The Pathway Clear to Canada

Canada has become an increasingly attractive study destination for international students. In the last 10 years, the number of foreign students has doubled, making Canada one of the most popular destinations among international students in the world.

Education institutions and the different levels of government are now working closely to help overseas students with Canadian credentials apply for permanent residency in Canada, if they wish to do so.

Typically, half of the international post-secondary students studying in Canada submit requests for permanent residency after graduation. Through the help of programmes like the ‘Canadian Experience Class’ and the ‘Provincial Nominee Programmes’, about 86 per cent of these applications are approved.

The ‘Canadian Experience Class’ is a federal programme directly targeting foreign students’ transition to permanent residency. Introduced in 2008, the Canadian Experience Class allows international students to make an easier transition to permanent residency. As a result, post-secondary institutions are now key factors in Canada’s immigration system. The federal government projects granting permanent residency to up to 25,000 immigrants a year (for both international students and temporary foreign workers) by 2014.

Attracting overseas students to Canada is a priority at all levels of the government and educational institutions. International students contribute approximately C$6.5 billion (US$6.4 billion) to the Canadian economy not to mention intangibles to which a price tag cannot be placed such as skills, innovation and diversification.

According to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), students are currently an immigration priority and there has been a shift in thinking from “temporary residents, to a pool of highly-qualified permanent residents.” In Canada, where immigration will soon account for all net population growth, and where a majority of new jobs will require a post-secondary education, new immigration strategies that attempt to leverage and harness the skills of international students are being implemented.

Naomi Alboim, Maytree Senior Fellow and Adjunct Professor at the School of Policy Studies, Queen’s University, has noted that immigration policy shifts in Canada have been made with student migration in mind, based on the assumption that international students will be able to avoid those barriers regularly encountered by highly-skilled immigrants, by virtue of their Canadian education, language skills and work experience.

Preliminary research suggests that immigrants with former international student status can also lead to better economic outcomes. Immigrants with previous Canadian education and work experience earn approximately C$12,000 more per year than skilled workers without work or educational experience in Canada.

For international students, there are a number of important factors behind the decision to remain in Canada. In a recent Canadian Bureau of International Education (CBIE) survey of international students in Canada, half of surveyed university students and three-quarters of college students chose Canada as a study destination because of post-graduate work opportunities, and 51 per cent of university students and 57 per cent of college students planned to pursue permanent residency.

Study in Canada – A Unique Experience

There is no doubt that to study abroad, gives you an excellent opportunity to learn various vital things which are very helpful in your career building. Today, Canada has also earned a good name in providing quality education and safe healthy environment to its students. That is why more than 1, 30,000 international students enroll every year in reputed Canadian Universities. Canada gives utmost importance to education and has developed first rate education system with high standards. It is an ideal education destination and gives students a unique experience of education and its versatile arts and culture. Canada spends more on Education as compared to Organization for Economics and Co-operation and Development (OECD) average and is ranked at the highest in G-8 countries.

To study in Canada for higher education is very cost effective and its Universities offer world class education. These Universities are affordable as compared to other Universities of the world such as US, New-Zealand and UK where cost of education and living are very high. According to a survey in 2006 by the Association of Commonwealth Universities, “Canada offered the lowest tuition fees for foreign students as compared to UK and Australia”.

The low intensity of crimes and peaceful safe environment of the country also lures lots of international students towards Canadian Universities. Canada has 92 Universities and 175 community colleges and University degrees have three levels- Bachelors, Masters and Doctoral.

A Bachelor degree in Canada compromises for full time three or four years depending upon the nature of program you are doing (regular or specialized). On the other hand, Masters Degree consists of two years of study for which honors degree is imperative. For Doctoral program in Canadian University you require minimum three to four or sometimes five years of extensive research and study. It includes PhD and doctoral degree in Music (DMus) and law (LLD) can also be obtained from the Universities.

You could also find many diploma and certification program in Canadian Universities where the time duration is generally 1 to 2 years. Besides the regular academic degree of Management and Engineering, you could also obtain professional degree in various fields such as medicine, pharmacy, Law, nursing and dentistry, education and social work. Some of the Canadian universities are regarded world wide and the degree and diploma obtained from these Canadian Universities are recognized globally and promise you bright future. After the completion of studies you could also find great job offers in Canada itself. Students who have Canadian Degree or Diploma are eligible to work for up to one year. International students require a work permit to work on-campus.

