The oldest universities in Canada have an ecclesiastical-denominational origin. The country’s first secular universities were established during the 19th century. However, until 1945 the number of universities in Canada was quite manageable. The majority of the more than one hundred public universities was only after the Second World War. The former soldiers flocked to Canadian universities en masse through a state-sponsored rehabilitation program. Because of this, new institutions mushroomed over the next three decades. Quite a few universities that now have university status were originally colleges and only received their degrees in the 1990s.

Status as ” University “

The title “University” is protected in Canada, a major country in North America listed on rctoysadvice. Which university is entitled to receive the coveted status is at the discretion of the individual governments of the ten provinces and three territories. The regulations on when a university may call itself a “ university ” therefore vary in part. However, it can be said that the requirements for the status are no longer as strict as they were a few years ago. Activities in research and, accordingly, the award of the doctoral degree (PhD) were originally decisive criteria for university status in Canada.

The governments have increasingly started to grant higher education institutions the status of only awarding degrees below a doctoral level and which do not conduct any fundamental scientific research. Until recently there was a “hybrid” between university and college in the province of British Columbia – the University College. The focus of these universities was less on research than on teaching in the bachelor’s and sometimes also in the master’s area. All university colleges now have the status of teaching intensive universities and have disappeared from the Canadian university landscape.

University types in Canada

Most universities in Canada have a two-tier control system consisting of various boards and the academic senate. The major Canadian universities in particular consist of several independent departments and departments: These are called Faculty / School / College and Department. Some of these departments have their own entry requirements.

The classic, consecutive university degrees are also in Canada Bachelor, Master and PhD. A majority of universities offer both undergraduate and graduate programs. Some, on the other hand, focus predominantly on the undergraduate sector. There are universities in Canada that focus primarily on research, while others focus more on teaching and practice. In this sense, there are three types of universities in Canada:

  • Primarly Undergraduate: Universities that focus primarily on courses in the undergraduate area.
  • Comprehensive (teaching intensive): Universities that cover both levels (undergraduate / graduate) equally, but focus primarily on teaching.
  • Medical doctoral (research intensive): Predominantly research-oriented universities that cover undergraduate and graduate programs and also have a medical faculty.

What they all have in common is that they award academic degrees and less vocational degrees such as certificates or diplomas. These so-called degree-granting institutions offer programs at university level. Most of them are members of Universities Canada (formerly AUCC Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada). Membership in Universities Canada is equivalent to an official accreditation. Accordingly, a college that has recently received university status from its provincial government is not necessarily a member of the organization.

Increasing competition and emerging associations

Research generally plays an important role at the major universities in Canada. Over a third of research activities in Canada take place at universities, and the federal government in Ontario supports this through various initiatives and research grants. Some universities have set up so-called “ research parks ” in cooperation with industry.

The Canadian higher education landscape is almost exclusively state-shaped. There are only five private, recognized universities. Nonetheless, universities in Canada are highly autonomous. Due to increasing internationalization, competition between universities is playing an increasingly important role in Canada too. Thus, some of the traditional major Canadian research universities joined to networks together, such as the U15 and the G5.

Like almost everywhere else in the world, globalization is having a major impact on the higher education landscape in Canada. And of course the universities will not remain unaffected by these profound changes.

Universities in Canada

Universities in Canada
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