Sunday, August 23, 2009

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Canada Is A Favourite Destination For Higher Studies | Top Universities In Canada

Canadian universities are largely publicly-funded; they enjoy a high degree of academic autonomy.
 
Canada is a great country with a relatively low population and large size. There are six time zones, and both English and French are the official languages. There are over 90 universities, and most of them maintain a fine quality. The tuition fees are in general less than those in the U.S.

There are several other educational institutions operating at different levels in diverse areas. Facilities exist for work experience through part-time jobs. No wonder, thousands of international students choose Canada as their destination. The atmosphere is multicultural, offering excellent opportunity for developing a truly global outlook. The quality of life is good.

Many universities offer the option to live on-campus in residences. You have to apply for on-campus housing. The student adviser would normally provide information on off-campus housing as well.
Fig: Time Zones In Canada

You would be allowed to work on campus as in a library without a formal work permit and earn money. Universities permit off-campus work up to 20 hours a week during the school year and full-time during study breaks.

This helps you not only to earn income but to gain quality work experience. For this facility, you should have a work permit. Such permits have validity during the tenure of your study permit. You have to get your Social Insurance Number (SIN) if you need to work in Canada or to have access to government programmes and benefits. You have to submit an application for the number, in the prescribed form downloadable from the web site www.servicecanada.gc.ca, along with a nominal processing fee.

Canadian universities are largely publicly-funded; they enjoy a high degree of academic autonomy. The academic year is usually from September to May. There would be semester or trimester systems. Each university has its own norms for entry qualifications to different programmes of study.

The attainments of each student would be assessed individually for the purpose of admission. The Canadian educational institutions are familiar with the qualifications in most other countries including India. 

For Indians, who have passed the 12th standard examination would get admission to the undergraduate programmes. Our Bachelor’s degree and scores in GRE would normally enable you to enter a ‘graduate’ programme in Canada. Final decisions in the matter are taken by individual universities or other institutions. Normally, undergraduate applications will have to be submitted by January-March in the year of admission.
You will have to see whether a university offers programmes in English or French and make an appropriate choice. You may be asked to sit in a French language test by the university, if you choose the French medium.

The universities offer a wide range of courses and award undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees, professional degrees and certificates. The assessment of a student’s performance is not pivoted on a single annual examination. It is based on the results in assignments, classroom presentations, projects, periodical tests, and term papers.

AUCC (The Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, 350 Albert Street, suite 600, Ottawa, Ontario K1R 1B1, Ph: 613-563-1236; Site: www.aucc.ca; e-mail: info@aucc.ca) ensures research-enriched quality in the university education system, interaction with industry, information sharing, facilitation of scholarships, and recognition of the qualifications at the global level. The provincial authorities also have measures for quality assurance. This dual system guarantees quality of your university education in Canada.

You can reach a directory of Canadian universities and colleges through the web site www.cicic.ca. You can know whether a university stands authorised to grant degrees of diplomas by going through the listing in the directory. Detailed information on the programmes in any university or college can be drawn from the concerned web site or from the university or college calendar, which will be sent to you on request to the admission office.

The calendars usually highlight not only the programmes, but the entrance qualifications, facilities for accommodation, tuition fees, scholarships, and matters of interest to prospective students.

Clarification of any point of doubt may be obtained from the following addresses also.

Canadian Education Center-India – Bangalore, No.105, First Floor, The Presidency, 1 St. Mark’s Road, Bangalore -56 00 01; Ph: 080-4112 0183; e-mail: cecbangalore@studycanada.ca

Canadian Education Center-India – New Delhi; Ph: 011 4151 5560; e-mail: cecindia@studycanada.ca

Canadian High Commission, 7/8, Shanti Path, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi – 110021; Ph: 011 5178 2000; e-mail: delhi@international.gc.ca 

Which are the top universities?
There is no official ranking of the Canadian universities. There is a group of leading research-intensive universities in Canada, known as the Group of Thirteen. These universities in the group are held in high esteem. They often offer joint research programmes.

University of Alberta, Edmonton; University of British Columbia, Vancouver; University of Calgary, Dalhousie University; Halifax Université Laval, Quebec City; McGill University; Montreal McMaster University; Hamilton; Université de Montréal; University of Ottawa; Queen’s University; Kingston;University of Toronto; University of Waterloo; University of Western Ontario; Simon Fraser, Acadia, and York are some of the other universities rated high.
It may be remembered that certain universities may have excellent facilities for certain disciplines. But they may not be equally good in other areas.
So there is not much sense in being carried away by the rankings published by interested organisations.

You will have to study each university in your mind taking into account factors such as the reputation built through years of proven work, infrastructural facilities, quality of faculty, noted alumni and the positions reached by them.

Particular emphasis should be laid in going into the details of the department you intend to join.

The web sites of the universities or colleges would normally give you the basic information you need.

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