CANADIAN PATHWAY PROGRAMMES
A “pathway” is a special programme designed for international students to allow them to prepare for and enter mainstream education. In Canada this is still quite a new concept. There are 2 types of pathway programmes: on-campus pathways, offered within universities, and special degree transfer programmes offered by Colleges.
On-Campus Pathways: These are alternative Year One programmes designed for international students who need to improve their English, Study Skills and also sometimes their academics before joining the mainstream Year 2 at a Canadian 4-year university. They are taught on the campus of that university and students then merge with the regular student population in their second year.
Undergraduate pathways can be joined directly by students who have completed 12 years of schooling in their own country.
A few universities also run their own international pathway courses in parallel with the regular programmes, usually through their English Language Institutes.
Pre-sessional English courses are available for all students who do not yet meet the English requirements of their pathway programme.
The main private on-campus pathway provider in Canada is Navitas (at Simon Fraser University, BC and the University of Manitoba) and Study Group has a program at Royal Roads University, BC.
Degree Transfer Programmes:
All state and private Colleges in Canada offer degree transfer programmes. Students can study 1, 2 or 3 years at a College and then transfer to a 4 year university to complete their degree. Colleges tend to have partner universities in their province, but students can also transfer across provinces.
Some Colleges offer their own 4 year degrees, and for subjects such as Hospitality they can also arrange work placements for students.
Colleges offer excellent conditions for Vietnamese students to get the credits they need for even the top 4- year universities, and fees are much lower than university fees.
Quebec Province is an exception - the high school and college systems in Quebec are different to the rest of Canada and follow the French model. Students graduate from high school at the age of 17 and attend 2 years at a CEGEP College before entering a 4 year university degree. Although there may be exceptions, it is much more complicated to transfer into or from Quebec province and each case needs to be considered on its own merits. Quebec province also requires all students to have attained a basic level in French before entering its education system.
Some University Language Institutes, Colleges and private pathway providers also offer a Pre-Masters preparation programme (usually in Business/Management) consisting of English language and Business modules. Students usually need to have completed a first degree in their own country before applying.