UK vs Canada – Which is Better?

uk vs canada

Both the United Kingdom (UK) and Canada provide an excellent educational infrastructure for students from across the globe. Even though they are both good choices for a foreign education, students should consider their goals and ambitions before applying to colleges in these countries. Many factors will determine your entire learning experience when applying for foreign universities. This article will briefly address every aspect that will provide you with a comparative study of the UK vs Canada. While studying abroad, certain factors must be considered to ensure a beneficial learning experience. 

The UK is much smaller than Canada, which means that the population per unit area is more in the UK. Even though the two countries have much in common, there are subtle differences in cultures and traditions. Over the last few years, Canada has accepted many Indians, providing permanent residency through jobs and education. This has brought about a major demographic change in the country. Both the UK and Canada are secular and have been extremely open to the inclusion of foreign cultures within their society.

A recent survey shows that Canada comes within the top 10 friendliest countries of the world. On the other hand, the UK is way more diverse in its culture and compact and lies probably within the top 50 list. Even though the main ideologies of the culture of both the countries seem to find their way to the same roots, there are some major differences when it comes to food, sports, wildlife, and other traditions. This factor is somewhat missing in the UK, which does not have a recognized indigenous population. 

The UK vs Canada – Quality of Education

Both Canadian and UK education systems create an atmosphere that provides a good future to its students. There are several differences between the education systems that have been tabulated below:



  • Looks to provide a more holistic education rather than focus on grades. This system is not so rigorously stratified. 
  • Studies show that students are relatively stress-free due to the education system. 
  • Parents and the community are more involved in this sort of education system.
  • The Canadian universities may not be as old as the British universities, but they also provide an excellent infrastructure and teaching faculty slowly gaining recognition on the global stage. 
  • High focus on extracurricular activities for every student, leading to the student’s holistic growth.
  • Pays a lot of attention to grades and is highly stratified in the class system. 
  • Students are under pressure to perform in this sort of education system.
  • Highly bureaucratic education system.
  • The UK education system is home to some of the greatest universities in the world that provides a top-class higher education recognized worldwide with the best infrastructure.
  • Extracurricular focus only on students showing a certain level of excellence within the activity or sport. 

The major USPs of studying in the UK:

  • Access to a multicultural contemporary society that operates globally within every industry.
  • Students can capitalize on the networking aspect as they are in one of the hubs of global capitalism. 
  • Students can be a part of some of the most prestigious universities that are recognized on a global level.
  • Top-class education with the availability of the best infrastructure as well as faculty.

The major USPs of studying in Canada:

  • The cost of living and education is way lesser than UK universities.
  • Great infrastructure and teaching faculty at your disposal.
  • Holistic educational mindset.
  • Vast landscape and aesthetic beauty.
  • Canada is an upcoming educational hub and can provide students with jobs after their education.

The UK vs Canada – Eligibility Criteria

  • The UK

The UK universities required 13 years of pre-university education for graduation programs, which has now been changed. A CBSE plus-two certificate will also suffice for graduation courses. For ISC students, the 13-year pre-university education still applies. 

For post-graduation in management, the GMAT is usually an eligibility criteria, but it completely depends on which university you are applying to. A few universities in the UK offer management degrees without the GMAT. If you are applying for art or science courses like MA or MS, students are usually required to take the GRE. This again is not mandatory for all universities; some universities do not require GRE results for admissions. Even though the IELTS or TOEFL exams are not compulsory for the course, they will be needed while applying for your VISA.  A minimum of 6.5 band score  is required in the IELTS exam whereas TOEFL score of 100 or above is required to get a VISA or an admission.

For a 3 years bachelor’s degree, a minimum of 75% aggregate, which is the equivalent of first-class, has to be scored. 

  • Canada

For admission into Canadian universities for UG courses, a minimum of 12 years of pre-university education is mandatory. The results of the SAT exam are required to complete the process. The UG courses are usually 4-year, and the diploma courses are generally 2 to 3 years. 

Students applying to Canadian universities from countries where the primary language for communication is not English must take the IELTS or TOEFL examination. These are English proficiency tests to assess the applicant’s ability to communicate in English. These exams are important for admissions into those colleges, but they must get a VISA.

