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Latest Country Updates
Oct 26, 2023

Canada toughens approach to international student exploitation

The Trudeau administration is showing growing impatience with problems related to Canada’s rapidly expanding intake of international students, warning campus and local leaders that the federal government will take a tougher line on fraud and exploitation if they do not.

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Jun 30, 2023

Ontario Launching New Mental Health Learning and Increasing Funding

Province introducing new mandatory learning on mental health starting this upcoming school year.

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Jun 20, 2023

Ontario announces $180 million to help students build math, reading and writing skills

Plan will bring in nearly 1,000 more educators to public school system, education ministry says.

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Jan 13, 2023

Ontario Modernizing Computer Studies and Tech-Ed Curriculum to Ensure Students Are Prepared for the Jobs of the Future

The Ontario government is updating high school courses in science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM), including learning related to the skilled trades to ensure students have the cutting-edge digital literacy and modern technological skills to lead the global economic, scientific and societal innovations of tomorrow.

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Dec 15, 2022

Ontario Preparing More Students for Careers in the Skilled Trades

The Ontario government is investing $4.8 million to expand the dual credit program, helping prepare more students for the jobs of tomorrow by better connecting learning in the classroom to good-paying jobs.

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Dec 12, 2022

University and school strikes across Canada are about workers’ rights

Labour issues in education across Canada have made the headlines in recent weeks. Think of the over 50,000 education workers in Ontario represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) or think of 600 educational workers in Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley area, including those from a school district covering 40 schools and two adult high schools, who walked out on Oct. 24th over wage parity concerns.

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Dec 7, 2022

Ontario EQAO Releases First Provincial Assessment Results Since Before Pandemic

The Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) has released provincial data from its 2021–2022 assessments, which marks a return to the agency’s large-scale provincial assessment administration after a pause for the prior two years.

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Jul 11, 2022

Ontario universities plow ahead with in-person exams amid COVID surge

Several post-secondary institutions are proceeding with in-person final exams in April, despite an escalation in COVID-19 cases across the province.

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Jun 14, 2022

Canada’s 13 provincial and territorial governments education recovery plans

Each provincial and territorial government is moving forward with varying education recovery plans for the upcoming year.

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Jun 1, 2022

Canada Ontario government approves new three-year degrees at colleges

The Ontario government's announcement today that colleges can develop new three-year degree programs is a historic breakthrough that ensures more students will acquire the professional expertise to succeed in their careers.

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Mar 16, 2022

Toronto school board says high-school students will not be affected by lower grades of January

Students and experts say they’re pleased Canada’s largest school board won’t let lower grades in the last stretch of the first semester of this academic year affect high-school students’ marks, after the period was disrupted by the latest wave of COVID-19.

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May 11, 2021

Egypt’s Higher Education Minister calls on Egyptian scholars in US and Canada to support the country

Egypt’s Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research aims to encourage Egyptian scholars who have studied abroad to support the future of Egypt, he said, stressing that these scholars are keen to contribute to the achievements of their homeland.

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Mar 4, 2021

HWDSB cancels final exams, eases high school graduation requirements amid 'uncertainty'

The Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board (HWDSB) has cancelled final exams and the province has eased graduation requirements for high school students. Students grades will be based on specific learning activities and assignments throughout the semester.

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Feb 24, 2021

End-of-term Exams Cancelled for Niagara's High School Students

Another large school district in Ontario has announced that their end-of-term exams are cancelled. This comes after several other Ontario school districts have decided to cancel their own exams.

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Feb 23, 2021

Postponed exams spark concerns over pharmacist shortage

Hundreds of pharmacy graduates are forced to delay their entry into the workforce after their licensing exam, Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE), was suddenly postponed for a second time this year. Students are blaming administrators for failing to plan during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

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Dec 4, 2020

Pandemic prompts some Ontario boards to scrap plans for high school final exams this year

Toronto District School Board (TDSB) and several other school boards in the Greater Toronto Area have decided to not hold final exams for high school students this year because of Covid-19 pandemic. No final exams for quadmester 1 and 2 classes and a decision has not been made yet for quadmester 3 and 4 classes.

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Dec 1, 2020

Canada relaxes online study rules for post-graduate work permit

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has announced a further relaxation of online study rules pertaining to post-graduation work permit (PGWP) eligibility.

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Nov 1, 2020

International students can enter Canada from Oct. 20 onwards

International students can enter Canada from Oct. 20 onwards if their designated learning institution (DLI) has a government-approved COVID-19 readiness plan in place. This comes after IRCC approved 56,000 study permits after the relaxing of online study rules.

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Oct 22, 2020

Ontario Transfers Governance of Francophone School Serving Students with Special Needs

The Ontario government announced the transfer of governance of Centre Jules-Léger (CJL) from the Ministry of Education to the CJL Consortium. This ensures the province's only French-language school for children who have learning disabilities will be governed by Francophones for Francophones.

