Universities In Canada 2023


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In Canada, universities are founded and run under the authority of the province and territory governments, with the exception of two situations where federal law and First Nations bands have the last say. Members of Universities Canada, originally known as the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC), include the majority of public universities in the nation. Federal law protects the word “university” as a noun.

Degree Course In Canada

There are 97 universities in Canada that offer instruction in both English and French as of 2021. Although many universities outside the province are either francophone or bilingual, the majority of French-speaking universities are found in Quebec. There are 1.8 million students attending universities. Students who graduate from high school can choose from a variety of programs, but they must maintain specific entry averages, which typically range from 65 to 85% based on requirements established by the selected university. In Canada, 95% of institutions offer on-campus housing. The majority include basic utilities and a meal package. All post-secondary universities provide the option of living on campus.

Although some programs may take longer to finish because of cooperative education (Co-op) programs or combined programs with institutions that are praised for delivering practical experience, degree programs typically span three to four years. The cost of the program materials and content determines the tuition. In the first year of many programs, more broad courses are taken, while the second year is when “program specific courses” are introduced. Some universities, including the University of Toronto, have unique entrance requirements for admittance into particular programs based on first-year performance against internal norms (i.e. a set grade point average). Provincial/territorial laws and regulations in Canada prevent higher education institutions from turning into diploma mills.

Universities By Province And Territory In Canada


The Ministry of Advanced Education in Alberta oversees post-secondary education. In Alberta, there are eleven public colleges, eight public universities, two polytechnic institutes that award degrees, and seven private colleges (all of which grant degrees). The majority of private institutions call themselves “university colleges” and award comparable degrees. One institution, University nuhelotne thaiyots nistameyimâkanak Blue Quills, is run directly by a coalition of seven First Nations band governments rather than by provincial law.

The oldest and largest institution in the province, University of Alberta, as well as MacEwan University, The King’s University, and Concordia University of Edmonton are all located in Edmonton, the province’s capital city (not to be confused with Concordia University of Montreal). Students who are francophone and francophile can take courses at the University of Alberta’s Campus Saint-Jean, which is in French.

The University of Calgary, Ambrose University, Mount Royal University, St. Mary’s University, and the Alberta University of the Arts are the five universities in Calgary.

Lethbridge is the home of the University of Lethbridge, however it also has a campus in Calgary.

Since 1970, Athabasca has served as the home of the distant learning institution known as Athabasca University.

The oldest university in Alberta is Burman University in Lacombe, which is independent and publicly supported. It was founded in Leduc in 1907. In 2014, the Alberta Government authorized the institution to alter its classification from “university college” to “university.”

The two public schools that provided degrees—MacEwan College in Edmonton and Mount Royal College in Calgary—were given permission to become universities in 2009 after a measure was approved by the Alberta legislature. On September 3, 2009, Mount Royal College became Mount Royal University, and on September 24, 2009, Grant MacEwan College became Grant MacEwan University (renamed MacEwan University in September 2013).

The King’s University and Concordia University of Edmonton were most recently granted permission to change their respective designations from University-College to University in 2014.

University Of British Columbia

In British Columbia, there are five private colleges and eleven public universities. With the exception of the University of British Columbia Okanagan, the main UBC campus situated in the Okanagan Valley, eight of these universities – Capilano University, Emily Carr University of Art and Design, University of the Fraser Valley, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Trinity Western University, Simon Fraser University, the University Canada West, and the University of British Columbia – are in the Metro Vancouver region, the most populated region of British Columbia.

In addition to having a major campus in Prince George, the University of Northern British Columbia also has regional campuses in Quesnel, Terrace, and Fort St. John. Along with the exclusive Quest University Canada, three public universities—Capilano University, University of the Fraser Valley, and Kwantlen Polytechnic University—are largely undergraduate institutions. New York Institute of Technology and Fairleigh Dickinson University, two private US universities with campuses in Vancouver, are primarily for undergraduate and graduate students.

The Institution of British Columbia, which was founded in 1908 and opened its newest major campus in Okanagan in 2005, is the oldest university in the province. On September 1, 2008, Capilano University, Emily Carr University of Art and Design, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, the University of the Fraser Valley, and Vancouver Island University were all formally recognized as universities in the province of British Columbia. In British Columbia, there are 700 students enrolled at Quest University Canada and 45,484 at the University of British Columbia.