Canadian colleges don’t work based on cutoffs but instead provide average scores required for admission into particular courses. 

Apart from all the criteria mentioned above, Canadian Universities also ask for a statement of purpose (SOP) and at least two letters of recommendation (LORs). 

For a master’s or PhD program, applicants might have to provide at least two letters of academic reference. This also includes letters of previous employment. Suppose you haven’t studied in Canada before this, you are also required to provide an ECA (Educational Credential Assessment) which will verify whether your degree is equivalent to the Canadian standards required.

The UK vs Canada – Working while studying

Both countries allow students to work during their academic programs. This is mainly for international students looking to earn extra. But certain regulations need to be followed to pursue these jobs. 

  • The UK

International students possessing a Tier 4 student VISA are permitted to work for about 20 hours a week and full time on holidays during their academic programs. The work usually involves a part-time job on the university campus, such as working in the cafeteria, working part-time for an employer affiliated with the university, such as helping with research or teaching. When it comes to corporate sector employers, the work permitted will depend on your selected course.

  • Canada

When it comes to Canadian universities, they usually require a Canadian Students Permit that permits you to pursue employment on campus. You are only permitted to work during the tenure of your academic program, not before or after. If you are required by your course to work as an intern or to be involved as a co-op, you will have to apply for a separate permit in that case. 

The UK vs Canada – Post-study Work Opportunities

  • The UK

Before 2020 the UK had a very strict policy on post-study work opportunities for international students. International students could stay back in the UK for a maximum of 4 months to look for and acquire employment within the UK. A further cap was put on the number of students who would get this VISA to look for work after graduation. This rule was then changed in 2020, allowing graduate and above students to stay back in the UK for two years to seek preferential employment. Students who want to work after their studies must apply for a Skilled Worker VISA for highly skilled workers, and your yearly income must be more than ​​£20,500 (INR 20,44,014.52 approx). This VISA is valid for a maximum period of 5 years. 

  • Canada

Canada has always been open to students who want to stay back to look for employment after graduation or post-graduation courses. Indians and other international students can apply for a post-graduation work permit valid for 3 years and allow the students to stay back in the country and seek employment within any field or industry. Eventually, a work permit can help students qualify for permanent residency. 

The UK vs Canada – Cost of Study

  • The UK

This country is considered to have one of the most expensive overseas education programs. The tuition for a master’s degree depends on the course and the university you select and usually ranges between ï¿¡18,000 to ï¿¡35,000. With the current exchange rate in place, the cost of such an education for an Indian student will range between INR 1,800,000 to INR 3,500,000. 

  • Canada

The tuition fees for Canadian universities are much lesser than the UK universities for two main reasons:

  1. The cost of tuition is generally lesser in Canada.
  2. The exchange rate is lesser in terms of the Canadian Dollar.

The tuition fee for a master’s program in Canada is usually around 16,000 CAD to 30,000 CAD, with most averaging around 22,000 CAD. After conversion into rupees, the tuition fees range from INR 922,000 to INR 1,728,000. 

The UK vs Canada – VISA Process

  • The UK

The UK universities provide a full-time student VISA called a Tier 4 student VISA. Apart from this VISA, the UK government has also started providing UK Post-Study Work VISAs for international students. The following are some rules and regulations that apply to the VISA application:

  1. VISA will only be granted for full-time student programs.
  2. A degree from universities means a 4-year VISA will be provided. 
  3. In the case of diploma courses, VISA can be provided for a maximum of 3 years.
  4. You may or may not be called for a personal interview
  5. The Tier 4 VISA costs ï¿¡348, after which another ï¿¡348 will have to be paid for the dependent VISA (in case a family member is to accompany you). The international health charge of ï¿¡705 will also be paid to acquire the student VISA.
  6. Tier 4 VISA permits international students to take up part-time work of up to 20 hours a week and full-time on holidays. Full-time work placements depend on the course requirements.
  7. International students may require IELTS or TOEFL to acquire a student VISA for the UK.
  • Canada

The following rules and regulations apply for a Canadian Student VISA:

  1. Application for a post-study work permit will be submitted within 90 days of completing your course. 
  2. A compulsory medical test is required for all Indian and international students.
  3. The VISA cost is around 150 CAD. 
  4. You can only work for 20 hours a week while pursuing the academic program.  It can go up to 40 hours a week on holidays and summer sessions. 
  5. Spouses can also work full time if the VISA is for more than 1 year.
  6. IELTS or TOEFL is mandatory while applying for a VISA in Canada. 
  7. Personal interviews are usually part of the VISA process.

