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College And University In Canada: Everything To Know

What are the difference between College and University in Canada? If you’re an international student looking to live and work in Canada eventually upon completing your studies, then you’re on the right track.

You’d be pleased to know that Canada has plenty of opportunities for foreign nationals settling in Canada. From quality education from world-leading Designated Learning Institutions (DLIs) to free universal healthcare, scholarships and mentorships, Canada has the necessary resources to sustain you long term.

If you want to study in Canada, you’d want to ensure you can keep up with the cost of living.

Why Canada?

With award-winning universities, world-class facilities and a multicultural population, Canada has become the natural destination for thousands of international students.

So, why exactly are international students studying in Canada? We breakdown the reasons below:

  • Fees are very affordable
  • The degrees and diplomas are from well-renowned Canadian universities
  • Canada colleges and universities are recognized worldwide and are equivalent to those obtained from the US and other Commonwealth countries.
  • Easy accessibility to free universal health care in Canada, which is expensive, yet Canadian hospitals provide some of the most advanced healthcare in the world.

College versus University

So, as a student, you may ask: what exactly is the difference between Canada colleges and universities?

There are differences between the two types of learning institutions, so we’ve given you an in-depth breakdown below of how Canada would define a college and university.

Colleges in Canada

When we hear the term “college,” we think about a learning institution that offers undergraduate qualifications. However, in Canada, colleges offer diplomas and technical training designed to fill the labour shortages, trends and needs of the Canadian economy.

Canadian colleges’ approach is geared towards employment skills, career and trades training with a certificate for a one-year or less and a diploma for two to three programs.

Though most often provided by universities, a student may be able to obtain a bachelor’s in Sciences, Mathematics, Humanities, History, and Engineering, amounting to approximately three to five years, depending on the program and college.

College Class Sizes

Classes tend to be smaller in size, which enables more one-on-one help. Here, the objective is to drive practical training, instruction, and hands-on experience to better prepare you for your chosen career path. You can make that transition easily and land that ideal job in Canada.

If you want to further your studies at a Canadian college, you may want to know the type of colleges in Canada. These are as follows:

  • Colleges of applied arts and technology
  • Community colleges
  • Institutes of technology
  • Polytechnics

College Program Type:

  • Two to three year Diploma Prerequisite: high school diploma
  • Certificate (one to two years) Prerequisite: high school and may be subject to other requirements depending on the program or college
  • Bachelor’s (three years) Prerequisite: high school and diploma and may be subject to other requirements depending on the college, program course or province.

If you’re an international student, it may be relevant for you to know more about the requirements for the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test score for Permanent Residence (PR) in Canada.

What’s the Latest on College Bachelor Degrees (CBD) in Canada?

According to Statistics Canada, community colleges in Canada have recently started to introduce four-year degree programs, which are common in Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia. It has also been found that students who obtained a College Bachelor Degree (CBD) earn 12% more on average (per year) compared to University Bachelor’s Degree (UBD) holders.

Their field of choice impacted this gap between the two groups of students. For example, college Bachelor’s Degree holders who chose fields such as business, management and public administration or health and other related fields are assigned higher income earnings above average. In comparison, fields such as education, humanities or social and behavioural sciences and non-professional law programs are lower than average incomes.

Another influential factor, along with others, according to Statistics Canada, may be because CBD holders were more than two years older than UBD holders, who also registered faster earnings growth in the two to five-year period upon graduation.

Based on the above report by Statistics Canada, we can conclude that colleges offer hands-on career training and prepare graduates for jobs and how those jobs translate into reality. In contrast, universities strive for academic excellence for a promising career.

Universities in Canada

To attend a university in Canada, you need to understand the type of degrees Canadian universities offer and decide which degree you wish to pursue.

Below are Canadian degrees, according to EduCanada:

  • Three year Bachelor’s degree, prerequisite: high school diploma
  • Four-year Bachelor’s with Honours, Prerequisite: high school diploma
  • One to two years Master’s degree, prerequisite: Bachelor’s degree
  • Three to five years PhD or doctoral studies, prerequisite: Master’s degree

In Canada, universities are defined as academic institutions that aim to nurture your chosen career and offer more academic and professional programs that enable graduates to complete their studies with a degree.

When applying to a Canadian university, you must ‘major’ in your studies and have a ‘minor’ area of study. Below are two main degrees Canadian universities offer:

1. Undergraduate degrees: Bachelor’s degree.
2. Graduate degree: Masters or Doctorate.

University Class Sizes

Classes are usually larger, potentially over 100 students, which decreases one-on-one interaction. Because of this dynamic, students will develop more independent learning strategies.

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