Canada remains among the top destinations chosen by international students for pursuing education abroad - for all good reasons.
The Canadian government gives great importance to the education system. After putting a lot of efforts over the years, Canada has developed a first-rate education system with high standards. This can be seen in the fact that the country spends more on education (as a percentage of GDP) compared to the OECD average.
Studying in Canada gives a chance to consistently rank among the best students in the world on international tests of reading, science and math - a testament to the outstanding quality of Canadian schools and institutes. Students can choose from degree programs, diploma programs and certifications at some of the finest universities and colleges in the world, all globally accepted and acclaimed.
Apart from high quality education, students are also provided an opportunity to bring their family along and finance their studies through scholarships and work while study programs. Finally, once you are done studying, you even get a chance of availing Canadian Citizenship by becoming Canadian Permanent Resident.
The country is however relatively new at marketing and promotion of international education. To address this lack of awareness of Canadian education among Indians, we bring to you 10 perfectly solid reasons to start your studies in Canada!
University Ranking and Quality of Education
Canada is among the top 5 countries to hold a strong higher education system as per the QS Higher Education System Strength Ranking. The country houses a total of 98 Universities and various other colleges and institutes. Out of the total, 26 Canadian Universities have made their way in the QS World University Rankings. Further, 3 Universities fall in the top 50 categories, 10 Universities in top 300 and 13 Canadian Universities in the ranked top 700 respectively.
India, on the other hand, falls short when it comes to rankings with our beloved IITs falling in the top 200 – 300 category.
Here is a table showing the world rankings of the top 6 Universities from both the countries.
|Country||University||QS World Ranking|
|Canada||University of Toronto||28|
|University of British Columbia||47|
|University of Alberta||109|
|Universite de Montreal||149|
|India||Indian Institute of Technology Bombay||162|
|Indian Institute of Science||170|
|Indian Institute of Technology Delhi||172|
|Indian Institute of Technology Madras||264|
|Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur||283|
|Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur||295|
The perimeters for deciding ranks are as follows:
- University’s academic reputation
- Employer reputation
- Faculty/ students ratio
- Citations per faculty
- International Faculty Ratio
- International Student Ratio
Thus, many Canadian universities are better than the so-called top notch Indian Universities on the above aspects.
Top Scholarships and Financial Aids
Funding is one of the major concerns for international students. Instead of falling in the rat cycle of student loans, students can look forward to availing scholarships, awards and bursaries. These funding options open a whole wide world of possibilities for students.
Financial aids for international students can come from the Government of Canada, public universities and external organizations. Some of the prominent scholarships are:
- Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships
- Canada Graduate Scholarships- Master’s Program
- Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships Program
- IDRC Research awards etc
In case of University scholarships, financial aid can be in the form of tuition-waiver, teaching for a research assistantship. Universities usually provide scholarships on the basis of academic merit of the student.
Some of the prominent University scholarships are: University of Alberta India Centenary Scholarship, Humber International Entrance Scholarships, York University International Entrance Scholarships, Carleton University Scholarships for International students etc.
New Education Policy and Initiatives
The Canadian government has come up with new education policies, making India as one of the priority countries on its list. Canada’s International Education Strategy was reformed by Universities Canada (then the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada) in 2014 which further highlighted the commitment of Canadian Universities to internationalization through student exchange programs, international research collaboration, joint academic programming and many such programs.
Rapidly emerging economic powers- Brazil, China, India were set as priority countries by many Canadian universities. Other steps taken to attract foreign students in Canada include the newly introduced open work permit scheme. This sole step is likely to lure Indian students in Canada and away from other sought after student destinations- US, Britain and Australia.
As per this new scheme, an open work permit will be granted to students under post graduate programs, enabling them to work with virtually no restrictions on the type of employment and no requirement of a job offer.
Further, to ensure easier employment opportunities, the duration of work permit has also been increased to three years. This measure is likely to give an upper hand to Canada in an increasingly competitive global education market.
Job Prospects and Recruitment
Canada has a thriving and vibrant economy with plenty of room for growth and an abundance of opportunities for students. Studying in Canada enables international students to apply for a work permit during (work while you study) or after completing their studies and secure a relevant job in the country.
