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Canada VS UK: Which is the Best for Indian Students in 2023?

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International students can receive a top-notch education in the United Kingdom (UK) and Canada. According to a report by Global Vision Immigration, Canada expects to welcome up to 753000 international students in 2023.

According to a report by The Pie News, the UK international student numbers rose to 680,000 in 2021/22. Based on the data, both countries are great options for pursuing higher education.

Nevertheless, various factors should be considered before enrolling in your desired foreign university. University fees, cost of living, post-study work visa, permanent residence, and certain other factors can be viewed by international students when deciding on a study abroad destination.  

Canada Vs UK: Education

Let’s look at the differences between Canada Vs UK Education:

Education in Canada

Let’s take a look at why Canada ranks as one of the most sought-after destinations for Indian Students: 

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Canada VS UK: Which is the Best for Indian Students in 2023?
  • Rather than focusing on grades, the Canadian Education system seeks to provide a more holistic education. 
  • According to studies, students studying in Canada are relatively stress-free due to the educational system.
  • Parents and the community are allowed more involvement in a student’s education.
  • Although Canadian universities are not as old as British universities, they provide an excellent infrastructure and teaching faculty that is slowly gaining global recognition.
  • Extracurricular activities are prioritised for all students, resulting in holistic growth.

Below are some of the main USPs of studying in Canada:

  • The cost of living and education is significantly lower than that of UK universities.
  • Excellent infrastructure and teaching faculty are available to students.
  • A holistic educational viewpoint.
  • A vast landscape with visual appeal.
  • Canada is an emerging educational hotspot that provides students with global job opportunities after they complete their studies.

Canada has provided significant benefits to students in recent years:

  • According to a report by CIC News, Canada has acknowledged that the number of study permit holders will increase to 753,000 international students between 2022 and 2023, implying that there will be more study prospects in the country.
  • Canada also intends to expand the Student Direct Stream (SDS), which allows candidates from various countries to obtain study permits quickly.
  • Canada also plans to encourage international students to transition to permanent residence to manage the country’s labour shortage.
  • Canada’s immigration authority has promised to publish monthly data on backlogs to assist international students in tracking their applications.
  • Canada has also allowed international students to work off-campus for over 20 hours per week as a stopgap measure, which foreign citizens who have already applied for a study permit can also take advantage of.

Education in the UK

The UK Education system works quite differently from the Canadian system. As the UK Education system has been established and revised for a long time, they prioritise different aspects of education. Let’s take a look at them below:

  • Grades are highly valued, and the class system is highly stratified.
  • The UK educational system prioritises the performance of students. 
  • Education is a highly bureaucratic system.
  • The UK education system is home to some of the world’s most excellent universities, which provide world-class higher education with the best infrastructure.
  • Extracurricular activities are only for students who demonstrate high excellence in the activity or sport.

Here are the main USPs of studying in the UK:

  • Access to a modern multicultural society that operates globally across all industries.
  • Students can take advantage of the networking opportunities because they are in one of the global capitalist hotspots.
  • Students can gain admission to some of the most prestigious universities in the world.
  • Excellent education with access to the best infrastructure and faculty.
Canada Vs UK

Canada VS UK: Teaching Style

Regarding teaching style, Higher education systems have different meanings regarding their universities. Let’s look at the differences between Canada Vs UK Institutions.

The Canadian educational system states colleges award diplomas and certificates, whereas universities award degrees. In other words, if you want to pursue a bachelor’s, doctorate, or postgraduate degree, you should apply to universities rather than colleges.

A “university” can provide a “higher education in the UK.” alternatively, the definition of college in the UK is quite different. After completing the necessary schooling, students can apply to UK colleges to pursue two-year degrees. Students can later pursue a bachelor’s degree (three years) at UK universities.

As a result, the definitions of “colleges” and “universities” differ when it comes to Canada vs UK.

UK Education System:

  • Autonomous institutions are privately or publicly funded institutions that are run independently.
  • Degree-awarding institutions own and regulate many degrees (foundation, taught, and research degrees).
  • Universities can be run privately or by government agencies.
  • Many institutions have formed ‘Institutional Groups or Mission Groups,’ such as the Russell Group and the Cathedrals Group.

Canada Education System:

  • Public and private universities possess the authority to award degrees such as one-year certificates and postgraduate diplomas.
  • Training in applied fields of work is available at Institutes and colleges. These institutions are also recognised as technical institutes, community colleges, and colleges of applied arts.

Canada VS UK: Grading Systems

Let’s look at the differences between Canada Vs UK universities’ grading systems.

