Canadian Colleges and Universities
Canada has about fifty accredited universities spread across ten provinces. All, except one, are primarily government-funded. This means that there is considerable uniformity regarding programs, administration and policy. Private colleges tend to be smaller and are mostly based on a religious curriculum. Most universities offer programs in the Humanities, Social Sciences and pure Sciences. Many have additional faculties such as Education and Physical Education.
Many programs that lead directly to a position in the workplace are given at community colleges. Community colleges differ from universities because their programs involve job training and practical experience. For example, they might offer courses in areas such as computer programming, journalism, photography, social work, dentistry and nursing. Their programs are considered to be less abstract and academic than university programs. Many students see university as being more fun than community college. They don’t have to worry immediately about getting a job, and the social life is often better at university. However, a university degree may be less likely to lead directly to a job. Nowadays, university programs, which are work-related, such as business administration, education, child studies and psychology, seem especially popular.
Universities, however, were founded mainly as liberal arts institutions. This means that their original intent was to prepare people to be well-rounded human beings and knowledgeable citizens. So nearly all universities have programs in literature, languages, philosophy, culture, music, history and politics, as well as studies that are more job- related. A pass B.A. or B.Sc. degree in Canada is normally three full years of study after secondary school. A bachelor degree with honours includes one more year of study. A Master’s degree is a further one or two years.
A doctorate usually requires four or more years. This is similar to the United States, except that their bachelor degree is normally three years, and their master’s degree may be up to three years. To gain entrance to university you usually need to graduate from secondary school with a B average. Some programs will require an A average.
Tuition costs have gone up in recent years as governments have handed over less money to colleges and universities. More students now have to work during the school year to pay their expenses. Attending college and university is known to be one of the most carefree periods in a person’s life.
As long as you keep up with your readings and assignments, you should be able to avoid major difficulties. Facilities for athletics, student radio and newspapers, pubs and lounges and generally pleasant surroundings make campus life agreeable. It is a good time to make friends, learn new skills and take calculated risks. Moreover, colleges and universities are a good practical investment, as they help to prepare young people for a changing world.