When planning to study in Canada, you will encounter the fact that a college in Canada is different from a COLLEGE in the United States. Unlike the United States,where the term "college" refers to local or community schools offering associate and/or bachelor's degrees, the college system in Canada was designed to provide technical education and obtain certificates/diplomas that meet changing trends in the world of work, the needs of a changing economy.
Approximately 53 per cent of Canadians over the age of 15 have completed some level of post-secondary education by attending a university, college, vocational school or college of general and vocational education (CÉGEP).
Historically, colleges have served local communities, but today they are launching innovative employment services, developing programs based on labor market trends and employers' needs. Colleges focus on specific skills needed for employment, vocational studies. In addition to the special focus on college employment, smaller class sizes with a lower student-to-faculty ratio. This is useful for students who want to receive individual attention and the opportunity to interact directly with teachers.
College programs also provide additional practical experience through the transition to apprenticeships, improving language skills.
Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology offer full-time and part-time degree and certificate programs. Some colleges specialize in programs in agriculture, health, the arts, or military disciplines.
Many international students or professionals with previously acquired undergraduate degrees appreciate the shorter certificate and diploma programs offered by colleges in Canada. In the context of continuing education and professional development, college programs are used to supplement a degree earned outside of Canada.
Universities in Canada are academic institutions that are governed by provincial law but are autonomous in terms of academic issues: quality of programs, faculty, policies and procedures. Unlike colleges, which issue diplomas, universities in Canada are defined as institutions that confer an academic degree - bachelor, master, doctor. Universities usually focus on analytical skills (the ability to understand and use information), academic and professional programs.
Universities are suitable for international students who have just graduated from school and want to get a bachelor's degree abroad, those who want to study medicine or law while already having a bachelor's degree. Obtaining a university diploma is also necessary for everyone who is interested in working in academic, research fields.
With a higher student-faculty ratio, university programs offer more independence than many college programs. Higher education requires students to have the skills of time management and self-motivation. In the last years of undergraduate, during the master's or doctoral degree, the volume of self-study increases, but students can focus on more specific areas of interest.
Obtaining a university degree requires higher financial costs than college programs. Tuition fees typically range from 25,000 to 40,000 $CAD for undergraduate programs and 25,000 to 75,000 $CAD for master's programs per year. College tuition usually ranges from 12,000 to 25,000 $CAD.
Universities in Canada provide more scholarship and grant options than colleges, but the cost of college is relatively low.