Consistently ranked among the top ten places to live in by the United Nations and the Economist Intelligence Unit, Canada has emerged as a preferred study destination among many Indian students opting to pursue higher studies abroad.
The Canadian education system is well renowned the world over and attracts nearly 1,30,000 international students annually. Factors such as low tuition fees (compared to countries like the US, UK and Australia), a world-class education system and a multicultural atmosphere, make Canada a viable place to study in. Other lucrative add-ons include high standards of living, low crime rate and high life expectancy.
Krutika Nair, who pursued a postgraduate certificate course in Hospitality and Tourism Management Systems from Niagara College, asserts her choice, “I chose to study in Canada over the US and UK as it gives the same international exposure at an affordable price. Moreover, there is no racism here and the country is extremely welcoming of international students.” The most popular cities for an education in Canada are Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal.
One can pursue a PG diploma, master’s or PhD in Canada. Postgraduate programmes in Canada include full-time academics and research.
- PG diploma/ certificate: These programmes have work terms, which provide full-time opportunities to gain practical experience along with theoretical knowledge. A typical co-op term lasts 12-17 weeks. The prerequisite to participate in these programmes is a bachelor’s degree of three or four years.
- Master’s degree: A master’s programme is of two years duration, and can be pursued after three/ four year bachelor’s degree and one year PG diploma from Canada.
- Doctorate/ PhD: Generally takes four to seven years to complete.
Most Canadian universities offering postgraduate programmes require a minimum of 16 years of formal education. An individual who aspires to pursue a doctorate programme in a particular subject should have a masters’ degree in that subject.
The average cost of pursuing a PG diploma, degree or a doctorate in Canada varies from institute to institute. On an average, a master’s or PhD would cost between c$8,000 - c$ 1,20,000, while a PG diploma would cost between c$ 10,000 - c$ 1,20,000 per annum.
Popular postgraduate courses
Students who opt for a Canadian education, have the opportunity to choose from a wide variety of courses, in every possible field. Maria Mathai, Director, Canadian Education Centre India, says, “One can study a range of subjects, from the latest in technology to the best in arts.” Be it engineering, business, media or even hospitality, postgraduate students are spoilt for choice in Canada. According to Mathai, the popular postgraduate courses among Indian students include:
- MTech or Master’s in Engineering or MS in Computer Science and IT
- MBA in various fields and specialisation
- MSc in Physics, Mathematics, Geology, etc
- MA in Psychology, Sociology, English, Gender Studies, etc
- PG diploma in Business, HR, Wireless Telecom, Engineering
- Hospitality and Tourism
Of these, the MTech and MBA, remain the most popular courses, as the one-year diplomas in these two fields offer specific specialisations. According to Mathai many students opt to pursue their MBA from a Canadian institute because, “A degree from a Canadian institute is not only universally accepted and recognised as an excellent degree in all the G8 countries and in India as well, but it is a degree which is available at approximately 20 to 45 per cent less of the cost of a degree in the US or UK. Moreover, MBA graduates have the option of working in Canada for as long as three years after the completion of their course. This gives them a very big edge as they can include Canadian work experience on their CV.” University of Western Ontario's flagship school The Richard Ivey School of Business tops the list of MBA aspirants as it is ranked among the top twenty in the world. Top companies visit the school for recruitment every year. On an average, one year for international students attending Western will cost between c$ 35,000 and c$ 40,000, including the cost of tuition, residence, meal plan, books and supplies, and living costs, etc.
“Canadian hospitality courses are also extremely popular among Indian students, and with the winter Olympics scheduled for 2008 in Vancouver, there is a big rush for hospitality and tourism professionals,” says Mathai. Another increasingly popular postgraduate course that Indian students opt to pursue in Canada is animation, which is known as the world leader in animation.
The most popular colleges in Canada are the University of Waterloo, University of British Columbia, University of Toronto, University of Western Ontario, MCGill University, York University and Centennial College. Most Indian students who pursue their engineering in Canada opt for the University of Waterloo, Ontario, University of Toronto, Ontario and MCGill University, Montreal, Quebec.
Another major advantage of pursuing a postgraduate degree/ diploma from Canada is the availability of jobs for international students. Krutika says, “The job prospects in the country are bright, and international students do not face any major difficulties in securing jobs here. All my friends from other countries got recruited in various well known companies within the first two months of graduating from their respective courses.” Moreover, if students do not wish to take up a job in Canada itself, they have the advantage of their degrees being internationally recognised. A degree from a Canadian university is considered equivalent to an American degree. Many US companies actively recruit on Canadian campuses.
- AVIATION AND COMMERCIAL PILOT TRAINING- Moncton Flight College is well known for its Diploma in Aviation Technology (PILOT) programme and also offers an Integrated Commercial Pilot Course. Courses have the approval of the Air Transport Association of Canada (ATAC).
- ANIMATION- Centre for Digital Media, Vancouver, offers Master’s of Digital Media Programme
- JOURNALISM - RADIO AND TV- Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec, offers a one-year diploma in Journalism. The course covers theoretical as well as practical aspects of journalism including production. Carleton University, Ontario, offers a master’s in Journalism with specialisation in print, broadcast and journalism studies. Other institutes include Sheridan College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning,Oakville, Ontario