Thompson Rivers University, Open Learning is BC’s largest online and distant learning institution. Students can choose from a wide range of programs, including adult secondary school completion, certificates and diplomas, including advanced and post-baccalaureate, associate degrees, and bachelor’s degrees, thanks to the more than 400 individual courses and more than 57 programs that can be completed by distance and online learning. The total enrollment of Thompson Rivers University, including distance learners, is 22,036. (8964 of which is distance).

University Of Manitoba

The Ministry of Advanced Education and Literacy is in charge of the five public universities and one private university in Manitoba. In Winnipeg, the provincial capital and largest city, three of the public universities are located: the University of Manitoba, the oldest university in western Canada; the University of Winnipeg; and the Université de Saint-Boniface. The only university in western Canada that speaks French, Université de Saint-Boniface was founded in 1818 and is the oldest post-secondary institution in the province. The city of Brandon, which lies in western Manitoba, is home to Brandon University. A private Anabaptist university in Winnipeg is called Canadian Mennonite University.

Additionally, the province is home to three university colleges: Booth University College, founded in Winnipeg in 1982; Providence University College in Otterburne, Manitoba; and University College of the North, which serves the towns of The Pas and Thompson. 12 other smaller locations are served by smaller satellite campuses, 9 of which are located on First Nations land.

In Manitoba, there are 26,800 students enrolled in the University of Manitoba, whereas Booth University College has a few hundred students.

New Brunswick

There are four public universities overseen by the Ministry of Post-Secondary Education, Training, and Labor and four private colleges, including Yorkville University, that are all chartered universities in New Brunswick. The University of New Brunswick is the first public university in North America and the first English-language university in Canada. Mount Allison University was the first institution in the British Empire to grant a woman a bachelor’s degree in 1875. In addition to keeping a campus in Saint John, University of New Brunswick also operates campuses in Fredericton, the provincial capital.

The University of New Brunswick, founded in 1785, is the oldest public university in the province, and the Université de Moncton, founded in 1963 but with roots reaching back to one of its three predecessor schools in 1864, is the newest. From Mount Allison University with 2,486 students to the University of New Brunswick with 10,587 students, public universities enroll a wide variety of students. 800 students attend Crandall University, the largest of the three private colleges. St. Stephen’s University, another private university, is situated in St. Stephen, New Brunswick. In Sussex, New Brunswick, Canada, Kingswood University is an evangelical Christian university connected to the Wesleyan Church.

University Of Newfoundland And Labrador

Universities in the province that award degrees are subject to regulation under the Degree Granting Act of Newfoundland and Labrador. The lone university in Newfoundland and Labrador, Memorial University of Newfoundland, has campuses in three cities: St. John’s, the province’s capital; Corner Brook; and Harlow, the United Kingdom. It is the second-largest institution in Atlantic Canada with 18,172 enrolled students.

Nova Scotia

In Nova Scotia, there are ten universities. Halifax, Nova Scotia, the seat of government and largest city in Atlantic Canada, is home to six of these institutions: the Atlantic School of Theology, Dalhousie University, Mount Saint Vincent University, the NSCAD University, Saint Mary’s University, and the University of King’s College. The University of King’s College, founded in 1789, is the oldest university in the province, while Cape Breton University, founded in 1974, is the newest. At the Atlantic School of Theology, there are 150 students enrolled, while Dalhousie University has more than 18,000 students.

Religious affiliations can be found in several Nova Scotian universities. At a time when Upper Canada lacked its own government, the University of King’s College, established in Windsor, was the first college to be granted university powers in British North America. It has consistently been governed by the Church of England. Acadia University was founded by Baptists, whereas Dalhousie University, formerly known as Dalhousie College, was founded in Halifax in 1818 with assistance from the Presbyterian Church. Saint Mary’s University, Mount Saint Vincent University, and Saint Francis Xavier University were founded by Catholics.

The tenth university, Université Sainte-Anne, is situated at Pointe-de-l’Église and teaches its academic courses in French.

