Category Archives: General Information

Canada’s Best University Subjects

When it comes to Canadian universities, three names tend to be bandied about pretty regularly — that’s the University of Toronto, McGill University and the University of British Columbia. And it’s for a good reason. These three schools are consistently at the top of global university rankings, and have some of the toughest admissions in the country.

Most recently, U of T was ranked 17th and 20th in the world by two global surveys.

But with back to school on the horizon and university students streaming onto campuses, it made us wonder — which subjects, exactly, are the forte of which Canadian schools?

According to the QS World University Rankings, which ranks 36 academic subjects according to criteria that includes academic reputation and paper citations (for example, how much importance a professor’s research has on the subject), Canadian institutions feature prominently in at least 17 subjects.

In fact, Canada’s higher education institutions are ranked in the top 50 for every subject, with the exception of Communications and Media Studies.

We’ve broken down the data for the subjects in which Canadian universities excel — Below are thought to be ten of the best subjects in which to study in Canadian Institutions;

Architecture

Computer Science & Information Systems

Mathematics

Agriculture & Forestry

Medicine

English Language & Literature

Biological Science

History

Psychology

Development Studies

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Top 5 Fastest Growing Jobs in North America

Health care and technology industries are booming in North America, but which specific jobs are expected to grow over the next decade?

There’s something for everyone, with jobs that don’t require any education beyond high school, several that require only an associate’s degree, as well as jobs for those with master’s and doctoral degrees.

5. Diagnostic medical sonographers

Percent growth: 46.0%

Jobs added through 2022: 27,000

Median salary: $65,860

Typical education needed: Associate’s degree

 

 4. Interpreters and translators

Percent growth: 46.1%

Jobs added through 2022: 29,300

Median salary: $45,430

Typical education needed: Bachelor’s degree

 

3. Home health aides

Percent growth: 48.5%

Jobs added through 2022: 424,200

Median salary: $20,820

Typical education needed: Less than high school

 

2. Personal care aides

Percent growth: 48.8%

Jobs added through 2022: 580,800

Median salary: $19,910

Typical education needed: Less than high school

 

1. Industrial-organizational psychologists

Percent growth: 53.4%

Jobs added through 2022: 2,500

Median salary: $83,580

Typical education needed: Master’s degree

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Canada; The Worlds Nicest Place.

Every August my family embarks on that great American ritual: the road trip. And we always head north. Canada may not be the most exotic of destinations, but sometimes, exotic is overrated. Canada tempts us with familiarity, blissfully cool weather and, most of all, a deep reservoir of niceness.

We experience Canadian nice as soon as we reach customs. The US border guards are gruff and all business. The Canadians, by contrast, are unfailingly polite, even as they grill us about the number of wine bottles we’re bringing into the country. One year, we had failed to notice that our 9-year-old daughter’s passport had expired. They, nicely, let us enter anyway. The niceness continues for our entire trip, as we encounter nice waiters, nice hotel clerks, nice strangers.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police celebrating Canada Day. (Credit: George Rose/Getty)

Canadian niceness is pure, and untainted by the passive-aggressive undertones found in American niceness (have a good day, or else!). It’s also abundant. Canada is to niceness as Saudi Arabia is to oil. It’s awash in the stuff, and it’s about time, I say, the rest of the world imported some. (France, Russia and the UK topped one recent list of rude countriesas perceived by travellers.) Researchers have yet to analyse Canadian niceness empirically, but studies have found that Canadians, perhaps in an effort not to offend, use an overabundance of “hedge words”, such as “could be” and “not bad”. Then there is the most coveted of Canadian words:  “sorry”. Canadians will apologize for anything and to anything.

“I’ve apologized to a tree that I walked into,” confessed Michael Valpy, a journalist and author, noting that many of his fellow citizens have done the same.

Scenic Vancouver, Canada. (Credit: Bruce Bennett/Getty)

Traffic in Toronto and Montreal may be awful, but “you almost never hear a horn, even in the most frustrating traffic jams”, said Jeffrey Dvorkin, a Canadian journalism professor at the University of Toronto. Horn-honking is regarded as unnecessarily aggressive. And murder rates in Canada are low, he said, partly because “it’s quite rude to murder someone”.

The Canadian press is rife with examples of niceness in action. For instance, the National Post reported that in Edmonton, a law student, Derek Murray, left his headlights on all day. When he returned to his car, he found the battery drained and a note on his windshield. “I noticed you left your lights on,” it read. “The battery will probably not have enough charge to start your vehicle. I left a blue extension cord on the fence and … a battery charger beside the fence in the cardboard box.” The note went on to explain exactly how to jump-start the vehicle. “Good luck,” it added. In Ontario, a thief returned the goods he or she stole with $50 attached to a letter of apology. “I can’t put it into words how sorry I am,” the thief explained. “Please find it in your hearts to forgive the stranger who harmed you.”

Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers honoured in Parliament in October 2014. (Credit: Jason Ransom/PMO/Getty)

Canadians aren’t only polite; they’re incredibly humble too, and reluctant to take credit for even plainly heroic acts. When a gunman attacked the Canadian parliament building in October 2014, Kevin Vickers, Canada’s sergeant-at-arms, responded quickly and calmly by shooting the assailant with the handgun he keeps in his office.And while Vickers was glorified in the Canadian media, it was his humility, not his marksmanship or bravado, that was celebrated. (Canadians take great pride in their humility, an oxymoron that bothers no one.)

What explains this blizzard of humility and politeness? Taras Grescoe, a Montreal-based writer, believes Canadian niceness is born of necessity. “We’re a small group of people, spread across the second-largest national territory in the world,” he said. “We’ve always known that, in order to survive – or just stay sane – we had to watch out for one another. The old lady down the street, the teenager at the bus stop who forgot to bring a scarf when it’s 5 below. Hence our general willingness to proffer assistance rather than aggression.”

Another explanation for Canadian niceness stems from the “fragment theory”. First posited by the US scholar Louis Hartz, the theory states that colonial societies such as the United States and Canada began as “fragments” of the European nations they were escaping from. These new nations remain, in effect, frozen in time. Thus, Canada retains a conservative, Tory streak – that is, with a more deferential, “nicer” nature than the one embraced by the feisty US founding fathers.

Not everyone believes this is a good thing. Valpy sees Canadian niceness as a defence mechanism, one that “stems from inferiority and an awkward awareness that our clothes don’t fit properly and we always have bad haircuts and really don’t do anything great.”

Canadian athletes at the Sochi Winter Olympics. (Credit: Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty)

Also, in the land of nice, problems sometimes fester because everyone is too nice to say anything. Manjushree Thapa, a writer who recently moved to Canada from Nepal, recalls sitting in a movie theatre when the screen grew dimmer and dimmer as the projection bulb slowly burned out. The screen was almost black but no one spoke up. Exasperated, she finally prodded her Canadian partner to alert the management, which he did, reluctantly. “Niceness can silence people here,” she said.

Overall, though, she’ll take nice any day. And so will I. Life is hard enough, with plenty of jagged edges and pointy bits. Why not coat it with a glaze of politeness and humility? Politeness, at its best, is a way of honouring others, especially strangers. Politeness is the lubricant that makes social interactions run smoothly and reduces the risk of conflagrations. The world, I think, would be a better place if we were all a bit more Canadian.

Fortunately, Canadian niceness is contagious. On my annual northern migration, I find myself slowing down, saying “thank you” and “please” more often that I usually do. Maybe I go too far and cross the line from polite to unctuous. If I do, I can only say, in true Canadian fashion, I’m sorry.

Eric Weiner is a recovering malcontent and philosophical traveler. He is the author of, among other books, The Geography of Bliss and the forthcoming The Geography of Genius. Follow him on Twitter.

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Educating Global Citizens

640_global students

International Experience

What are Canadian colleges doing to prepare the next generation of young Canadians to work and prosper in the global economy? Quite a lot, says Paul Brennan, vice president, international partnerships for Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan). “We live in a globalized world Canadian colleges are preparing students to be global professionals, entrepreneurs and international citizens in two ways. The first is by inviting foreign students to mix, mingle and learn at institutions here in Canada. The second is by offering Canadian students the opportunity to study and/or work abroad. International study programs help students develop cross-cultural skills and the ability to work in multicultural environments. It’s good for the students, and it’s good for the economy. “Eurowith linked economies, cross-border problems and an increasing number of jobs that take you around the world,” says Mr. Brennan. “At the same time, we have people from abroad coming to Canada to do business. In this global market, international experience and understanding is critical to success.” pean research indicates that students who take part in these programs have better job prospects and move up in organizations faster that those who do not,” he says. Humber College in Toronto has a distinguished history of engaging in international initiatives going back to the 1970s, says Diane Simpson, dean of international. “Humber’s internationalization strategy is very important in a city like Toronto because it’s so globally connected,” she says.

Courtesy of CIC – Colleges and Institutes Canada

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Why Study in Canada?

beavers

After asking 1000 international student what their top reasons for studying in Canada were, we are able to provide some of the most popular answers!

#12 Financial support

Students told us that the cost to study in Canada is low compared with some other countries, and that scholarships from their institutions were really helpful. Search Canadian university and college scholarships here.

#11 Career opportunities

Many students are getting a head start on their careers by working on-campus and off. Students also said that they were able to grow industry contacts in Canada through co-op placements and field trips.

#10 Skills-building

In addition to the knowledge of their field of study, we heard that students are building marketable skills including writing skills, teamwork, critical-thinking, presentation and communication skills.

#9 Hands-on learning

Many students told us that studying in Canada provided them with a unique opportunity to undertake practical learning. This learning is made possible by having access to cutting-edge technology and laboratories on campus, as well as opportunities to interact directly with instructors and participate in research teams and practicums.

#8 Student activities

Outside of class international students told us they can participate in activities and have ample opportunity to learn about and enjoy Canadian culture.

#7 Services and supports

Canadian communities and campuses received rave reviews from students with regard to services and supports such as public transit, healthcare, academic support and more.

