Understanding Canadian Education


Canada is a country comprised of stunning nature, a multi-ethnic culture, and world-renowned education. Although it has many great facets, the education system can be considered confusing to those who are international or studying out-of-province. We're going to take a look at the Canadian higher education system and hopefully simplify it for you to help you choose what's best for you, whilst being made aware of all the options. 

Canada is made up of 20 provinces and 3 territories. This is important due to each government and territory taking full responsibility of all levels of education, as the country does not have a department of education. As in many other countries, there are private and public institutions, the primary difference being funding. Public institutions receive government funding, whereas private institutions do not.

Read the full list of public institutions in Canada.


Each province has a different education structure, and those who are international or out-of-province will have to determine where students fall in the structure.



CEGEP is a new term for non-Canadian students. It is similar to a United States community college with the curriculum geared towards university preparation or technical training. The credential offers a diploma called Diplôme d'études collégiales, or DEC. CEGEP’s can be private or public institutions.


There are more than 8,000 programs at the 135 colleges and institutes within Canada that are considered as public institutions. Over 1.5 million attend these colleges and institutes in the aim of receiving technical and professional training in agriculture, health & social services, environment, the arts, languages and more.

The institutions offer bachelors, certificates, diplomas, university transfer programs, and post-graduate diplomas. The programs can vary in length from a few months up to 3 years. These programs lead to work placement and possible co-op opportunities. All programs are open to international students who want to attain a degree with an applied learning style.

On average 90% of college graduates in Canada receive employment within less than a year of graduating. 93% of employers are content wit the college graduates employed from Canada.

The tuition fees in Canada range from 5,500 to 15,000 CAD depending on the program type. The living costs in Canada for students are estimated at 7,000 to 13,000 CAD depending on the location of the university and lifestyle.