from university, having worked for at least one year, the student can apply for permanent residence.
Whether you choose to go to college for a certificate or diploma, or a university for a bachelor's or graduate degree, continuing education can lead to new and rewarding career opportunities.