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Canada's Education Systems

Two female students running through fallen leaves in autumn.

Did You Know?

  • More than 300,000 international students chose Canada in 2013!
  • Canada has 4 universities in the top 100 of the Shanghai World University Rankings (2014).
  • 5 MBA schools in Canada placed in the top 100 Financial Times Rankings (2014).
  • Canadian students perform well in reading, literacy, maths and sciences, top among English and French speaking countries according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Program for International Student Assessment (PISA).
  • More than one third of Canada’s research is conducted at Canadian universities – one of the highest rates among OECD and G8 countries.

Canada is one of the world’s top education performers and is the top OECD country in spending per student on public postsecondary education. Students score high on international tests reflecting the dedication each jurisdiction has on the quality of our education system.

In Canada, post-secondary education is the responsibility of provincial and territorial governments, and in each province and territory there are laws, policies and procedures that govern the operation of education institutions. The basic structures of provincial and territorial education systems across Canada are similar. Each has 3 tiers — elementary, secondary, and postsecondary; all provide universal, free elementary and secondary schooling for Canadian students.

Each jurisdiction has its own quality assurance mechanisms that are used in combination to ensure quality in the country’s wide range of post-secondary institutions (Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials, 2011). This ensures Canada’s academic credentials continue to be valued worldwide.

Step 1-2-3

Want to study in a particular province or find out what schools are available in which province? Try our handy Step 1-2-3 tool to find out what programs are available, how much it costs and what documents are required as a citizen of your country.


For more information about schools by province, please visit our Provinces, Territories and Cities section, or contact us directly. Imagine studying in Canada!

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Imagine Education in Canada


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