UK:

The UK’s higher education grading system is distinctive. It is a far superior method of evaluating a student’s academic performance than the traditional grading system.

Universities in the UK employ a “Letter Grade Scale.” It falls between the letters A and F. The letter “A” denotes exceptional knowledge, while the letter “F” denotes failure with a low score.

The grading system focuses more on students’ specific abilities and academic talents. It makes it easier for businesses to recognise a person’s true potential.

Canada:

International students are evaluated based on their grade point average (GPA) when applying to Canadian universities.

The GPA system in Canada is used to determine a student’s academic ability and eligibility. This method was developed to assess a student’s suitability for a specific course. As a result, international students must be aware of their GPA before applying to a Canadian university.

Canada Vs UK: Intake and Eligibility

Let’s look at the eligibility requirements of Canada Vs UK universities.

Canada:

A minimum of 12 years of pre-university education is required for admission to Canadian universities for UG courses. Undergraduate programmes are typically four years long, while diploma programmes are typically two to three years long. The SAT exam results are required to complete the process.

Students applying to Canadian universities from countries where English is not the primary language of communication must take the IELTS or TOEFL exam, which are English proficiency tests used to determine an applicant’s capacity to communicate in English. These exams are required for admission to those colleges, but they must first obtain a Visa.

Canadian colleges do not use cutoffs but provide average scores required for admission into specific courses.

Aside from the criteria mentioned above, Canadian universities also require a statement of purpose (SOP) and at least two letters of recommendation (LORs).

Applicants for master’s or PhD programmes may be required to submit at least two letters of academic reference. This includes letters from previous employers.

If you have yet to study in Canada previously, you must also provide an ECA (Educational Credential Assessment) to verify whether your degree is equivalent to the Canadian standards required.

The UK:

For graduation programmes, UK universities previously required 13 years of pre-university education, which has now been changed. The 13-year pre-university education is still in effect for ISC students. For graduation courses, a CBSE plus two certificates will suffice.

The GMAT is usually an eligibility criterion for postgraduate management programmes, but it entirely depends on which university you are applying to. Around a few universities in the UK provide management degrees without the GMAT.

Students applying for art or science courses such as MA or MS are usually required to take the GRE. Again, this is unnecessary for all universities; some do not require GRE scores for admission.

Although the IELTS or TOEFL exams are not required for the course, they will be required when applying for a Visa. A minimum IELTS band score of 6.5 is required, whereas a TOEFL score of 100 or higher is required to obtain a Visa or admission.

A minimum of 75% aggregate, equivalent to first-class, is required for a three-year bachelor’s degree.

Canada vs UK: Visa Requirements & Process

Let’s look at the differences between Canada Vs UK Visa process and requirements.

Canada

A Canadian Student Visa is subject to the following rules and regulations:

  • A post-study work permit application will be submitted within 90 days of your course completion.
  • All Indian and international students are required to take a medical exam.
  • The Visa fee is approximately CAD 150.
  • You can only work 20 hours per week while enrolled in an academic programme.
  • It can increase to 40 hours per week during holidays and summer sessions.
  • If the Visa is for more than a year, spouses can work full-time.
  • While applying for a Visa in Canada, you must have IELTS or TOEFL.
  • Personal interviews are typically required as part of the Visa application process.

The UK:

The UK universities issue Tier 4 student visas for full-time students. Aside from this Visa, the UK government has begun to offer UK Post-Study Work Visas to international students.

Some of the rules and regulations that apply to the Visa application are as follows:

  • Only full-time student programmes will be eligible for a Visa.
  • A university degree entitles you to a four-year Visa.
  • Visas can be issued for a maximum of three years for diploma courses.
  • The Tier 4 Visa costs £348, with an additional £348 required for the dependent Visa (in case a family member is to accompany you). The international health fee of £705 will also be paid to obtain the student Visa.
  • Tier 4 Visas allow international students to work up to 20 hours per week part-time and full-time on weekends and holidays. The course requirements determine full-time job placements.

Canada vs UK: Admission Requirements

An essential factor in deciding between Canada Vs UK is eligibility criteria. Students in both countries must follow strict rules imposed by their respective universities and countries.

Canada:

  • Original copies of students’ previous qualifications are required.
  • GRE or GMAT scores are required for MBA and master’s programmes.
  • Statement of Purpose and Letter of Recommendation (SOP).
  • English proficiency test results: C1 Advanced, IELTS, and TOEFL. Students pursuing any French language course must have scores on one of the following French proficiency tests: DALF, DELF, TCF, and TEF.
  • Legal proof that students have sufficient funds to study and live in Canada.
  • Updated Resume or CV.
  • Students pursuing a master’s or doctoral degree must provide employment letters and two academic references.

