Nowadays, it has become much easier and faster to get an education than in the old days. There appeared the most modern form of education – distance learning, so convenient that anyone can get an education, even without leaving home. To study at any convenient time, to have the opportunity to get training material at any time – we never even dreamed of this before. This is a big step forward, which is another confirmation of the globalization of the world.
One of the best options of distance learning is considered to be studying in Canada. Distance learning programs in Canada occupy about 20% of all training programs offered around the world. One of the factors in the wide development of distance education programs in Canada is the low population density and, as a consequence, the large distances between settlements.
The first distance education programs in Canada were in 1889. Teachers who wanted to improve their qualifications could study without interrupting their teaching career. There was no Internet at the time, but there was mail. It was used to receive assignments, teaching materials, and to send tests and theses. Distance learning surpassed all expectations, especially in terms of the quality of education. This program was the beginning of distance learning in Canada.
In our century, regular mail has been replaced by electronic mail. The development of telecommunication networks, especially the Internet, has given a new impetus to the development of distance learning technologies. Gone is the past of distance learning by mail, today such technical means as video seminars and conferences, interactive courses, various computer programs are considered to be educational tools. Many specialized sites offering e-learning systems have appeared. The advantages of distance learning are obvious. It is a possibility to get professional education without interrupting your work activity, it is also an opportunity to get knowledge for people, whose health condition doesn’t allow them to study in class, it is money saving. After all such training is much cheaper than existing traditional forms of getting education. An important factor is the absence of psychological barriers, there is no fear because of shyness or being late for classes, or to speak publicly.
During full-time education the knowledge is imparted to a whole group of students, there is no possibility of individual training. When studying via the Internet any student chooses the most important and necessary for his development and improvement of knowledge. There is an opportunity to study any of the selected topics in depth, getting tutors’ advice. Each program is studied by the student in its entirety.
Although distance learning is practiced in most countries of the world, distance education in Canada has the palm of the matter. Every year, Canadian universities offer new programs to update knowledge and improve professional skills, thereby increasing the popularity of Canadian education. According to statistics, almost half of the universities in Canada have the opportunity to obtain higher education at a distance. And in colleges, 70 per cent of institutions offer this option. There are even major university networks for coordinating distance education in Canada. For example, the Canadian Virtual University (CVU), formed in 2000, includes 12 universities and university colleges in Canada and offers more than 280 distance learning programs leading to a Bachelor’s or even a Master’s degree. The personalized learning courses are so varied that they cover almost every field of human endeavor. You can practically find any course you want in all fields, be it medicine, any science, engineering, etc. Colleges and universities in Canada offer “on-line” training, which allows you to be in constant contact with teachers and other students, to discuss emerging issues together.
Note that CVU itself does not charge tuition and does not issue diplomas and certificates. If you have questions about this, you should apply directly to the college or university whose program you have chosen. By the way, many CVU programs can be taken both in English and French.
Another advantage offered by CVU is the opportunity to listen virtually and for free to any lecture on any subject that interests you, such as biological research, poetry, or, for example, rock music. If during the course you decide to change your program or switch to another one, you don’t have to study from the beginning, because they will retake the courses you’ve already taken. When you graduate, you get a diploma that has the same recognition as a full-time diploma. By the end of the last century, more than 1.5 million people in Canada had studied remotely and earned a college degree.
It is very unfortunate that, in practice, many programs are not designed for international students. Colleges and universities in Canada only offer distance learning opportunities for students who are in Canada. All study materials are sent only within the country, and educational films are broadcast only on local channels. If you do not live in Canada, but would like to take Canada’s distance education programs, first read carefully the terms and conditions of each university or college offering distance education in Canada. Choose the program that is best suited for international students.
With distance education, it is also possible to apply for a grant to take one part of a course in Canada and another part face-to-face.
Registration can be done quickly as follows – you contact the desired university, once you are approved, register and pay the tuition fee. You receive a letter of acceptance with the name of the faculty member. A personal faculty member is assigned to each accepted student. The start and end dates of the course are noted. Each university prepares its own schedule of courses and classes. You receive a set of study materials to start your classes, including manuals and handbooks, floppy disks with software, audio and video tapes of classes and lectures.
Using the Internet, you have access to curricula, scholarly journals, required databases, and research equipment. You will be provided with technological support for communications and administrative services.
Communication with your assigned faculty member is by telephone or Internet. The tutor has an advanced degree, extensive teaching experience, and a thorough understanding of the course. Within 2 working days we get a response to every email you send. Studying in Canada involves a credit system. You need to accumulate the required number of credits to successfully complete the course. Points are awarded to assess your progress. Each piece of work completed for a selected credit earns points. One course of a discipline is graded from 1 to 3 points. To earn a bachelor’s degree, 90 credits is sufficient. 30 credits is enough to get a professional certificate.
Canadian colleges and universities offer distance learning programs in a wide variety of fields of study in both English and French.
The University College of Cape Breton has developed more than 40 programs, ranging from environmental science to public administration. In the near future, the College plans to add macro and microelectronics course offerings.
Royal Roads University also offers master’s degrees in the natural sciences and humanities, such as environmental studies and PR.
British Columbia Open University offers bachelor’s degrees and professional courses for secondary education. You can study the sciences, business, health sciences, and medicine. There are special programs for arts and design professionals and a musicology course.
If you’re more interested in the humanities, consider the University of Manitoba. You’ll find courses in sociology, social work, subjects such as geography, history, political science, psychology and, upon graduation, a bachelor’s degree.
Laurentian University offers you the choice of language of study. You can learn French or English if you wish, choosing from among 100 professional courses and more than 20 bachelor programs in the humanities, social sciences or sciences that interest you.
Only in French you can study at the Universite de Moncton. It offers students 12 programs in areas such as management, finance, pedagogy, economics and accounting.
Because of the high quality of the programs developed, distance learning will allow you to get an education in Canada with the least amount of time and money.