The Canadian universities have gained international prestige, which is annually acknowledged in the rankings of the best faculties at international level. This circumstance has had a significant impact on the number of foreign students that decide to study at any of the country’s universities. According to a survey conducted by the Royal Bank (RBC), the number of foreign students registered in Canada has grown over the past decade. It went up to nearly 415,000 in 2016, beyond the 350,000 reported in 2015 and over the double of the 180,000 back in 2007. This figure is still relatively small if compared to the United States, United Kingdom and Australia. However, the growth in absolute terms has already surpassed the numbers reported by other countries with more tradition in this field.

China and India are the main student outbound countries. 132,000 Chinese citizens studied in Canada in 2016, which represents a third of the total. The number of Indian students was multiplied by ten over the past decade, so 80,000 were reported in 2016. Other figures reflect a growing presence of students from France (that number has been doubled since 2007), as well as Nigeria, Brazil, Saudi Arabia and Vietnam. All in all, these countries sent over 60 percent of the foreign students received in Canada in 2016, thus surpassing the 35 percent registered in 2007. A significant growth has been seen over the past years in terms of students from such Latin American countries as Venezuela, Mexico and Peru.

The 2018 QS World University Rankings, which assesses and ranks the best universities of the world, has included 26 Canadian centers, four of which hold positions in the Top 100. What should foreign students interested in studying in Canada know? A Canadian citizen, for example, pays an average of 6,571 Canadian dollars a year for a university degree and 6,907 a year for a graduate degree. According to Statistics Canada, the average application fees for international students in 2017/18 are 25,180 Canadian dollars a year.

In Ontario, the provincial government reports that the average fee for university application is 6,160 Canadian dollars a year, while Statistics Canada takes that figure up to 7,868 dollars a year. According to different rankings and assessments in terms of quality, means, infrastructures and relation to the labor market, these are the top ten universities of Canada.


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The University of Toronto is described as the best one in Canada and it is ranked 31st at world level. Created back in 1827, the university houses nearly 88,700 students in its three campus, and it has been praised for its research and innovation programs, as well as those related to the discovery of insulin and stem cells.


Holding the 32nd position at world level in 2018, McGill University was founded in 1821 and teaches some 40,500 students, 25 percent of which come from abroad. It is based in Montreal and boasts about having the highest number of Rhodes Scholars (142) and Nobel Prize winners (12) among all Canadian universities.


The University of British Columbia, which always holds one of the first positions on national lists, has gone six steps down at world level over the past year, thus falling to the 51st. Despite this reality, it stands out as the third best-ranked university of Canada. Nestled in Vancouver and Kelowna at British Columbia, the university counts on nearly 62,900 students, including 14,434 foreign students from 162 countries.


The University of Alberta was founded in 1908 and it is based in Edmonton. It occupies the 90th position at world level and has registered 37,830 students from 143 countries. Some studies show that it has a 12.3 billion Canadian dollars impact on the economy of Alberta.


Occupying the 130th around the world, it is the French-speaking university with the highest ranking in Canada and one of the top 10 employers in Montreal. The University was established in 1878 and it is one of the most active Canadian educational institutions in terms of research, with revenues above 500 million dollars.


McMaster University was originally founded back in 1887 in Toronto, but it was later moved to Hamilton, Ontario, in 1930. McMaster engulfs 70 research centers and institutes, and it has been praised for its medicine school.


Also based in Ontario, the University of Waterloo holds the 152nd position and it is one of the youngest educational centers in Canada, since it opened its doors in 1957. It presently counts on 36,670 students, with 37 percent of graduates coming from abroad.


Ranked 210th at international level along with Belgium’s University of Antwerp, Western University is located in London, Ontario. Previously known as the University of Western Ontario, it was founded in 1878 and presently has some 28,800 students.


The University of Calgary occupies the 217th position. Founded in 1966, the University features five campus, one of them in Qatar, and it has been the birthplace of several outstanding inventions, including the neurochip.


Queen’s University holds the 224th position in the world ranking and it is one of the oldest universities of Canada, founded in 1841, 26 years before the foundation of the country as such. Nowadays, Queen’s has around 22,461 students, 10 percent of which are people from other countries.