Canada and the UK are two of the most popular study abroad destinations for Indian students. Both countries offer high quality education, great job opportunities and a multicultural environment. To help you make this decision, we’ve made a comparative analysis of what’s on offer to prospective students in these countries. By the end of this article, we feel sure you’ll know which country is for you!
The United Kingdom and Canada offer quality education to international students. And when it comes to the presence of Indian students in both countries, the numbers are nearly the same!
According to the IRCC, in 2021, the total number of international students in Canada stood at 621,656, while the Higher Education Student Statistics for the UK reported the number of Indian students in the UK, in 2020-21, at 605,130.
Also read our article on the top 10 universities in the world based on the Times Higher Education ranking.
If your desire is a study abroad destination with a significant Indian community base, both countries make a good choice.
If we are to compare the two countries from the perspective of global excellence, there are many rankings that will help us decide. For example, based on the Time’s Higher Education rankings for 2023, 3 UK universities make it to the top 10 universities worldwide. There are no Canadian universities in the top 10.
However, 1 university from Canada makes it to the top 20 best universities worldwide on the same list and 4 Canadian universities make it to the top 100.
However, on their own, Canadian universities offer a world class education in general and do well on several global education scores and rankings.
The Times Global rankings list the following 3 universities in the top 10, 7 universities in the top 50 and 10 universities in the top 100 universities of the world.
The UK’s universities took the number 1, 3, and 10 spots, with the University of Oxford taking the crown.
|UK rank 2023||World University Rank 2023||University||City/town|
|1||1||University of Oxford||Oxford|
|2||3||University of Cambridge||Cambridge|
|3||10||Imperial College London||London|
|5||29||University of Edinburgh||Edinburgh|
|6||35||King’s College London||London|
|7||37||London School of Economics and Political Science||London|
|8||54||University of Manchester||Manchester|
|9||76||University of Bristol||Bristol|
|10||82||University of Glasgow||Glasgow|
The Times Global rankings list the following 7 universities among the best in the world. It’s important to remember that since the sample size is large (nearly 1799 universities were surveyed for the listing), having 7 universities among the top 200 indicates a very high quality of education on offer.
|Canada Rank 2023||World University Rank 2023||University||Province||City|
|1||18||University of Toronto||Ontario||Toronto|
|2||40||University of British Columbia||British Columbia||Vancouver|
|5||111||University of Montreal||Quebec||Montreal|
|6||118||University of Alberta||Alberta||Edmonton|
|7||=137||University of Ottawa||Ontario||Ottawa|
Listed below are the most popular courses in the UK and Canada. So, for instance, if you are a student of business and management, the UK might be a better destination for you than Canada. On the other hand, if you’re a student of medicine, Canada might be your preferred destination.
|Popular Courses in the UK||Popular Courses in Canada|
|Business and Management||Hospitality|
|Law||Health and Medicine|
|Biotechnology||Business and Management|
|Hospitality and Tourism||Hospitality and Tourism|
To be eligible to apply for a postgraduate course in the UK, you need to have successfully completed a three year undergraduate degree in India. There may be additional eligibility criteria on which undergraduate courses qualify based on the field of study you apply to.
You may also be expected to provide scores for the following tests:
To be eligible to apply for a postgraduate course in Canada, you need to have successfully completed a three year undergraduate degree in India. There may be additional eligibility criteria on which undergraduate courses qualify based on the field of study you apply to.
Admission to vocational courses tend to have relaxed criteria. However, all other courses require a bunch of test scores including
The concept of cutoffs doesn’t apply to Canadian colleges. Colleges provide average scores accepted to different courses on their websites. That will give some idea about what’s considered a good score.
|Particulars||Postgraduate course in UK||Postgraduate course in Canada|
|Tuition fees||MS: Rs 20.47 per year||MS: Rs 11.52 Lakhs per year|
|Living expenses||Rs 5.86 Lakhs per year||Rs 6.31 Lakhs per year|
|Duration of course||1-2 years||1-2 years|
|Total cost||Rs 26.34 per year||Rs 17.83 Lakhs per year|
As a student accepted to study abroad in the UK, you will need to apply for a UK Student visa (formerly Tier 4 UK Visa). Recently, UK Post-Study Work Visa Rules were relaxed for international students. To be eligible for the visa you need to prove that:
The UK student visa allows you to work part-time up to 20 hours per week (on campus or off campus), and full-time during vacations (only on-campus).
As a student accepted to a Canadian study abroad program you will need to consider the following:
You cannot work more than 20 hours per week. During holidays, breaks, and summer sessions, the student may work up to 40 hours per week.
Except for the visa processing fee costs, where the UK has a higher fee than Canada, both countries have similar rules regarding visa application procedures, work regulations for those on a student visa, and the necessity to convert your visa to a post-study work visa upon graduation.
