Canada, Higher Education in

In Canada, education falls under provincial jurisdiction. As a result, the Canadian higher education consists of a myriad of mostly public institutions, funded and regulated by 10 provinces. The system is a complex, decentralized one with no national goals, policies, or quality assessment. Compared to many other countries, Canada’s system has high participation rates, while its quality, as measured by international rankings, remains relatively high. The system features debates and struggles around issues of quality, governance, inclusion, and accessibility. This entry provides an overview of the Canadian system of higher education, explores it history and structure, and highlights policy debates that animate it in the early 21st century.


Glen Jones (2014) estimated there were about 183 public colleges and institutes, as well as 163 public and ...

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