Anglophone countries such as the USA, Great Britain and Canada are known for their high-quality study programs, their well-developed and flexible study system and their strong service orientation. Of course, all of this has its price. Tuition fees in Canada are still generally cheaper than tuition fees in the United States. But even in Canada, students are increasingly having to dig deeper into their pockets. This applies to the local and even more so to the international students.

Nonetheless, Canada is one of the most popular destinations when it comes to studying abroad. After all, there are numerous financing options and different ways to save costs. Studying abroad in Canada is not only a worthwhile investment in terms of resume, but students also benefit from acquired language skills and intercultural experience.

Why have tuition fees increased in Canada?

The main reason for the steady rise in tuition fees in Canada is the economic crisis of 2008 and its long-term aftermath. As in Germany, the higher education sector in particular is suffering from the austerity measures taken by the federal government in Ottawa and the individual provincial governments. The Canadian universities and colleges have to cope with strong financial cuts and look for other ways of funding. Increasing tuition fees is an essential step in filling the financial gaps.

There are sometimes extreme differences between the provinces with regard to the increase in tuition fees. While fees are steadily increasing in some provinces, other provinces have not increased fees for local students in years. However, more and more provinces are following the example of Quebec and demanding higher tuition fees (out of province tuition fee) from Canadian students who come from other provinces.

Why international students pay higher tuition fees in Canada

Unfortunately, it is true: international students in Canada sometimes pay tuition fees up to four times as high as their local fellow students.

National average in 2015/16:

  • Canadian:
    • Undergraduate: CAD 6,191 / year
    • Postgraduate: CAD 6,432 / year
  • International students:
    • Undergraduate: CAD 21,932 / year
    • Postgraduate: CAD 14,350 / year

But why is there such a big difference here? The universities determine the amount of the tuition fees themselves. Since they receive grants from the governments for the local students, they are also partly controlled by them. By law, the increase in fees must not exceed the rate of inflation. The situation is different for international students: the universities do not receive any grants for these because their parents are not taxpayers, and the state limitation does not apply either.

Tuition Fees in Canada: A General Overview

As mentioned earlier, tuition fees in Canada vary widely from province to province and from college to college. The large research universities usually charge much higher fees than the medium-sized teaching-intensive universities or colleges. And the students in Ontario have to invest more money in their education than those in Manitoba.

How high the fees for a bachelor ‘s or master’ s degree in Canada will ultimately be, depends above all on the course chosen.

Most Expensive Undergraduate Programs in Canada:

  • dentistry
  • medicine
  • pharmacy
  • law

Most Expensive Postgraduate Programs in Canada:

  • MBA
  • Dentistry
  • Law

Degree programs in the humanities are often cheaper than those in the natural and engineering sciences. There are two main reasons for this:

  • Medical, natural and engineering courses are more cost-intensive because specific facilities (laboratories, etc.) and materials (substances, etc.) are required.
  • Some degrees (such as the MBA or LLM) have a very high reputation and promise excellent earning potential.

Postgraduate programs are generally much cheaper for international students than undergraduate programs.

Statistics Canada has determined the following average amounts (CAD) for various departments (full-time international student) for the 2015/16 academic year – each for the undergraduate and graduate area:

Subject area Undergraduate Postgraduate
Education 16,190 13,320
Visual and performing arts, and communications technologies 19,172 12.626
Humanities 20,486 13.051
Social and behavioral sciences 19.408 12,999
Law, legal professions and studies 26.503 15,563
Business, management and public administrations 22,362 19.671 (EMBA: 43.143; MBA: 35.497)
Physical and life sciences and technologies 22.273 13,310
Mathematics, computer and information sciences 23,452 12.809
Engineering 24.984 15.070
Architecture and related technologies 21.015 16.605
Agriculture, natural resources and conservation 18.736 12.087
Dentistry 51.397 20,523
Medicine 29,980
Nursing 17.306 12.248
Pharmacy 31,650 13.627
Veterinary Medicine 54,472 9,653
Other health, parks, recreation and fitness 18.644 15,349

Compare tuition fees in Canada!

It is always worthwhile to compare the tuition fees of the individual Canadian universities with one another, although this can certainly take a little time. Because the way in which the fees are calculated is sometimes quite different and confusing:

  • Some universities state the cost of a credit point (per credit hour): If a credit costs CAD 500, then students pay CAD 1500 for a 3 credit course. If they take three 3-credit courses per semester, students pay one Tuition fee of CAD 4500 / semester. The cost of a credit hour depends on the course and the subject: a course in Science will be more expensive than a course in Arts.
  • Other universities, on the other hand, indicate the cost of a course (here a distinction is often made between 3-credit and 6-credit courses), for a semester or for a whole year.
  • There are also universities that offer a flat fee rate above a certain number of credit points (such as Brock University in St. Catherines, Ontario).

Almost all colleges also collect additional fees (Additional compulsary fees), for meadow

  • Application fee
  • Student service
  • Student’s Union Charges
  • Building levy

When comparing, you should pay attention to whether these additional fees are already included in the specified amount or whether they still have to be added.

You should also include the cost of living in your comparison. Because these vary extremely in Canada, a major country in North America listed on weddinginfashion. For example, low cost of living can offset higher tuition fees. The cost of living in large metropolises is of course much higher than in medium-sized cities or in small towns. And there are also fluctuations between the individual provinces.

Study Abroad Tuition Fees

If you simply want to have a great Canada experience and only want to study for one or two semesters at a university there without obtaining an academic degree, you have a good chance of studying abroad at a very affordable price:

  1. Those who take part in an exchange program at their home university are usually exempt from the tuition fees of the Canadian partner university.
  2. For free movers, many Canadian universities offer the so-called Study Abroad / Visiting Student programs, usually in the form of a package with three to five courses.
  3. In contrast to a full degree, you can apply for BAföG for one or two semesters abroad in Canada. The BAföG office subsidizes tuition fees, travel and living expenses as well as international health insurance.

Tuition Fees for a Semester in Canada – Examples

How high the tuition fees for a Study Abroad program in Canada are of course depends on the university in question. Some colleges are simply cheaper than others for certain reasons. Most universities advise not to take more than three or four courses per semester in order to have enough time to get to know the country and its people.

The University of Winnipeg in Manitoba, for example, is a particularly inexpensive university: for a semester with three courses taken (Arts), the fees are CAD 3,795. Nonetheless, it has a good reputation and offers excellent teaching. Also, since Winnipeg is a low cost of living city, the additional expenses will be kept within reasonable limits.

The Capilano University in North Vancouver (British Columbia) is also one of the cheaper universities in Canada: Here paying international students for three courses CAD 4 950. However, it must be expected also with higher costs of living.

And at Saint Marys University in Halifax (Nova Scotia), internationals pay only CAD 3,960 for three courses. The cost of living is also moderate here.

More expensive is not always better!

Between the individual Canadian universities – for example, compared with the higher education landscape in the US – no significant differences in quality. All universities are characterized by their high quality.

The main differences are in terms of the orientation (teaching intensive / research intensive) and the size of the universities. The large, research-intensive universities charge higher tuition fees than the medium-sized universities, which are teaching-focused and often focus on undergraduate programs. One of the reasons for this is that the research universities have more equipment and often employ internationally renowned professors. For example, if close supervision and practical lessons are more important to you, you are in better hands at a medium-sized university or college.

Tuition Fees in Canada

Tuition Fees in Canada
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