The Graduate Route Visa allows international students who have earned a degree from a recognized university in the UK to stay in the country for up to 2 years and look for gainful employment. If you want to work there after your studies, then you need to apply for a Graduate Visa (PSW UK).
The application for the Graduate Route visa happens once you can prove successful completion of your study program. Once your application is accepted, your UK Student visa converts to a Graduate Route Visa.
Canadian Post Graduation Work Visa allows students graduating from any post-secondary institute to work post-studying for an uptime period depending on the duration of their course to a maximum of three years. Under this work permit, the student can work in any field or industry.
So, Canada allows international students graduating from their universities to stay and look for work in the country for a maximum period of 3 years, whereas this is 2 years in the UK.
Data Scientist, average base salary £41,345
Project Manager (unspecified), Average base salary £41,349
Software Engineer, Average base salary £39,182
Business Analyst, Average base salary £37,846
Accountant, Average base salary £30,133
Mechanical Engineer, Average base salary £32,363
Graphic Designer, Average base salary £24,075
Software Developer, Average base salary £31,911
Data Analyst, Average base salary £28,979
Executive Assistant, Average base salary: £33,165
Data Scientist, Average salary of CAD 81,668
Project Manager, Average salary of CAD 78,207
Software Engineer, Average salary of CAD 80,528
Business Analyst, Average base salary CAD 68,692
Accountant, Average base salary CAD 54,397
Business Development Manager, Average salary CAD 70,986
Mechanical Engineer, Average base salary CAD 70,002
Graphic Designer, Average base salary CAD 47,694
Software Developer, Average base salary CAD 69,847
Data Analyst, Average base salary CAD 59,972
Executive Assistant, Average base salary CAD 57,356
Electrical Engineer, Average salary of $77,400
Getting a Permanent Residence in the UK is popularly known as Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). Because of this, students can reside and work in the UK permanently. After getting ILR, one will have no restrictions on working and no time limitations on your stay.
During this period of Post-Graduation Work permit, you can apply for Permanent Residency under the Canadian Experience Class. Since the country is sparsely populated, there is a shortage of highly skilled employees. Compared to most other countries, getting PR in Canada is very easy.
|UK scholarships||Canada scholarships|
|British Council GREAT scholarships for Indian Students||International Research Linkages funded by Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada|
|Sir Ratan Tata Fellowship for South Asian Students at LSE||Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships funded by the Government of Canada|
|Oxford and Cambridge Society of India (OCSI) Scholarships||Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship|
|Cardiff Business School India Scholarships||Ontario Graduate Scholarship- Other Master Programs|
|Charles Wallace India Trust Scholarships||University of Alberta – India First Year Excellence Scholarships|
For some students who feel they cannot handle extreme temperatures or climatic conditions, the weather might be another important factor to consider when applying to the two countries.
In the UK, average temperature in the summer months ranges from 15-25°C.
Winters in the UK are characterized by cold weather, rain, and sometimes snow and fog with winter temperatures ranging from 0 to 7 degrees Celsius.
The UK is known for its unpredictable rain.
In Canada, temperatures can go below -30 degrees Celsius in specific locations during winter months.
The summers can be hot and dry in Canada on the Prairies, humid in Central Canada, and milder along the coasts.
Spring is known to be extremely beautiful and with pleasant weather across the country.
As you can see, the answer to this question will depend on your situation and individual dreams. Those who are looking for relaxed post-study visa norms and an affordable postgraduate education are likely to choose Canada. Those looking for specialized education in specific fields such as business and law, are likely to choose the UK.
|The United Kingdom||Canada|
|The average tuition cost in the UK is £12,705 and that excludes your accommodation and living costs.||Tuition for international students in Canada is much cheaper than the UK at around £5,855 a year.|
|You can make a payment of the £363 visa processing fees to apply for a UK Student Visa.||It costs C$150 to apply for the Canadian visa.|
|The UK has 3 of the top 10 universities in the world. If you have a strong academic record, you stand a good chance of making it to the top 3.||Canada offers high quality university education in specific disciplines.|
|On an average graduates earn about £26,345 in the UK||On an average many graduates earn around CAD40,000 a year on average.|
|The UK student visa allows you to work part-time up to 20 hours per week (on campus or off campus), and full-time during vacations (only on-campus).||The Canadian student visa allows you to work part-time up to 20 hours per week (on campus or off campus), and full-time during vacations (only on-campus).|
|Approximately, 40,000 Indians have been granted permanent residency in 2016||Approximately 80,000 Indians have been granted PR in Canada till November 2019.|
|Post study work visa lets you stay in the country for a period of 2 years to look for employment||Post study work visa lets you stay in the country for a period of 3 years to look for employment|
If you have trouble making a decision and need more clarity, feel free to contact our student support team, who will work with you to bring the clarity you need.
All the best!
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