The UK vs Canada – Permanent Residence (PR) Opportunity

  • The UK

Getting Permanent Residence (PR) in the United Kingdom (UK) is also known as Indefinite Leave To Remain (ILR). With this, a person can reside and work in the UK permanently.  

There are different ways a person can apply for PR in the UK:

a) Lived in the UK for 5 years or more.

If you have lived in the UK for 5 years more, you can apply for permanent residence. 

b) Family member of a UK citizen or permanent resident.

If you’re the spouse, parent, or dependent relative to a UK citizen or permanent resident,        you might also be eligible for PR. 

c) Work visa.

You can apply for PR if you have had a Tier 2 (General) work visa for five years. Also, your employer will have to sponsor you.

d) Other ways to get PR

  1. If you are a refugee or have humanitarian protection or Discretionary Leave
  2. Returned to the UK have had previous remaining indefinite leave.
  3. Served in the armed forces.
  • Canada

Getting a PR in Canada is relatively very easy. The vast nation is sparsely populated and has a shortage of skilled workers. Hence Canada is very encouraging towards their PR program, usually for international students already operating under the post-graduation work permit. People who have already attained their post-graduation from elsewhere can also apply for permanent residency externally. 

The UK vs Canada – Cost of Living

United Kingdom


  • Tuition for undergraduate programs is usually ï¿¡8,000 to ï¿¡15,000 per year.
  • Tuition for PG courses costs around ï¿¡10,000 to ï¿¡20,000 per year.
  • Room and other expenses come up to ï¿¡12,000 to ï¿¡15,000 a year. 
  • The duration of the UG course will be of 3 years, whereas the duration of the PG course will be around 1 
  • Tuition for UG programs cost around $10,000 to $30.000 per year
  • Tuition for post-graduation programs cost around $15,000 to $35,000 a year.
  • The cost of room and other living expenses is usually around $10,000 to $12,000 a year.
  • Duration of courses will be 3 to 4 years for UG courses & 1 to 2 years for PG courses. 

The UK vs Canada – Which is better for Immigration

The UK has maintained strict policies to limit the immigration of foreigners, especially non-EU foreigners, into their country. Immigration will become even more difficult after the BREXIT decision. 

Immigration for foreigners is relatively easier in Canada due to its vast landscape and shortage of highly skilled professionals. It is easier for international students and other international working professionals to get a PR for Canada internally and externally. The Canadian government has been extremely open to foreigners settling in their country. 

The UK vs Canada – Economy

When it comes to comparing the two economies, it is safe to say that both the economies are strong with the ability to provide employment, education, and healthcare for most of their population. The UK is the hub of capitalism and thus has been a thriving civilization for more than 1000 years. The Canadian economy has picked up more recently and can provide more space and opportunities due to its size and sparse population.

Pros and Cons of living in Canada vs the UK

  • The UK



  • National Health Service – provide healthcare for all
  • Incredible transport system
  • Beautiful landscapes and natural beauty
  • Free access to art galleries and museums
  • A global hub of capitalism
  • Great labor laws and employee benefits
  • Expensive education
  • Overcrowded urban spaces
  • Expensive Housing
  • Competitive job market
  • Immigration is nearly impossible
  • Lower average wage
  • The crime rate is relatively higher than in places like Canada.
  • Canada



  • Healthcare – Free for everyone.
  • Low crime rate.
  • Employment opportunities for locals and immigrants.
  • Education is affordable.
  • Vast and beautiful landscape.
  • The living cost is relatively low.
  • Welcoming and friendly people.
  • Healthcare – Even though it’s free, some areas have limited resources.
  • Extreme climatic conditions.
  • Extreme Government control on life.
  • High taxation
  • The immigration process can be challenging and expensive.

We can conclude that both countries provide an exceptional education for Indian and International students. It is completely dependent on the student’s preference to choose between the UK and Canada for higher education. 

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