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American brains are Canada's gain

Globe and Mail Update

Cash-strapped families increasingly drawn to lower cost of studying north of the border - and this country's schools are cashing in ...Read the full article

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  1. stuvian von gruvian from Canada writes: I'm sure for Americans coming here for school makes sense if they return to the US job market where they can parlay that into a career. I just about bowled over with laughter when they compared Cdn universities to Ivy league schools. If that were the case I would have finished university.
  2. Lamont Cranston from toronto, Canada writes: Another article to give Canadians swell heads and a false sense of superiority over the US.
    For example “Ivy league level education”. From someone who has not attended an “Ivy League” school? Uh, based upon what? Number of Nobel winners? I think at last count, at least Harvard, Yale and Princeton alone have individually won more Nobel’s’ than Canada has collectively.
    A recent article in the New York Times covered the growing number of Americans seeking higher education abroad, for cost and experience purposes.
    Canada was not in the top 5 or 10 countries as I recall……As usual, they may be big for us, but we are small for them….
  3. J S from Canada writes: This is my story. I ended up immigrating here as well. Ivy League is up for debate but you get so much more for your money here. State schools are usually more expensive and not nearly as good as many of the Canadian schools. University of Toronto is a great deal, at least when I went there. I think they raised international tuition significantly.
  4. J S from Canada writes: Degrees do have more weight in the US than they have here. B.A. and B.Sc. are almost a dime a dozen in Toronto because higher education is relatively inexpensive. That's kind of a problem.
  5. Auroran Bear from Montreal, Canada writes: J S from Canada writes: Degrees do have more weight in the US than they have here. B.A. and B.Sc. are almost a dime a dozen in Toronto because higher education is relatively inexpensive. That's kind of a problem.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Personally, I think that's a good problem to have. I did a Bachelors degree and an MBA at McGill for next to nothing and it was well worth the investment.
  6. Let me tell You How It Is from United States writes: ' Dalhousie in Halifax - which is smaller in size, but has a law and medical school - compares with a U.S. counterpart, Boston University.'
    /
    /
    Another article for condescending Canadians to froth at the mouth about. Boston University is not an Ivy League school either. Maybe compare Dalhousie to the University of Mass. which is similar or even Roxbury Community College which is more on par.
  7. Fred Lupinski from Toronto, Canada writes: Some of this comes out unfairly to Canadian students, at least at the graduate and post-degree levels. Contract teaching work is often given to Americans over Canadians because of their visa restrictions. I've also seen where scholarships are given to Americans because their tuition is higher. These practices place some students as second class citizens in their own land.
  8. Auroran Bear from Montreal, Canada writes: Let me tell You How It Is from United States writes:
    Another article for condescending Canadians to froth at the mouth about. Boston University is not an Ivy League school either. Maybe compare Dalhousie to the University of Mass. which is similar or even Roxbury Community College which is more on par.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Poor gumby misses the point again about educational economics.

    University of Phoenix online grad?
  9. Geoff Olynyk from Cambridge, United States writes: J.S. From Canada ('Degrees do have more weight in the US than they have here. B.A. and B.Sc. are almost a dime a dozen in Toronto because higher education is relatively inexpensive. That's kind of a problem.')

    That's only a problem if academic standards are being lowered in order that all these extra people are getting degrees. (Not saying that this isn't the case, just that you haven't offered any proof.) Otherwise, a more educated populace is undeniably a good thing.