The UK:

  • Students must obtain their 10+2 diploma from a recognised board or institution.
  • Candidates may be required to submit their GMAT or GRE scores for specific courses. Several universities also have their entrance exams and interview rounds.
  • The English language proficiency exams accepted by UK universities are IELTS, PTE, and TOEFL. Most UK universities will take an IELTS score of 6.5 overall, with 6 in each band.
  • Evidence of funds
  • Medical Protection
  • A Current Passport
  • A Purpose Statement (SOP)
  • A Recommendation Letter (LOR)
  • Letter of Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS)

Canada vs UK: Top Courses and Universities

Let’s look at Canada Vs UK; top universities and courses.

Top Universities in Canada:

The figures for placing Canadian universities in the World QS Ranking 2023 are less spectacular than UK universities. On the other hand, the QS rankings of top Canadian universities are improving year after year.

Universities in CanadaQS World University Rankings 2023
McGill University31
University of Toronto34
University of British Columbia47
University of Alberta110
Universite de Montreal116
McMaster University152
University of Waterloo154
Western University172
University of Ottawa237
University of Calgary242

Top Universities in the UK:

When it comes to the QS World University Rankings, UK Universities tend to rank higher on the list as compared to Canadian universities.

UK UniversitiesQS World University Rankings 2023
University of Cambridge2
University of Oxford4
Imperial College London6
University College London8
University of Edinburgh15
University of Manchester28
King’s College London37
The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)56
University of Bristol61
The University of Warwick64

Top Courses to study in UK and Canada:

Popular courses in the UKPopular courses in Canada
NursingAgricultural science and forestry
PsychologyBusiness management
Computer scienceIT and computer science
LawBioscience, health, and medicine
Design studiesFinance
Subjects allied to medicineGeosciences
Preclinical medicineEngineering
Business and administration studiesHospitality management
Bioscience, health, and medicinePsychology
Sports and Exercise ScienceHuman Resources
Business managementMedia & Journalism

Canada Vs UK: Post-Study Work

Let’s look at the Post-study work differences between Canada Vs UK.

Canada:

Canada has always welcomed students who wish to return after graduation to seek employment or pursue postgraduate studies. Indians and other international students can apply for a three-year post-graduation work permit, which allows them to stay in the country and work in any field or industry. 

A work permit can eventually help students qualify for permanent residency.

The UK:

Before 2020, the UK had a stringent policy regarding post-study work opportunities for international students. International students could return to the UK for four months to look for and obtain employment. A further limit was imposed on the number of students who could receive this Visa to look for work after graduation.

Students who want to work after their studies must apply for a Skilled Worker Visa for highly skilled workers with an annual income of more than £20,500. (INR 20,44,014.52 approx). This Visa is only valid for a maximum of 5 years. In 2020, the rule was changed to allow graduate and postgraduate students to return to the UK for two years to seek preferential employment.

Canada Vs UK: Study While Learning

Let’s look at the “Study while learning” differences between Canada Vs UK.

Canada:

When it comes to Canadian universities, they typically require a Canadian Students Permit, which allows you to work on campus. You may only work during your academic programme, not before or after. If your course requires you to work as an intern or participate in a co-op, you must apply for a separate permit.

The UK:

International students with a Tier-4 student Visa may be allowed to work up to 20 hours per week and full-time on holidays during their academic programmes. The work usually entails a part-time job on campus, such as working in the cafeteria or working part-time for a university-affiliated employer, such as assisting with research or teaching. Your chosen course will determine the work you get from corporate sector employers.

Canada Vs UK: Permanent Residence

Let’s look at the PR differences between Canada Vs UK.

Canada:

Obtaining a PR in Canada is relatively simple. The vast country is sparsely populated and has a skilled labour shortage. As a result, Canada is very encouraging toward their PR programme, which is typically for international students already working under a post-graduation work permit. 

People who have already completed their postgraduate studies in another country can also apply for permanent residency.

The UK:

You can apply for Permanent Residence (PR), known as Indefinite Leave To Remain (ILR), to live and work in the UK indefinitely. 

There are several ways to apply for PR in the UK:

a) Have lived in the UK for at least five years.

You can apply for Permanent Residence (PR) if you have been living in the UK for at least 5 years.

b) A UK citizen or permanent resident’s family member.

