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UK vs. Canada for International Students - Which Is Better?

UK vs. Canada for International Students - Which Is Better?

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Detailed comparison between The UK & Canada on the basis of their education system, eligibility criteria, employment prospects, salaries offered, etc.

GyanDhan
Anjaney Chaturvedi
Updated on:  25 Oct 2023  | Reviewed By: 
Aman 
| 4.72K | 7  min read
 

UK and Canada are two great nations of the world and have a global reputation for imparting the best-in-class education. The two countries have been known for being excellent hosts for international students, becoming a more popular choice for students planning to study abroad. Several factors make these countries great destinations for studying, working & settling. However, there are times when students get confused with the question, which is better, Canada or UK? Students always see the UK vs. Canada in contrasting terms but we will be presenting a holistic picture of studying in these two equally good countries. After reading, you will realize that in the end, your choice & preference matter.

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Education System

You must understand that in most commonwealth countries the education pattern is similar only to an extent. However, there are some instrumental differences when we compare the Canadian education system vs. the UK.

Canada

One of the best features of the Canadian education system is that it does not revolve around the grading system. The universities consider grades, but their importance is limited, unlike the UK education system. The education system in Canada is more open, and students have the liberty to diverge from their degree program, unlike in the UK. So, in a nutshell, the proximity to the US is very much reflected in the Canadian education system. Lately, many students are choosing Canada over the UK for higher studies. Canada is home to the world’s topmost educational institutions and research bodies. The academia-industrial collaboration is the best feature of the Canadian education system. Several students have this doubt, Is a Canadian degree valid in India? Well, they are. If you have a degree from a recognized university then it will certainly be valid in India.

Read more about: Why Study in Canada in 2023?   

The UK

There is no second opinion about the fact that the UK is home to many of the world’s best universities. The UK is the cradle of the modern-day education system. Almost all the major educational systems have some of their aspects borrowed from the English education system. From Oxford University to Cambridge University to King’s College, the UK has no dearth of world-class educational organizations. There is absolutely no doubt about the qualitative indicators. The country is a hub for some of the most successful people in the world who received their education in the UK. But the extremely high cost of living, an overly competitive entrance to the universities, and the high cost of education are swaying students’ opinions from the UK to Canada. But we must acknowledge the fact that the Canadian education system vs. the UK debate has different meanings for each of us.

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Eligibility Criteria

The eligibility criteria differ from one university to another and also depend on the course for which you are applying. For instance, if you apply for a program that needs good communication skills then IELTS or TOEFL would be mandatory while for others this might not be the case.

Canada

The universities in Canada require students applying for UG courses to have completed a 12-year pre-university class. For admission to PG courses, the student must have completed a 3-year graduation course or 4-year degree program in the case of engineering. Some universities require students to take IELTS/TOEFL exam, but even if they don’t, you must take it anyway as it is a requirement for the visa. Students coming from non-English speaking countries must ensure that they have the requisite IELTS/TOEFL score. For admission to engineering programs, the universities might ask for GRE scores, and for MBA, a GMAT score. So, do check the criteria before applying.

Read more about: Best Universities in Canada

UK

The students applying to universities in the UK for UG courses must have completed a 12-year pre-university class. Students planning to pursue PG courses are expected to have their graduation either in a 3-year or a 4-year format. For admissions to MBA programs, universities in the UK require GMAT scores & for science-related courses, GRE scores. But there is no hard and fast rule, & it entirely depends on your target course & target university.

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Employment Prospects Post Completion of Studies

A prominent reason for Indian students to go abroad for higher studies is better employment prospects. Both Canada and the UK are known for their welcoming nature to immigrants and international students. It entirely depends on an individual to choose a country based on the employment prospects both countries offer post-study work visas. So, let’s see the Canada vs. UK debate from the employment frame of reference.

Canada

If you are looking for better employment prospects, then you should consider Canada. It has a stable economy & houses the world’s biggest corporations. The Canadian government's Post Graduation Work Program (PGWP) allows students to work in Canada for a duration equivalent to the duration of their course. And the chances are very likely that you will be able to extend your visa. Another benefit of the PGWP is that you can choose any area, and it doesn’t have to be related to your field of study.

UK

The UK was known among international students for a strict visa policy for post-work employment, and it only allows students to search for a job for mere 4 months. But the rising competition from Canada, Australia, & New Zealand forced the UK to bring changes to its policies to retain the flow of international students. Now the UK allows students to stay up to 2-years post completion of their studies. You can apply for skilled and highly skilled visas. The validity for the highly skilled visa is 5-years. Now comes the moot question, Can I get a PR in the UK after studying? Well, once you get a 5-year visa you automatically become eligible for PR.

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Salary Comparison

The salaries in the UK are relatively similar to that in Canada. But even this aspect has more to it than meets the eye. The salaries in the UK come with an extremely high cost of living in the UK which is not the case in Canada. So, let’s see if Canada vs. UK salary can give you a holistic picture of your future income.

Canada

Canada offers a pool of opportunities to students graduating from their universities. The salaries are pretty decent but also depend on the type of work you are doing, the organization with which you are working, the university at which you studied, and various other factors. But if we ignore the cost of living in the UK, the average salary offered by both countries is similar. One of the best things about the average salary offered in Canada is that it has a publicly funded health system that will help you save a lot. Also, you can move to the US for better employment opportunities. So, in terms of salary Canada is equally good as the UK as the average salary for a skilled worker is from CAD 50,000 to CAD 100,000.

UK

The UK offers good salary packages, and if you are a UK university graduate, you can earn anywhere from £27,000 to £42,000 per annum. These salaries might appear high if you are in India but don't forget about the high cost of living. Living in London is around £1200 per month for an individual.

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Other Important Factors to Consider While Choosing Between UK and Canada

There are several other factors to consider, from the time difference between UK and Canada to their weather pattern. Both experience cold climates. So, if you are coming from India or any tropical country, then brace yourself for their freezing winters. As far as diaspora is concerned, both Canada and the UK have a good number of Indians living over there. When it comes to the education systems, ours is closer to the UK, especially if you want to go for a degree in medicine and law. However, Canada also gives you ample opportunities, irrespective of your field of study. Both countries are equally good, so if you need to choose an affordable country to settle in, Canada might be for you. But there is no denying that the UK has the world’s best institutions. You can make an informed choice by juxtaposing all these factors.

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