    Maybe it's a problem if you were hoping to get a job based on the strength of your degree alone, but then we've always known that that's a false hope anyway. Your degree gets you the interview, then it's up to you.
  10. David Barclay from Georgetown ON, Canada writes: Elizabeth, what a wrong-headed premise for an article.
    Yes, Canadian Universities are 'cashing in', and Canadian students will be left out in the cold.
    Our Universities are subsidized heavily by OUR tax dollars - that's why they are not as expensive as private US Universities.
    Academic standards at American High Schools are not as high as Canadian High Schools and students are heavily 'coached' to prepare for 'standard tests' rather than exposed to real learning. So based on their cash, and their inflated high school 'marks', we let in American upper middle class kids so they can save some US greenbacks. Each one displaces a Canadian young person who then isn't 'accepted'. Once the American finishes his or her subsidized education, he or she goes back to the US. And we lose that investment.
    But that's OK, because we are supposed to feel smug about it?
  11. Lamont Cranston from toronto, Canada writes: The quality of this article, and the type of posting it is attracting would have me think it is another Richard Florida stinker!
  12. Lamont Cranston from toronto, Canada writes: David Barclay: The average for Canada may be higher, but the elite schools/students in the US are untouchable. The Financial Times a few years ago, listed the top 20 Universities in the world. 17 were in the US, none in Canada. I believe McGill was the only Canadian school to receive honourable mention.
  13. Conservatives Lie from Canada writes: David Barclay's posting is bang on. Any 'gain' here is purely short-term. Every American or otherwise foreign student admitted to university in Canada displaces Canadian students. Certainly, a province like NS may have shrinking high school enrollment, but the same is not true across Canada. There are more then enough Canadians who want a post-secondary education.

    So, we gain a short-term economic boost by taking in someone who pays higher tuition, but then they almost invariably return to their country of origin. So you make a few extra bucks teaching someone who then takes the knowledge out of Canada while our own people work their McJob.

    Hardly something to be proud of or to be encouraged. Canadian Universities must be reigned in so that they serve the interests of Canada and do not implement policies that merely serve their pocketbook.
  14. A Canadian from Cole Harbour, Canada writes: If the universities are cashing in, then how come they keep on increasing the fees and asking the government for more funding.

    http://blogs.ubc.ca/workplace/2009/04/canada-cash-strapped-universities-looking-at-cancelling-small-classes-programs-charging-flat-tuition/
  15. Econo Clast from NYC, Canada writes: Canadians need to start demanding that government train and hire Canadians and quit bringing in more immigrants. As RepairCanada.info writes, our politicians have sold Canadians out to the world trade organization 'trade obligations.'
  16. Alec Robertson from Canada writes: Lots of knee-jerking on this thread
  17. Geo Centric from Vancouver, Canada writes: Thanks for clearing up a misconception I held for decades - I thought the heavily subsidized, publicly funded universities in Canada were a service - not a business. How is paying for US students to go to school here, and then take the benefit of that education back to the US, 'cashing in'? Perhaps we can 'cash in' at our hospitals by bringing in US patients.

    And as for Canadian universities being Ivy League equivalent, if that was true then those respected schools aren't worth bothering with either.
  18. Jared Mulligan from Canada writes: Good for Canadian universities if they can increase their recruitment and certainly there are good schools in Canada (I've went to uni on both sides of the border). However, I run into a lot of Canadians who have went to certain Canadian universities and believe that these particular universities are on par with the best in the world. The reality is that in most major disciplines, Canadian universities (even our so called top ones) would rank behind at least 30-40 American universities. In fact, outside of Oxford and Cambridge, American universities dominate most rankings in most disciplines. It doesn't mean our universities are bad necessarily but in terms of most rankings they don't compare with most top American universities. Just check most university rankings and you'll see that it's pretty consistent that Canada lags behind. This all being said, you learn 95% of what you need to learn about life and work outside of the classroom so use university for what it's worth, a good life experience of which you should try and have a good time.
  19. scott thomas from Canada writes: And all things being equal, admissions committees will have to make the decision: do we admit this Canadian student who will pay $6000 for her education, or that American who will pay $20,000?
  20. SL S from Canada writes: US Universities are a joke. With a few exceptions like MIT and Harvard a degree from a US University will get you a job that any college degree in this country will get you. Their Universities were dumbed down by illiterate sports players. Too much emphasis on sports and not near enough on viable education. That's why Canadian Universities rate so much higher than US Universities on the world stage.
  21. Andrea from Vancouver from Canada writes: International students have to pay a premium for tuition. This means their seats aren't subsidized and they're actually helping to pay for facilities and so on. By bringing them into Canada, we're importing potential immigrants and at least tapping into their spending while they're here.
  22. Dawn from Minnesota from Minnesota, United States writes: l of the United Nations was a graduate of McCallaster College in St. PaLamont Cranston from toronto, Canada: I agree with your post. I would like to add that the United States has many more schools offering higher education, with a goal of educating everybody and offering specialized at technical colleges. Though many of the institutions that I am referring to do not have world class reputations for research and Nobel prize winning professors, most are of high quality in what they offer and produce many productive graduates. Who woulda thunk that the former Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, was a graduate of Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota? The creator of "Veggie Tales," a popular series of cartoons, books, and live childrens' theater is a recent graduate of Rasmussen College in a suburb west of the Twin Cities.
  23. J S from United States writes: Except that once they've been educated in Canada, Americans (and Canadians) head back to the US where research is more accepted, and everyone is paid better.

