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‘High quality education on low cost’ Canada universities woo Kuwait students

KUWAIT CITY, Oct 4: The Middle East Education Initiative visited Kuwait with representatives from about 20 leading Canadian Universities and Colleges to meet with students, parents and other members of the education community and provide information about educational opportunities in Canada.
The event, facilitated by the Embassy of Canada in Kuwait at the Marina Hotel in Salmiya on Wednesday evening, was opened by Canadian Ambassador, Douglas George, who states that the event, over the years, has come to represent an invaluable forum allowing students from Kuwait to learn about the tremendous opportunities for studying in Canada.
“Quality education is available in every region of Canada and each of our 10 provinces and 3 territories has something exciting to offer. With its safe and welcoming environment and affordable tuition fees, Canada remains a top destination for international students wishing to pursue their studies abroad, he said.”
He also pointed out that international students in Canada have access to the most sophisticated and up-to-date technologies and facilities, and to programs which allow them to gain valuable work experience through work placements and cooperative education.
The schools participating in the tour include Carleton University, Columbia College, University of Winnipeg, University of Alberta, Dalhousie University, Memorial University, University of Windsor, Vancouver Island University, Mount Saint Vincent University, University of Manitoba, Saint Mary University, SAIT Polytechnic Institute, College of New Caledonia, Fraser International College, York University, University of Fraser Valley, Grant MacEwan University, Ryerson University, Kwantlen Polytechnic University , University of Waterloo in UAE, International College of Manitoba (Navitas College), Seneca College and Sheridan Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning.
Marco Qaqish, Coordinator of Marketing and Recruitment, International Education at Vancouver Island University revealed why Canada was a preferred destination for students, “The quality of education is becoming recognised in Kuwait as being extremely high in Canada. I think a part of that is the public education nature of the Canadian system.” He pointed out that a lot of the universities were publicly funded and therefore were accredited and regulated by the government which makes it very attractive for students looking for very high quality programs.
He added that since a lot of Canadian institutions received public funding, the cost of education is very competitive, “Essentially, students are getting high quality education on a relatively low cost.”
In terms of living in Canada, there are a lot of opportunities for international students to work. They can work 20 hours a week on or off campus while they study. “This is not just an opportunity for them to get some work experience while they study but also to earn some money,” said Qaqish.
For students who are interested in staying in Canada after they graduate, they can stay back in Canada for up to three years post graduation.  Qaqish reveals that a lot of international students do get to work in their fields and gain experience.
He highlighted that Canada offers a huge variety of programmes, “Students have thousands of choices. This variety, opportunity and the new areas of study they haven’t even considered while pursuing a regular business or engineering degree also makes education very attractive while in other places they may just be focused on one area of study for the four years. A lot of the institutions here do give students the opportunity to take different courses and electives.”
Qaqish pointed out that Cooperative Education was a very important feature of Canadian education, “Cooperative Education is a programme that combines work and study together. So, work experience is actually integrated into the programme.”
In such a case, he stated, a student would study for 8 months and for the remaining 4 months of the year, would work in the related industry. Engineering, he said, is a very common programme where students studying during the academic year for eight months then go out into the industry to work, earning money and gain work experience. “So it is not just the work opportunity after graduation but a lot of our programmes are very innovative and they allow students to work while they study as well”, he affirmed.
“This attracts students because it isn’t just sitting in a classroom reading textbooks, you will have lots of opportunities to engage with industry as well. You get to meet your future employers, a lot of them end up getting a job with those same companies”, he added.
In general, most Canadian institutions offer three types of scholarships. The first is an entrance scholarship, the requirements and the amount may vary from one institution to the other. This scholarship is based on academic performance in high school. The second kind of scholarship is based on academic performance in course. The third type of scholarship generally on offer is a varsity or athletic scholarship. This scholarship is provided for high performing athletes who play on varsity teams and is significant as it may cover 50-75 per cent of tuition.
Officials from the Canadian Embassy were also present to address queries and provide information on Student visas.




 


By: Cinatra Fernandes Arab Times Staff

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