Learn about Higher Education in British Columbia

If you have relocated to British Columbian, and you are thinking about changing your career or gaining new skills,  you have plenty of options, and you’re in good company. In Canada, people tend to change careers two or three times in the first 10 years of their work life. Getting new qualifications is regarded very positively. Employers appreciate their workers’ desire to better themselves and their career. There is no age limit to enroll into university and most universities offer adapted schedules, like evening classes or e-learning, for those who also work.

For newcomers, higher education in British Columbia is a good way to meet people and start building your network. You can adapt your knowledge to an British Columbian context and complete your training, either at university or in college or institute of technology.

The higher education in British Columbia educational structure has a lot to offer, no matter what your interests and ambitions. It consists of a system of colleges and universities and institutes.

There are 1,900 programs offered through British Columbia’s publicly-funded higher education. There are 11 colleges in the public college system and 11 universities. There are also three institutes of technology and advanced learning.

On the private side, British Columbia is home to three private universities, five private colleges, six theological colleges and a diverse collection of private career institutions and colleges. These private colleges, which offer specific skills training programs, are required to be registered with the Ministry of Advanced Education, and/or in some cases, the Private Career Training Institutions Agency.
Some of the the most popular and reputable universities in the province are The University of British Columbia, British Columbia Institute of Technology, Emily Carr University of Art and Design, and University of Northern British Columbia. You can use this online Ministry of Advanced Education tool to search for a college providing the right vocational training for you.


According to the British Columbia Council for International Education, The average yearly Bachelor of Arts tuition for international undergraduate students is about $17,000, though costs vary from school to school, and programs in business, engineering, technology, fine arts, sciences and other departments may be higher. For college, the average international tuition fees per academic year is $12,000, and yearly graduate program fees range from nearly $8,000 to $60,000.

For Canadian citizens and permanent residents, tuition costs considerably less. College tuition for a year ranges from just over $2,000 to about $3,200. Institutes costs from just over $2,000 to about $4,500. Undergraduate yearly tuition at universities ranges from $3,500 to $5,500. Again, tuition and fees will vary depending on the university, the program, amount of credits and other factors.
Be aware that the cost of post-secondary education varies according to credit hours taken, full or part time studies, program of choice and university, among other variables. Use Settle-in.com’s “Find a Neighborhood” tool to explore the city by schools.

Look out for more articles from Settle-in.com about how to fund your education, the various colleges and universities, student visas, student life, and other exciting aspects of higher education in British Columbia!

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Photo: Maëlick


About Yaolin

It wasn’t easy for my parents to relocate from China to Canada. But they worked hard and made their new country into a real home for us. Thanks to their groundwork, my siblings and I received a great education and lots of opportunity. As an adult, I have been able to open up a real estate agency, raise a loving family, and help others tackle their own relocations so they could comfortably settle into their surroundings. Here at Settle-in.com, our goal is share our knowledge and understanding of the relocation process so you can realize your dreams, just like I did. // La relocalisation de la Chine au Canada n’a pas été facile pour mes parents. Mais ils ont travaillé dur et ont vraiment fait de leur nouveau pays notre maison. Grâce à leur travail, mes frères et soeurs et moi avons reçu une bonne éducation et beaucoup d’opportunités. A l’âge adulte, j’ai pu ouvrir ma propre agence immobilière, élever une adorable famille et maintenant je suis heureux de pouvoir aider les autres dans leur propre relocalisation. Chez Settle-in.com, notre objectif est de partager nos connaissances, notre compréhension du processus de relocalisation afin que vous puissiez aussi réaliser vos rêves comme je l’ai fait.