University Of Ontario

In the Canadian province of Ontario, there are 22 publicly financed universities that are post-secondary education centers with the power to award degrees. Each of these institutions was either created by a Royal Charter or by an Act of the Legislative Assembly. Students apply to public universities in Ontario through the Ontario Universities’ Application Centre, with the exception of the Royal Military College of Canada.

There are 24 government financed colleges in Ontario as well; the majority are known as Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology, and five are known as Institutes of Technology and Advanced Learning, however they are all collectively referred to as colleges. As of 2012–2013, 12 colleges provided 74 bachelor’s degree programs.

The University of Toronto is the oldest university in Ontario, having been founded in 1827. The Université de l’Ontario français is Ontario’s newest university; it was legally established in 2018 but will not begin enrolling full-time students until 2021. Algoma University, which is the next-newest institution, was founded in 2008 after severing ties with Laurentian University. The University of Toronto, which has 84,000 students spread across three campuses, is the largest university in terms of enrollment. The second-largest institution in terms of enrollment is York University in Toronto, which has over 50,000 students. Ottawa is home to the U15 Group of Canadian Research Universities.

University Of Prince Edward Island

Prince Edward Island has only one university that is permitted to provide degrees. The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development’s Higher Education and Corporate Services Branch is responsible for overseeing higher education in the province. Charlottetown, the province’s capital, is home to the lone university in the area, the University of Prince Edward Island. Prince of Wales College, a previous university college established in 1834, and Saint Dunstan’s University, established in 1855, were combined to create the institution. The four Atlantic provincial governments support the Atlantic Veterinary College, which is housed at UPEI.

University Of Quebec

The majority-French-speaking province of Quebec is home to 19 universities, 10 of which are part of the Université du Québec network.

In Québec, universities have their own autonomy and are not subject to the direction of the state. Legislators have given each institution the flexibility to set its own curriculum and create its own teaching and research programs through legislation or constitutional charters. The university is solely responsible for deciding on entrance requirements, enrolling students, granting degrees, and hiring staff.

Three of the nineteen universities—Concordia University, McGill University, and Bishop’s University—are anglophone. One of them is multilingual, the Royal Military College Saint-Jean (between French and English). The remaining are francophone; four are located in Quebec City, the provincial capital, including École nationale d’administration publique, Institut national de la recherche scientifique, TÉLUQ, and Université Laval. Of these, five are located in Montreal, the province’s most populous city, including École de technologie supérieure, Polytechnique Montréal, HEC Montréal, Université de Montréal, and Université du Québec à Montréal. While TÉLUQ is a distance learning university, the Institut national de la research scientifique and École nationale d’administration publique do not offer undergraduate level programs.

Université Laval, founded in 1663, is the province’s first university. The most recent institutions include TÉLUQ (1972, merged with UQM in 2005, separated in 2012), Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue (1983), Concordia University (1974), and École de technologie supérieure (1974). In the province of Quebec, there are 480 students enrolled in the Institut national de la research scientifique and 55,540 at the Université de Montréal (but this figure actually includes HEC and Polytechnique, which are legally distinct universities).


In Saskatchewan, there are two universities that have the power to award degrees. Degree-granting universities must have their own statutes established by the government of Saskatchewan; these statutes specify each institution’s power as well as its rules and bylaws. The University of Saskatchewan is located in Saskatoon, the largest city in Saskatchewan, while the University of Regina is located in Regina, the province’s capital. Having been established in 1907, the University of Saskatchewan is the oldest university in the territory. The First Nations University of Canada (FNUC), with 840 students, is the smallest university in Saskatchewan, while the University of Saskatchewan has 18,620 students.

Another post-secondary institution that serves the needs of First Nations students is the First Nations University of Canada, which is federated with the University of Regina. It was first known as the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations, and after it was established, it and the University of Regina entered into a federated arrangement to establish the Saskatchewan Indian Federated College (SIFC). Through this agreement, FNUC was able to establish itself as a First Nations student-serving university-college. In the province, only the First Nations University of Canada does not provide graduate-level coursework.


Since 2004, Yukoners have suggested that the college in some way transform into a university. Yukon College would become Yukon University after a bill was enacted by the Yukon Legislature in December 2019. Yukon Institution will become the sole public university in Canada’s north when it opens its doors in May 2020.

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