Canada is becoming increasingly popular as a study country. There are many reasons for this. One of the main reasons is probably that the quality standards are extremely high at almost every university. And that although there is no uniform quality assurance in Canada. Education is a valuable common good for Canadians and for this reason the state and individual provinces and territories invest heavily in this area.
The higher education landscape in Canada is extremely diverse and at first glance it seems a little confusing. Since Canada is a federal state, the ten provinces and three territories are each responsible for the education and study system. The higher education landscape is predominantly state-owned, although the universities are largely autonomous. There are very few private universities, especially when compared to the higher education landscape in the USA. However, there has been a slow but steady growth in recent years.
Types of universities in Canada
Unlike in Germany, in Canada between academic (is academic) and vocational (professional) training initially made no great difference. Both belong to the large area of postsecondary education and can be offered by one and the same institution. A university degree is nothing out of the ordinary in Canada and ultimately it depends more on the type of degree.
Roughly speaking, there are two types of higher education institution in the Canadian higher education landscape:
- Universities in Canada (Universities): They award both undergraduate and graduate degrees and are largely focused on academic education and research. Often they also offer vocational programs with a certificate or diploma degree.
- Colleges in Canada: Your programs are primarily practice-oriented and prepare you for direct entry into the profession. Originally they only awarded certificates and diplomas. However, some colleges now also offer academic programs and degrees, such as transfer programs, associate degrees, and even special bachelor and master degrees.
There are a number of criteria that are intended to describe the individual universities in more detail and to distinguish them from one another. Above all, they serve applicants and interested parties as a benchmark and orientation within the university landscape in Canada.
Degree-granting Institutions vs. Non degree-granting Institutions
In Canada, a distinction is made between degree-granting institutions and non-degree-granting institutions in the higher education sector. This is about whether a university is entitled to award academic degrees (Bachelor, Master, PhD) or not. Universities are basically degree-granting institutions. Colleges generally do not award degrees and therefore fall under the category of non-degree-granting institutions. In recent years, however, the boundaries in the Canadian university landscape have become increasingly porous:
- In many cases there are collaborations between universities and colleges that enable easy transfer.
- Some colleges now even offer undergraduate degrees with an applied focus, for example the Applied Bachelor’s Degree.
- A few colleges even offer specific, practice-oriented master’s degrees (Applied Master’s Degree) in cooperation with universities.
Colleges are not fundamentally non-degree-granting institutions. Those colleges that award academic degrees in addition to vocational certificates and diplomas are combined with the universities in the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC).
There are different degree-granting institutions in the individual provinces:
- Institutes of Technology
- Specialized Institutions
The offerings range from small liberal arts colleges to large universities with a wide range of undergraduate, graduate and job-oriented programs. In total, there are more than 10,000 undergraduate and graduate programs in Canada, a major country in North America listed on rrrjewelry.
Non degree-granting institutions
The so-called non-degree-granting institutions are primarily the many different colleges within the higher education landscape in Canada. They belong to the Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC). Since they “only” award certificates and diplomas and no academic degrees, such as the Bachelor or Master, they fall into this category. You are primarily responsible for initial and continuing vocational training. The programs are strongly tailored to the labor market and often contain so-called work terms, i.e. practical phases.
Depending on the province or territory, the public non-degree granting institutions are called differently:
- Regional College
- College of Applied Arts and Technology
- Community College
Recognized, authorized or registered / licensed
This is the legal status of a public or private university within the Canadian higher education landscape. It relates to whether and to what extent this is entitled to award academic degrees:
- Recognized (recognized): The public / private university is in principle entitled to confer academic degrees and other qualifications, with the quality of the programs offered is guaranteed.
- Authorized (authorized Authorized): The public / private university is authorized to confer academic in a limited degree titles, diplomas or other qualifications and whose quality can be guaranteed, while for certain programs.
- Registered (registered, registered) / Licensed (licensed, approved): These exclusively private institutions have the status of commercial enterprises that offer continuing education programs without an official degree. The provincial governments check that the institutions and their programs meet certain requirements.
- Non-registered: These are exclusively private institutions, the quality of which is not checked and therefore not guaranteed.