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Sep 20, 2020

Centralized virtual schools and synchronous delivery in Ontario

Canada's largest school board attempts to centralize the virtual instruction of their Ontario curriculum. A model called centralized online education promises to be more effective than what was hastily prepared in the spring, but some are concerned of this new implementation.

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Canada: Ontario


The Province of Ontario in Canada is located in central Canada and is bordered by the provinces of Manitoba and Quebec, the U.S. states of Michigan, New York and Minnesota, and by Lake Erie, Lake Huron, Lake Superior, Lake Ontario and the Georgian Bay. Approximately 12,500,000 people live in the province of Ontario making it the most populous province in Canada, but the 4th largest in land-mass. English and French are the official languages, although English is the dominant language spoken in Ontario.

The Algonquin and Iroquois tribes first inhabited present day Ontario. The first European explorers arrived in the early 17th century and the area was claimed by both the British and French crowns. The Treaty of Paris in 1763 awarded all of the French territory in Canada to England. The Province of Ontario was established in 1867. Due to a large immigrant wave of Europeans in the 1950s and 60s, and a large increase of non-European immigrants since the 1970s, Ontario is the most-ethnically diverse province in Canada.


Primary Education

Primary education in Ontario is free and compulsory beginning at grade 1 and continuing through grade 8. Schools at the primary level of education consist of public and private schools that are supervised by the Ontario Ministry of Education and Training. Both public and private elementary schools receive financial support from the provincial government.

Secondary Education

Secondary school (Grades 9-12) is 4 years long. Grades 9 and 10 are general in nature. Coursework is primarily theoretical and emphasizes critical thinking. Practical courses are added to prepare students for real-world scenarios. Grades 9 and 10 also include elective coursework that assist students with stream selection and prepare them for courses taken in the last two years of secondary school.

Post-Secondary Education

Universities have adjusted academic programs and many degree programs are now four-years in length. Because of these changes, the Ontario educational system is very similar to the United States pattern of education today. Grades 11 and 12 assist students with training for future options including advanced level education and workplace preparation. In Grade 12, students take courses on the U (University), M (University/College), or C (College) preparatory level. At the end of Grade 12, there is no provincial external examination; students who have earned a sufficient number of credits with passing grades are awarded an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD). A student's level of achievement in secondary school is documented on his/her transcript of grades as shown on the Ontario Student Transcript, which is issued by the secondary school.

In 1999, reforms in secondary education were implemented. Grade 13 was dropped years earlier, when the Ontario Academic Credits (OACs) curriculum was introduced which allowed students to complete OSSD requirements in 4-5 and sometimes 4 years (although many remained in secondary school for 5 years taking extra courses). OACs were taken in the 10th through 13th grades and had been required for admission to universities in Ontario. The 1999 reforms made it easier for students to complete their secondary education in 4 years and OACs were dropped. In 2003, a group of students in the "double cohort" graduated from high school. The double cohort consisted of students who were taking 13 years to complete their OAC curriculum and students who were in the first group to complete the new 12-year 4U/M system.

Post-secondary options include universities, colleges of applied arts and technology, or private career colleges. There are 25 colleges of applied arts and technology (CAAT), or as some are now called, college institute of technology and advanced learning (CITAL), in Ontario. They are primarily vocational and technical in nature and offer one-year certificate programs, two- and three-year diploma programs, and four-year applied bachelor's programs. Some universities in Ontario will not award much, if any, transfer credit for these programs because they are so vocational and technical and do not include a significant amount of academic coursework.

Admission to universities requires an Ontario Secondary School Diploma with a grade average of 60% and at least 6 Grade 12 4U or 4M courses. Some universities may require a higher average, some require 4U or 4M courses, like English 4U or prerequisite subjects, and additional tests.

First Cycle

The first level of university study is the bachelor's degree which is 3-5 years long, depending on the field of study. 3-year general degrees were and are used for employment purposes (although more recently they are less useful for this) and 4-year honours degrees were and are used for employment and as preparation for more advanced study. A Bachelor's (Honours) degree could sometimes be awarded after completion of a "qualifying year" following a 3-year general bachelor's degree. Three-year bachelor's and four-year honours bachelor's degree are still awarded by some universities in Ontario. The University of Toronto no longer admits students to three-year bachelor's programs, but students who were admitted prior to the introduction of the new educational policies are grandfathered and are permitted to finish the 3-year bachelor's program if they desire.

Second and Third Cycles

Second level studies require a bachelor's degree for admission and are 2-3 years long, depending on the field of study. Upon completion, students are awarded a Master of Arts, Master of Science or a Master of (area of specialty). Doctoral level studies require a master's degree for admission. They usually require 2-3 years of coursework and, upon successful defense of a dissertation, students are awarded a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.).

Teacher Training

Teachers at the primary and secondary levels must hold at least a Bachelor of Education. To teach in the Province of Ontario, they must sit for and pass the Ontario Teacher Qualifying Test. After passing the test, teachers are awarded a Certificate of Qualification which permits them to teach in the Province of Ontario.



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