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Linking Young Minds Together
     Volume 2 Issue 52 | January 20 , 2008|


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Post Secondary Education in Canada

Shaheen Islam

Canadas universities and colleges are well known for their high standards and educational excellence. This high level of quality is consistent right across Canada. Canadian university degrees are recognised around the world.

Today in Canada, some 200 technical institutes and community colleges complement about 100 universities, attracting a total post-secondary enrolment of approximately one million students.

Canadas universities are internationally known for the quality of their teaching and research. Examples include the neurological breakthroughs of Wilder Penfield at McGill University and the discovery of insulin at the University of Toronto by Frederick Banting, C.H. Best, J.J.R. Macleoed, and J.B. Colip. Full-time enrolment in Canadian universities stands at over half a million, with enrolments at individual institutions ranging from less than a 1000 to over 35,000. Women are well represented in the universities; they receive more than half of all degrees conferred.

Canada's School System: A National Asset
The Canadian belief in education is general and deep. And this belief is reflected in a considerable financial commitment: Canada ranks among the worlds leaders in per capita spending on public education. Canada maintains this level of investment because it continues to generate healthy returns. Almost everywhere, the quality of education is directly related to the quality of life. In Canada, the high educational level (almost half the population over the age of 15 now has some post-secondary schooling) has proven to be a powerful contributor to the countrys favourable standard of living, its growth of opportunity, and its reputation as a place where intellectual accomplishment is fostered and profitably pursued. (Source: Communications Canada, Public Works & Government Services Canada)

University degrees are offered at three consecutive levels bachelors, masters, and doctoral with the possession of a degree from the lower level generally a prerequisite for admission to the next.

Many universities also offer diploma and certificate programs. Generally speaking, university diplomas and certificates require one or two years of study in a specific field or discipline. However these programs vary widely from institution to institution, and from province to province. University web sites and prospectus are the best sources of information about the nature and requirements of university diplomas and certificates.

Students at the baccalaureate or bachelors level are known as undergraduates. Successful completion of the secondary school program, or the two- year Cegep program in the case of Quebec, is the normal prerequisite for admission to undergraduate study. Bachelors degrees normally require three or four years of full-time study, depending on the province or whether the program is general or specialized. An honours baccalaureate degree usually signals a higher degree of concentration in the honours subject, as well as a higher level of academic achievement. At some universities, an honours degree may require an additional year of study.

A masters degree typically requires two years of study after successful completion of an honours baccalaureate. Although the normal prerequisite for a doctoral program is a masters degree, students have been allowed, in special circumstances, to go directly from an honours baccalaureate program into a doctoral program. A minimum of three years and up to four or five years of study and research, as well as a dissertation are the normal requirements for a doctorate. The degree is generally known as a PHD; however, doctoral degrees may also be granted in particular fields of study such a law (LLD) or music (DMus).

In regulated professions such as medicine, engineering, law, education, and social work, an internship is generally required in order to obtain a licence to practice.

University colleges undertake degree programs as their primary activity and provide three-year and four-year bachelors degrees. They generally offer smooth university transfer opportunities.

Colleges and institutes undertake diploma and certificate programs as their primary activity, and some offer degrees in areas of particular specialization. Where they are offered, degree programs may be two-year associate degrees or four-year applied degrees. (Source: Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials)

Comments from international students who graduated from Canada:

“Studying in Canada has been an incomparable experience, providing me with a great challenge and an exceptional opportunity to see new places and meet extraordinary people. For any student, this unique chance to study abroad will bring a whole new perspective of life.”

“Today I can appreciate that a chance to study abroad involves learning a whole range of additional skills that can help a person achieve a fuller, more rewarding life”.

For information on: how to apply for study permit, can foreign students work while they are at school, Canada Commonwealth Scholarship Programs new approach called Graduate Student Exchange Program - for developing countries and other frequently asked questions visit the Canadian High Commissions web site www.bangladesh.gc.ca

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