In India too, a student graduating from a top university such as McMaster University or University of Alberta is at a higher advantage when compared to one from a smaller Indian institution.
While we do not intend to belittle the programs offered by Indian institutions, we certainly cannot ignore the fact that employers prefer to hire candidates who have completed a degree abroad with relevant academic scores and work-experience; over a student who has completed the same degree and has similar work experience in India.
Further, as per Canadian Education Center (CEC), Maria Mathai’s recent telephonic interview, she exclaimed that there is no dearth of jobs for Indians in Canada. It was learned that many cities and provinces in Canada have labor shortages and Canadian employers are eager to hire qualified and responsible workers. In particular, those with training in the healthcare industry, IT, and engineering are highly sought after.
Hassle Free Visa
With the increasing popularity of Canadian Universities among Indian students, the Government of Canada has shortened and eased the application process for a Canadian Student visa. Students must fulfill a basic eligibility criteria to apply for a student visa. They should be enrolled at a registered DLI (Designated Learning Institute) and should be able to prove that they have enough funds to pay for their tuition fee and stay in Canada.
At the time of work permit too, students must be enrolled for a degree, diploma or a certificate with a maximum of 20 hours of work per week.
Students can apply for both of the above permits online, sitting at home, given they have a scanner or HDR camera phone to upload soft copy of necessary documents and a debit// credit card to pay for the application fee.
Bring Your Family Along
We Indians are too closely bound and connected to stay away from our family and we are not asking you to do that either!
The government of Canada provides an option to bring your family (spouse and children) along with you while you study, given you can pay for their expenses and provide them with a place to stay. In such a case, your spouse or common-law partner will be considered eligible to get themselves an open work permit.
They can use the open work permit to get a job anywhere in the country and make good use of their time. Your children can also be enrolled in primary or secondary schools in Canada without the need of a study permit.
Canada welcomes students from all religions and cultures. Its multicultural environment is ideal for Indian students and can be considered a home, away from home. Canadians are very warm and friendly. There are also a lot of communities and associations which one can join and feel homely.
Despite of the extremely varied cultures, landscape, climate, and way of life, Canadians do share important values such as pride, a belief in equality and diversity, and respect for all individuals.
One of the Safest Places in the World
Almost every Canadian citizen will agree on Canada being one of the safest countries in the world. Canada is known to have the least racial violence given the multi-cultural environment it hosts.
We won’t be exaggerating when we say that students can easily find accommodation in safe localities. Whether you’re staying on campus or living in a private residence, your folks can sleep at ease knowing that you are safe and sound.
A chancee at Permanent Residency
Students can also avail a chance to become permanent resident of Canada after completing their studies. International students are welcome to stay back in Canada by the Canadian government.
In the last few years, the Canadian government has brought about changes in the favor of international students wanting a permanent residency. Two of the most significant rulings for international students to speed up processes are:
- Canadian experience class- This allows students who have studied in Canada to apply for immigration in Canada itself.
- Open work permit- This allows international students who have studied for two years or more, again as per their eligibility, to apply for a three-year open work-permit.
Students can use both these opportunities to carefully plan and build up their work experience, on their way to Permanent residency in Canada.
Studying in Canada can be the best life altering decision for those looking forward to a career in research. It is way ahead of facilities and funding offered in India.
The Government of Canada promotes admission in doctoral and other research based programs which is one of the primary reason for the migration of Indian students to study in Canada. Various government scholarships are based entirely for research students.
A majority of the research students complete their studies and stay on as faculty members, while some students return to India and take up teaching assignments or other relevant jobs in their respective fields.
Over the years, the number of international students enrolled in Canadian universities have almost doubled, from 66,000 to 124,000. The number of Indian students going abroad has also increased furiously, by 256%, to be specific.
More and more people are coming to realize the cost of education abroad can be as reasonable or sometimes even cheaper when compared to the cost of education at various private institutes in India. With decreased interest rates for loans and a variety of scholarships for students to avail, students are inclining towards studying in reasonable yet safe countries abroad.
Topping this list is Canada, welcoming students warmly with open arms for an experience they will cherish throughout their life and education that will take them to great heights.