#6 English and French

Be it French or English, many students said that they improved their language skills in Canada. Many more told us just how awesome and unique it was to be living in a bilingual country.

#5 Independence, responsibility and self-confidence

For many students, living and studying in Canada is their first time away from home. Students told us that living in a safe and supportive place like Canada has helped them to experience independence for the first time, growing their sense of responsibility and self-confidence in the world.

#4 Canada’s quality of life

Canada has a fantastic environment with clean and safe cities and wilderness. For many students, the quality of life in Canada is what they have enjoyed the most.

#3 Diversity on campus

When you choose to study in Canada, you are choosing one of the most diverse countries in the world. Canada’s universities and colleges are hubs of global learning – students told us that they really enjoy learning about different cultures and international perspectives as they learn.

#2 Warm welcome

Canadians have a reputation for being very polite. In addition to politeness, many students told us that they received a warm welcome from their community in Canada, including neighbours, classmates, instructors, homestay families and even strangers on the street. Some even told us that they felt immediately at home studying in Canada (this is too much!)

#1 Reason to choose Canada: A great education

All of the reasons we were given above contribute to exceptional learning, but students emphasized that their time in class, in the library with their study group, and working on their projects was the most rewarding thing about coming to Canada. Some aspects of Canadian education that students really wanted to highlight was the world-class teaching – interactive, accessible instructors, the prestige of a Canadian degree around the world, and the flexibility of programs which encourage interdisciplinary studies, developing deeper cross-cutting expertise.

Coutesy of CBIE – Canadian Bureau of International Education

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Canada Internationalization

AUCC-institutionalpriorities

A significant majority of Canadian universities – 82% – now place internationalization among their top five strategic priorities, says a new survey of Canada’s degree-granting institutions. This represents a 5% increase over a previous survey in 2006, and leads a broad set of findings that all clearly point to an increasing emphasis on international programmes and services among the country’s higher education institutions.

When asked to identify their main reasons for prioritising internationalisation, 53% of Canadian universities say that “preparing internationally knowledgeable and interculturally competent graduates” is their top motivation. The other most-cited reasons are “building strategic alliances and partnerships with key institutions abroad, promoting an internationalised campus, increasing the university’s global profile, and generating revenue.”

The survey was carried out by the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) in May 2014 and generated an 80% response rate among the 97 universities and degree-granting colleges within the AUCC membership. AUCC released its detailed findings in December 2014.

“Not since our last survey in 2006 has there been such a comprehensive view of AUCC member institutions’ engagement with the world beyond our borders,” said Paul Davidson, AUCC’s president and CEO. “The responding institutions together represent more than 85% of all Canadian university students and perform roughly 92% of the university research funded by federal research granting agencies.”

The big picture

As the following chart reflects, boosting student mobility – both inbound and outbound – remains the top priority of Canadian institutions. A full 45% of respondents indicated that undergraduate recruitment was their top priority, and a further 7% noted graduate recruitment as their top international goal. While “expanding outbound mobility” was noted as the top priority by only 4% of respondents, a notable 74% of responding institutions also cited it as a top-five priority.

Building international partnerships, whether for joint programmes, collaborative research, or otherwise, is the second broad priority focus of many Canadian institutions. The preceding chart shows a number of different categories of collaborative initiative that, in combination, make up the top priority for 37% of survey respondents.

Internationalisation priorities of Canadian higher education institutions, 2014. Source: AUCC

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Popular Student Destinations

Because of its geographic size and the number of educational institutions, Ontario attracts the largest number of international students amongst all provinces and territories.  It takes almost 40% of all international students in Canada.  Although British Columbia only accounts for about 13% of the national population, it accounts for about 28% of the international students in the country, indicating the popularity of the province as an education destination.

Source : Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

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Wheres everyone coming from?!

The top five source countries of international students for Canada in 2012 were China (22%), India (12%), South Korea (8%), France (5%) and the United States (5%). Top countries for BC in 2012 were China (28%), South Korea (13%), Japan (8%), India (7%), and Mexico (5%).

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Canada’s International Student History In Numbers

Shown in the table below we can see how far international studies in Canada has come. Notable mentions would go to University Studies which generally represent half of all International Students. The overall amount of students making Canada their new home has almost doubled in the last 10 years. Finally Other post secondary education as much as tippling in the last decade.

International students stats

Source: Citizenship and Immigration Canada

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What are Pathway Programs?

University pathway programs offer a more seamless entry into your chosen educational institution. Taking into account your English proficiency, programs will be assigned to students individually, with a course length that will prepare students accordingly. Practice in writing essays, research, and presentations are key tools to master when embarking on your educational journey. Many pathway programs offer multiple destination universities upon completion, allowing you more time to make final destination decisions, while wasting no time in working toward your degree.

  • Prepares students to study at a Canadian university or college
  • Students learn to write university essays of 1000+ words
  • Successful students can enroll in partner universities and colleges in Canada
  • Graduates will be able to achieve a successful TOEFL score of 80 – 100 iBT
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