Education Around the World - Canada (2023)

  • April 15, 2023
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Education Around the World - Canada (1)

It is an understatement to say Canada is beautiful. There are not enough adjectives in the English language to describe its depth and richness. It may be a cold country, but it is filled with warm people famous for their politeness. The nature found in Canada is otherworldly. There are famous landmarks such as Niagra Falls and the Rockies, with so many other natural wonders. Moraine Lake and Lake Louise are so picturesque, it is difficult to believe they exist. Baffin Island’s untouched nature looks like a dreamy destination.

The wildlife in Canada matches its scenery. Canada is home to the white Kermode bear, which is the only species of white bears in the world (yes, you did not misread that. Polar bears are not white). The Kermode bears were protected by native Canadians, who kept their whereabouts a secret from colonizers for decades. Canada is a nation with so much depth and history with otherworldly beauty and wildlife (Shoumatoff, 2015). Like its nature and history, Canada’s education system is one of the best in the world; its government prioritizes the development of its education system.

In Canada, some kindergartens are full-day kindergartens that interact with the children using a play-based learning curriculum. This new curriculum was designed to encourage a culture of inquiry among children. Teachers also hope this will encourage children to develop healthy friendships with other children in kindergarten. The activities are designed to challenge children to explore and investigate their surroundings. Educators want children to ask questions and be curious about the world they live in, and these types of classes will help children think creatively and solve simple problems (Ontario Government, 2018).

In one activity, children will make bird feeders with their teachers and place the feeders outside the classroom. They will then record their findings about their feeder and find out if birds like it or not. If birds do not visit their feeder, the teacher will bring it back inside so the children can make necessary adjustments. The activity is designed to let children learn from their failures and make changes to get new results. Children who go through these programs will acquire a plethora of creative thinking skills. They will think about the world around them as a place to explore and they will seek answers to the questions they have about our world (Ontario Government, 2018).

Canada’s standard of education is very high across every stage of its education system. Canada quietly made its way up the international education rankings. In 2017, Canada was in the top ten for Pisa tests in science, math, and reading. Pisa tests are designed and distributed by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development or OECD (Coughlan, 2017).

This was a surprise for many experts because small, compact countries like Singapore typically do very well in Pisa tests. Small and wealthy countries have a national strategy for a universal education system. Canada does not have a national education system. Each province is autonomous and makes decisions about the curriculum within its boundaries (Coughlan, 2017).

Research shows Canadian schools focus on equity. Teachers and school administrators work together to make their international students feel welcome in the classroom. International students take approximately three years to catch up to their Canadian counterparts in test scores such as the Pisa test. Professor David Booth, at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto, says there is a solid foundation for literacy among Canadian children. Efforts have been made to improve resources available to children. School libraries are well stocked, and staff are specially trained to provide a quality literacy education to students (Couhglan, 2017).

(Video) Teaching in the US vs. the rest of the world

Some classes included in state curriculums are considered controversial. In Alberta, a teacher at Iron Ridge Intermediate Campus in Blackfalds, showed her fourth-grade students two videos about the oil sands in the province. The students were then asked to complete written assignments about the oil sands in Alberta (Keller, 2019).

This is a contentious issue in a province where many families earn their income by working for mining companies. Many conservatives in Canada have raised concerns about political viewpoints making their way into classrooms across the province. This subject may have caused turmoil; however, it is a testament to Canada’s willingness to grow and progress in its education sector. Teachers are designing content that will capture their students’ attention with thought-provoking questions (Keller, 2019).

Universities in Canada are also thriving. It is a popular destination for international students because of its prestigious universities nationwide. Canadian universities are respected for their work in chemistry, science, and medicine.

McGill University is a highly respected university in Montreal. It is widely considered to be among Canada’s best universities. It possesses a formidable medical school program that will greatly challenge the most capable students. McGill University is famous for its sprawling campus and extraordinary architecture. McGill University offers more than 300 undergraduate programs. There are over 400 programs to choose from in 80 different faculties for Masters, Ph.D., and postdoctoral research (McGill, 2020).

