Levels of Education in Canada
Education in Canada is a very high priority of the government. The country boasts a state-run system of public education, one that is provided, funded and administered by federal, provincial and local governments. Jurisdiction of the public education system, as well its curriculum, is overseen by each province. As a result, one can expect to see slight variations in the educational systems of each province (the type of programs offered, minimum and maximum age requirements, etc.), but the similarities in those systems far outweigh the differences.
Education across Canada is generally divided into four stages: pre-school or early childhood education; primary or elementary education; secondary education and post-secondary or tertiary education, which includes college and university programs and vocational/technical school.
All college and university education in Canada is the responsibility of the individual provinces and territories. Provincial governments provide the majority of funding to their public post-secondary institutions, with the remainder of funding coming from tuition fees, the federal government, and research grants. Nearly all post-secondary institutions in Canada have the authority to grant academic credentials (i.e., diplomas or degrees). Generally speaking, universities grant degrees (e.g., bachelor’s, master’s or doctorate degrees) while colleges, which typically offer vocationally-oriented programs, grant diplomas and certificates. However, some colleges offer applied arts degrees that lead to or are equivalent to degrees from a university.