You may be eligible for PR if you are the spouse, parent, or dependent relative of a UK citizen or permanent resident.

c) Work permit.

If you have held a Tier 2 (General) work visa for five years, you can apply for PR. In addition, your employer will be required to sponsor you.

d) Alternative PR Strategies

  • If you are a refugee, have humanitarian protection, or have been granted Discretionary Leave,
  • Returned to the UK after previously having indefinite leave.
  • Served in the military.

Canada vs UK: Tuition and Lifestyle Expenses

Let’s look at the expense differences between Canada Vs UK.

UKCanada
Tuition for undergraduate programs is usually £8,000 to £15,000 per year.Tuition for UG programs costs around $10,000 to $30.000 per year
Tuition for PG courses costs around £10,000 to £20,000 per year.Tuition for post-graduation programs costs around $15,000 to $35,000 a year.
Room and other expenses come up to £12,000 to £15,000 a year. The cost of room and other living expenses is usually around $10,000 to $12,000 a year.
The duration of the UG course will be of 3 years, whereas the duration of the PG course will be around 1.Duration of courses will be 3 to 4 years for UG courses & 1 to 2 years for PG courses. 

Canada vs UK: Scholarships

There are various scholarships Indian students can avail of for both Canadian and UK Institutions.

Canada Scholarships:

Scholarships in Canada can be categorised into:

  • Government scholarships
  • Non-Government scholarships
  • Institutional scholarships

Government Scholarships:

International scholarship programmes sponsored by the Canadian Government enable international students to study in Canada at a low cost. These awards also cover travel and other expenses in Canada. 

Here are some scholarships offered by the Canadian Government:

1. Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship: Indian students must be accepted to their chosen institution in Canada to be considered for this two-year scholarship. The awardees will keep their fellowships and have their applications approved by the appropriate university authority.

2. Vanier Graduate Scholarships: Vanier graduate scholarships are available to Canadian students studying natural sciences courses, engineering research, health research, or social science and humanities research.

3. Canada – ASEAN SEED: The Canada ASEAN Scholarships and Educational Exchanges for Development programme provide students from ASEAN member countries with short-term exchange opportunities to study and conduct research at a Canadian post-secondary institution at the college for both undergraduate and graduate levels.

Non-Government Scholarships

Non-government organisations in Canada provide scholarships to Indian students who want to study a specific subject. These scholarships cover tuition, travel, health insurance, housing, and monthly allowances. The following are the non-government scholarships:

1. Canada Memorial Scholarship: This fully funded scholarship is available to Indian students pursuing higher education in Canada. Students applying for courses that last more than a year may be required to provide declarations demonstrating that they have additional funding to complete the course.

2. Anne Vallee Ecological Fund: Students securing a master’s or doctoral degree in courses regarding animal research at the University of Quebec or the University of British Columbia are eligible for the Anne Vallee ecological fund award. The funds will support field research in animal ecology and the environmental impact of human activities such as agriculture, forestry, industry, and fishing.

3. Trudeau Scholarships and Fellowships: This scholarship and fellowship are available to international doctoral students at certain Canadian institutions. Doctoral candidates studying and conducting research in one or more of the Foundation’s four themes are eligible to apply: human rights and dignity, people and their natural environment, responsible citizenship, and Canada and the World.

Institutional Scholarships

Securing an institutional scholarship to study in Canada involves several factors, and international students must ensure they are eligible and meet the deadline before applying for any award. The following are examples of institutional scholarships:

1. York University International Student Scholarship: The award amount is Rs 8,253,434; however, students must ensure a minimum cumulative grade point average of 7.80 to qualify for this scholarship.

2. The University of Manitoba Graduate Fellowships: Regarding the amount awarded for this scholarship, a master’s degree is worth Rs 8,25,343, and a doctorate is worth Rs 10,61,155. To be eligible for this scholarship, students must have a minimum admission GPA of 3.0.

3. Lester B. Pearson International Scholarship: Students can apply for a total of 37 scholarships. It covers the cost of attending classes and living in Canada and other expenses like books and incidentals.

UK Scholarships:

Scholarships to study in the UK are classified into three types based on the source of funding:

  • Government-funded UK Scholarships
  • UK University Scholarships
  • Other Scholarships

Government-funded UK Scholarships

1. Scotland’s Saltire Scholarship: In the UK, the Scottish Government, in collaboration with Scottish universities, offers master’s scholarships. This scholarship is available to India, Japan, Canada, the United States, China, and Pakistan citizens.