The University of Toronto is another prestigious university in Ontario. It possesses a rigorous admissions process. Students who are enrolled in this institution are consistently challenged by difficult classes and testing processes. This institution is the home of Dr. Jordan Peterson—a controversial figure in the world of psychology who is famous worldwide (Lynskey, 2018).

Audiences seem to have absolute opinions of Dr. Peterson and his work. Some think he is a keeper of the patriarchy and others think he is a guardian of free speech. Whatever your opinion may be on this professor, the standard of Canadian education upholds his right to debate and share ideas. This is an example of how open-minded Canadians are.

Even if students disagree with what Dr. Peterson has to say in class, they will openly debate his research and teaching methods without trying to get rid of him altogether. Debate is a healthy part of any society and Canadian universities have a high regard for their professors and students who seek knowledge and truth despite their disagreements and misgivings.

During Covid-19, universities used millions of dollars in emergency grants to help international students who were struggling to stay in Canada. These were unprecedented times for the world. Canada’s universities used care and consideration in their strategy to help international students. It is evident that international students will remember this experience for many years to come. This will be a testimony to future undecided international students that Canada is a fantastic place to live and study.

Originally published in the Zealousness e-magazine (issue 16) in 2020. Reviewed in 2023.

Read more education-related articles on our Zealousness blogEducation – iN Education Inc. (


  1. Coughlan, S. (2017). How Canada became an education powerhouse. Available at:
  2. Friesen, J. (2020). Universities, donors amass millions in grants for students struggling with financial implications of COVID-19. Available at:
  3. Keller, J. (2019). Alberta school lesson on oil sands prompts threats from parents amid sensitivity over industry’s image. Available at:
  4. Lynskey, D. (2018). How Dangerous is Jordan B. Peterson, the rightwing professor who hit a ‘hornets’ nest’? Available at:
  5. McGill University. (2020). Programs and admissions. Available at:
  6. Ontario Government. (2018). What will my child learn and do? Available at:
  7. Scholaro.(2018). Education system in Canada. Available at:
  8. Shoumatoff, A. (2015). This Rare, White Bear May Be the Key to Saving a Canadian Rainforest. Available at:


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What country is #1 in education? ›

United States

Where is Canada ranked in education in the world? ›

What is the rank of Canada's education system? According to the 2022 US News report, Canada is the 4th best country for education in the world and has consistently featured among the top 5 countries since 2016!

Who has better education USA or Canada? ›

Quality of Education

While it is true that the US has a monopoly in the education market, Canada is not lagging behind. With several top universities like the University of Toronto University of Toronto, McGill University and the University of British Columbia, Canada is slowly but surely catching up with the US.

Why is Canada's education better than the US? ›

In general, Canadian educational institutions encourage multiculturalism, critical thinking, and are more considered in terms of grades and may give their students a “second chance” to succeed.

How does us rank in education? ›

The U.S. ranks near the bottom in a survey of students' math skills in 30 industrialized countries and many Americans are in denial. The same survey showed that one-third believed their own schools were excellent, but only one-sixth believed the same of other schools.

Did the US ever rank #1 in education? ›

As recently as 20 years ago, the United States was ranked No. 1 in high school and college education. Much of the boom in American education during the second half of the 20th century was fueled by the Montgomery G.I.

Why is Canada top in education? ›

From elementary to post-secondary studies, Canada is known for offering high quality education and research opportunities. You'll also have the flexibility to transfer between types and levels of education without running into roadblocks common in other parts of the world.

Why is Canada so highly educated? ›

The children in migrant families seem to integrate rapidly into the school system, aiming to perform at the same high level as their classmates. Besides, the well-developed Canadian immigration system ensures that many people with great education enter the country, including M.A., M.Sc. and Ph.

Why is Canada's education so good? ›

Resources Are Invested into Canadian Public Schools

Canada invests more into its public schools than any other country in the G7. In addition, the professionals working in Canada's public school system are also invested in and held to a high standard.

Is living in USA better than Canada? ›

While the USA offers better salary packages, Canada has better healthcare, more maternity leaves and other social benefits. Average work hours for Canada is slightly higher than that of the US. The annual leave structure of both countries is similar.

