In Canada, a selected and diversified greater schooling system

Canada is the preferred destination for French students to continue their studies after graduation. But its higher education system is very different from what we know in France. Quebec still has certain specifics.

Canada remains the most attractive country for young French people. Each year, it receives more than 750,000 foreign students, including more than 20,040 French, according to IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) data. Students so attracted by the country’s academic excellence – notably home to 6 of the top 250 universities in the world – than for its relaxed lifestyle.

According to the QS Student City Ranking 2022, among the 20 most student-friendly cities in the world, there are three Canadian cities: Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver 🇧🇷 However, the country’s higher education system is very different from what we know. And Quebec is often a band of its own.

A 100% public education system dominated by universities

Canada’s first specificity: all higher education is in the public sector.That is, 92 universities and about 141 community colleges, institutes of technology and Cégeps (General and Professional Schools, just for Quebec).

Another peculiarity: the system of “grandes écoles” – of commerce, engineers, etc. – does not exist. 🇧🇷However, the feeling of belonging is very strong within the universities, and all are particularly well endowed in terms of equipment and infrastructure, by the Canadian provinces, federal government and private contributors”, specifies Jacques-Henri Gagnon. , delegate for academic and scientific affairs at the Canadian Embassy in France.

we can besides study very well in French in the English-speaking provinces and in English in Quebec🇧🇷

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Two types of degrees

With the French baccalaureate in hand, you can apply for two types of diplomas. In the first place, you can advance to a “baccalaureate” (“baccalauréat” in Quebec) , lasting four years in English-speaking Canada or three years in La Belle Province (where secondary studies last a year longer than elsewhere). This 1st cycle diploma (“licenciatura studies”) is equivalent to our degree.

It opens the way for admission to a “master” (“maître” in Quebec), for two years (2nd cycle, or “postgraduate studies”). “According to the same principle as professional and research masters in France, this master cycle can lead to direct entry into the labor market, or it is completed with the writing of a dissertation, being then the antechamber of the doctorate (or doctorate), lasting from three to five years”, specifies Jacques-Henri Gagnon.

You can also choose to study in some short one-year programs, certificates or “certificates”.

The second type of degree is a three-year program at a community college or Cégep.Direct vocational training in a specific field, relatively similar to our BTS or BUT, leading to a university degree.

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Degree recognition between Europe and Canada: what you need to know

To earn a degree in Canada, you must earn a certain number of credits. For a bachelor’s degree in Quebec, for example, you must get 90 credits, against 120 in other provinces.

Heads up, “Canada is not part of the ECTS system , which are the units of account for French and European diplomas, recalls Jacques-Henri Gagnon. However, the system is very similar. In the first cycle, just double the canadian credits: 15 Canadian credits equivalent to 30 ECTS. In addition, the country is a signatory to the Lisbon Convention, which, in fact, makes it possible to integrate a French master’s degree with an ongoing degree, or a doctorate after an M2.

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