Canada is one of the most chosen destinations for higher studies by thousands of international scholars. An important reason for the popularity of Canadian universities is that education in Canada is more economical than other developed countries like UK and US. Over 130,000 students come to study here every year and bring a rich vibrant culture to Canadian Universities.
As far as education system in Canada is concerned, there is no federal education system rather education in Canada is under the complete jurisdiction of the provinces and territories. To keep up the national commitment the Canadian government offers free public education, including secondary school in all the provinces.
You will find some major differences between the education systems of different provinces of Canada. Unlike India where secondary schooling is only up to grade 12, Canada secondary education could go up to Grade 11, 12 or 13.
Post secondary education in Canada is offered by four types of educational institutions- Universities, University College, Community College or Technical Institutes and technical/ Career Colleges.
Universities- since Canadian Universities are publicly funded as a result they provide quality of education at lower tuition rates for international students than their competing nations. These universities have a wide range of courses and degrees from undergraduate level to doctorate.
University Colleges- being a part of Canadian university system, these university colleges offer a choice to students to choose from academic oriented university degree program or the more practical-oriented college diplomas and certificates. University colleges are recognized by their strong student support services, small classes with a strong campus environment. One may opt to do combined degree/diploma programs and university transfer programs.
Community colleges and technical institutes- these community colleges have small classes, off-campus offerings, a greater ratio of laboratory space to class room space, with an interactive style of teaching. The exceptionality of these Canadian colleges lies in the combination of employer-centered curricula. You are offered diplomas and certificates rather than degrees by most of the community colleges and technical institutes.
Technical/ career colleges: these are privately owned and operated schools and their main aim is to prepare students for job market after a short period of instruction. They emphasize more on practical skills over a broad range of programs. Their specialization is on business, computers and secretarial skills. These institutions are provincially approved and regulated and make sure that programs standard and quality are maintained well.
The academic year in Canada is usually divided into two semesters and starts in September and ends in May. Though some institutes follow a semester or trimester system and allow admissions in January or May and in September.