For international students willing to study in Canada are required to get a study permit from Citizenship and Immigration Canada. You could also find scholarship programs being run by the Canadian Universities. Students who are not able to afford the expense of education can opt for these programs by securing at least 90% to 95% of marks in the merit. However, one of the basic exams that every international student has to undergo is TOEFL (Test of English as Foreign Language) It is mandatory for the students whose mother tongue is not English. The score of TOEFL matters a lot in deciding your fate for the admission in the topnotch Universities of Canada.

Canadian Education System

The Canadian Education System is governed, funded and supervised by federal, provincial, and local governments, but it is the responsibility of the provincial (territorial) government. Universities have their own administration, while the educational programs of the schools are administrated by the school boards.

The majority of the elementary and secondary schools are public, the education being free of charge and available for everyone. There are also catholic schools and private schools (about 8% of students are in private schools).

There are variations between provinces, but generally the Education in Canada is divided into Elementary Education, followed by Secondary (High School) and Post Secondary (University, College). Education is compulsory up to the age of 16 in every province in Canada, except for New Brunswick and Ontario, where it is compulsory up to the age of 18.

Canada offers two parallel systems of education after high school, each requiring a high school certificate for admission and each playing a key role in the development of knowledge and skills.

According to Statistics Canada, 61% of individuals aged 25 to 34 have qualifications beyond high school.

According to an annual study done by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Canada ranks fourth overall in the proportion of its working-age population with a university degree, thus is a world leader in education.

Top Ten Reasons to Study in Canada

1. Canada has some of the top colleges and universities in the world

According to THE (The Higher Education) magazine, Canada has the reputation for some of the finest institutes of higher education in the entire world.

2. Affordable Options

While the quality of education in Canada is amongst the highest in the world, the cost of living and tuition fees for international students are still generally lower than in other countries such as the United Kingdom and the United States.

3. Employable Skills Once You Graduate

According to the Council of Canadian Educators, “Canada’s high academic standards and rigorous quality controls mean that you’ll be earning a high-quality education that will open doors for your future and benefit your career over the long term. A Canadian degree, diploma or certificate is globally recognized as being equivalent to those obtained from the United States or Commonwealth countries.”

So once obtaining a degree in Canada, you have received a degree of significant value which indicates that you possess the requisite skill in a competitive workplace.

4. Canada is a Welcoming Country

Canada recently invested ten times their usual budget to attract foreign students to Canada. This country is committed to welcoming more foreign students because of the benefit that these students bring to our country. Canada views foreign students as enriching our country in many ways, as we thrive in an environment where people from different cultures mutually benefit from coming to our country.

5. Beautiful Country

Forbes Magazine reported on July 2, 2013 that Canada was the number one ranked country for “the degree to which people trust, admire, respect and have a good feeling for a particular place or their emotional bond to the country.” Canada is the second largest country in the world. It has beautiful ocean front views, glorious fresh water lakes and rivers, mountains and plains.

6. Strong Economy

According to Chris Ridell writing for the National Post, the reasons for Canada being ranked at the top of the G-7 nations is:

“The World Bank labelled Canada the best place in the G7 nations to start a business, and thanks to an open immigration policy it’s comparatively easy to enter the country. Add a strong banking system, growing job market, and high standard of living, and it’s no wonder.”

7. Respect for Human Rights

Canada prides itself on a legal and political system that promotes and provides a healthy respect for human rights founded on the principle that we are all equal.

8. Quality Environment and Safety Protection

Visitors to Canada are often struck by the cleanliness of our major cities and the pristine conditions in the country. Canada has the largest reservoir of fresh water lakes in the world. Our food and products are tested to ensure their quality and safety.

9. Diversity

Multiculturalism in Canada is the sense of an equal celebration of racial, religious and cultural backgrounds. Multiculturalism policy was officially adopted during the 1970s and 1980s by the Canadian government.

10. Quality of Life

United Nation’s Human Development Index has frequently listed Canada as having the highest quality of life in the world.