2. Chevening Scholarships: This is one of the top master’s scholarships in the UK for Indian students. The UK government provides these fully funded scholarships to outstanding students from Chevening-eligible countries worldwide.

UK University Scholarships:

1. Edinburgh Global Research Scholarship: There are only 30 scholarships available to international students wishing to pursue a PhD at the University of Edinburgh. This scholarship only pays for a portion of your tuition.

2. Kingston University London Scholarship: The scholarship is available to all international undergraduate and postgraduate students at Kingston University. This £5000 scholarship is open to students beginning their first year in September or January.

Other Scholarships:

1. Castle Smart Scholarship: Castle Smart Estate provides undergraduate scholarships to international students studying in the UK. It covers approximately £6,000 in tuition fees. This scholarship is accessible via video rather than an essay. Students must prepare a video covering all the required points for their chosen course to apply.

2. Royal Society Grants: The Royal Society, the World’s oldest and most independent scientific academy, provides several scholarships. Undergraduate and graduate students can use these. The nature of this grant determines the eligibility and benefits of these scholarships.

We know finding the best scholarships based on your interests and skills is a challenge. Start your scholarship search by choosing your preferred country and degree with Leap Scholar’s scholarship finder, which provides a free, up-to-date, comprehensive list of scholarships, grants and other awards available to international students from different parts of the world.

Canada vs UK: Benefits

Let’s look at the study benefits between Canada Vs UK.

Why study in the UK?

  • The National Health Service aims to provide healthcare to all citizens.
  • Fantastic transportation system
  • Natural beauty and beautiful landscapes
  • Access to art galleries and museums is free.
  • A global financial centre
  • Excellent labour laws and benefits for employees

Why study in Canada?

  • Everyone has access to free healthcare.
  • The crime rate is low.
  • Locals and immigrants can both find work.
  • Education is reasonably priced.
  • A vast and lovely landscape.
  • The cost of living is relatively low.
  • People who are welcoming and friendly.
canada vs uk

We can conclude that both countries offer excellent educational opportunities to Indian and international students. It is entirely up to the student to choose between Canada Vs UK for higher education. We know all of the above information may be a bit overwhelming. Still unsure about which is better between Canada Vs UK? Want further guidance on studying in Canada Vs UK as an international student? LeapScholar is proud to have a highly qualified team of counsellors with 50+ years of combined experience in helping students study abroad. Ready to take the Leap? Book a free counselling session right now!

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Which country is better for a master’s, Canada or the UK? 

    Each country as a study-abroad destination has its own set of advantages.
    The UK has some of the World’s best universities and is stepping up its efforts to assist international students after graduation. In contrast, Canada has lower total study and living costs and has historically provided international students with flexible post-study career opportunities.
    Choosing between the UK and Canada for higher education is entirely up to the student.

  • Which country is better to live in, Canada Vs UK? 

    Canada received a 7.6 on the Average Life Satisfaction Ranking scale, while the UK received a 7.2. This shows that people think Canada is a better place to live than the UK.
    Canada is ranked ninth on the World Happiness Index, while the UK is ranked fifteenth. As a result, Canadians are happier. Furthermore, because the UK is a relatively expensive place to live, a student’s finances are much easier to manage in Canada.

  • Which is cheaper, UK or Canada?

    Tuition fees for international students in Canada are significantly lower than those in the UK. Generally, studying in Canada is less expensive than studying in the UK. It is even possible to obtain a PR for Canada.

  • Are salaries better in the UK or Canada?

    Salary levels in the UK are comparable to those in Canada. However, there is more to this aspect than meets the eye. The salaries in the UK are accompanied by an extremely high cost of living, which is not the case in Canada.

  • Is IELTS compulsory for the UK and Canada?

    If you are from a country where English is not the native language, you must demonstrate your English proficiency through IELTS, TOEFL, PTE, and other tests.

  • What are the student visa fees for both the UK and Canada?

    A fee of £363 is required to apply for a UK student visa if the student is using from outside the UK. The fee for a student visa in Canada is CAD 150, and you must pay an additional CAD 350 to reinstate your student status.

  • What are the university admissions seasons in Canada and the UK?

    The UK and Canada have two significant intakes in September and January, with September being the most prominent. Some universities also offer courses on a rolling basis, which means that admissions are open until all seats are filled. However, the two busiest months for both countries are September and January.

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Saket Kohli

An International Higher Ed professional with 7+ years of experience studying, working, and living across three geographies, currently on a mission to share his journey as an International Student.

Articles: 537

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