Is college free in Canada? ›

University costs

Tuition fees for universities vary depending on the program and school you choose. On average in Canada, university tuition costs around: $36,100 per year for international undergraduate students (Statistics Canada, 2022) $21,100 per year for international graduate students (Statistics Canada, 2022)

Is it better to go to Canada or USA? ›

The USA has larger income packages, but Canada has superior healthcare, more maternity leaves, and other social benefits. In addition, although Canada's average workweek is a little longer than the US's, getting a Worker Visa Canada is much easier.

What is the difference between Canada and US higher education? ›

In both the US and Canada, students typically apply to universities individually. The big difference between the two countries is the amount of information you will need to apply. Canadian universities focus mostly on your grades. Colleges in the US may require essays, recommendations, or other supplementary material.

Is education in Canada good or bad? ›

Canada is a well performing OECD country in reading literacy, mathematics, and science with the average student scoring 520, compared with the OECD average of 487 in 2018. In 2016, the country spent 6.0 percent of its GDP on all levels of education – roughly 1.0 percentage points above the OECD average of 5.0 percent.

What are the pros and cons of studying in Canada? ›

Advantages and Disadvantages of Studying in Canada
Advantages of Studying in CanadaDisadvantages of Studying in Canada
Earn while you learnLiving expense in Canada
Demand for a younger workforceHealth care system
Post-graduate Work Permit (PGWP)Low Acceptance Rate of international students to Canadian medical schools
2 more rows
Feb 14, 2022

Which US state is 1 in education? ›

1. Massachusetts. Massachusetts has the best-ranked public schools in the United States and is the second-most educated state, just behind the District of Columbia.

Which country has toughest education? ›

Which country has the hardest education system? South Korea, Japan, Singapore are a few countries which have one of the hardest education systems. Which country has the hardest math? The United Kingdom, The United States of America, etc are the countries having one of the best education systems.

Why USA has the best education system in the world? ›

That's because American schools are well known for providing high-quality education through a balanced, tried-and-tested curriculum. The US education system is informed by cutting-edge research, which helps develop students into critical thinkers with well-rounded social-emotional skills.

Where does the US rank in math? ›

U.S. ranks near the bottom

On a scale of 0–1,000, the average score in math proficiency among education systems ranged from 592 in China to 326 in the Dominican Republic.

Is America known for good education? ›

Yes, the US education system is good. The education system in US is considered the superior system in the world. This is because they offer a rich and wide range of choices for international students. The most enticing attribute of the US education system is its versatility.

Where is the US in education compared to other countries? ›

The U.S. average score was higher than the average scores of 10 education systems and not measurably different from the average scores of 2 education systems. Only three education systems (Singapore, Norway, and Ireland) scored higher than the United States.

Does Canada or the US have a higher literacy rate? ›

STATCanadaUnited States
Total population99% Ranked 30th. The same as United States99% Ranked 20th.
Adults with at least moderate literacy > Female50.5% Ranked 2nd.53.6% Ranked 1st. 6% more than Canada
Adults with at least moderate literacy > Male49.5% Ranked 16th. 7% more than United States46.4% Ranked 17th.
14 more rows

Is college in Canada harder than US? ›

Based on studying and teaching in both systems Canadian universities are more rigorous than most US ones. Canadians who came to study medicine in US schools achieched GPAs at those schoolson an average 0.3 points higher than US students. They were used to being expected to work very hard and being marked hard.

Is Canadian education similar to American? ›

While it might seem like schools around the world are similar, education is viewed very differently. Canada and the US are commonly lumped together as being the same, but there are many fundamental differences in schools in each country.

Is USA best for higher education? ›

The universities in America possess high academic standards, are well equipped with world-class facilities and academic faculties, and follow rigorous educational practices to maintain the high quality of education. In the QS World Ranking of 2021, 30 of the top 100 universities were from the USA.


1. How Canada’s education system works
2. Top 10 Countries with Best Education Systems in the World
(After School TV)
3. It's Not an Opinion, It's a Fact: Aboriginal Education in Canada
4. What School Lunch Looks Like Around The World | Around The World | Food Insider
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5. Schools in Canada: elementary and high school education
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6. 6 Problems with our School System
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