    So, we do all the work, Americans get all the benefit. Nice.
  24. In a Fog from Toronto, Canada writes: Generally this was a lame article. The Ivy League comparison was irrelevant those schools are well known for their graduate studies. Comparing them with the primarily undergraduate university bargains of the east coast is a non seqitur. I believe that it is the responsibility of all colleges and universities to attract a percentage of non-local and foreign students every year to ensure a level of intellectual cross pollination.
  25. Emilio Garazgos from Kanata, Canada writes: So not only do we subsidise the educations of Canadians so that they can head to the US after graduation to work for American companies, we're also importing American students and subsidising their educations too ?

    Meanwhile, Canadian kids who couldn't get into university because they were displaced by a higher-paying American student gets to join the Canadian workforce whose jobs are primarily as hewers of wood and drawers of water.

    And people wonder why Canada's economy is still primarily resource-based ?
  26. Skeptical Observer from Canada writes: I think this is a great thing. Not only is this a benefit in purely financial terms, but this is also a cultural exchange and experience for the American students.

    I think there are lots of short term and long term benefits both for Canada and the United States.

    Yes many of these American students will of course go back to their home country the USA, but they will bring back with them 3 or more years of Canadian culture and experiences which is much different then that of US culture.

    SL S, I think some US universities are a joke and are there purely for financial gain. And I do think that the education system in the US is broken in the respect that a large proportion of the populace has just a basic minimal education, and we have seen that time and again from their world leaders who dont know basic geopolitics like the names of well known countries, to some of the commoners who couldnt name their own president. . But there are many US citizens that are very well educated, and some US universities that are actually the best, and year after year turn out some of the best graduates in the world.

    When I read the Nytimes comments section for example, most of them are very well articulated and most of them appear to be from well educated people.
  27. Listen up from Interior BC, Canada writes:
    In a Fog has got it right. Where you go doesn't matter so much on an undergrad level. Undergrads are the fodder that makes grad studies and research possible.

    The disconcerting part is this: why are we building and expanding all these universities while our primary and secondary school enrollment is declining? Is this in the hope of attracting foreign students? Why not build to what we need, rather then what we hope for.
  28. A. Be from Switzerland writes: Lamont Cranston from toronto, Canada writes: David Barclay: The average for Canada may be higher, but the elite schools/students in the US are untouchable. The Financial Times a few years ago, listed the top 20 Universities in the world. 17 were in the US, none in Canada. I believe McGill was the only Canadian school to receive honourable mention.

    ---------------------------------------

    Of course an american publication is going to rank US schools higher, that's what it's readers want to hear, that's what it's writers know. I can almost guarantee the writer behind those rankings went to a US university, doesn't speak Japanese, German, Korean or French and has never lived outside the United States for more then a year, and has much to loose on their educational investment on devaluing the United States education system. Trusting a list like that is the same as assuming that the Carolina Hurricans are unquestionably the best NHL team because Cam Ward said so in a post-game interview.
  29. Red Arrow Crossing from Canada writes: There are a few things one must look at.

    American universities do well on world rankings. Yes this is true. For around 20-30 universities. But outside of those elite institutions, the American university system is incredibly dumbed down and any Canadian institution would fare better than the rest.

    Canadian universities all rely on public funding. Havards, Yales and Princetons derive their funding from exobitant tuitions and immense endowments - something a country of 300 million can do and a country of 30 million can not.

    Boston University, while not technically an Ivy League school, is in the top tier of schools in the US; a place where Dalhousie would figure into if it were an American school.

    Canadian univ.s should start recruiting more international students. This would bring about 2 changes :

    1. Increase the presence and reputation of our univs on the world stage, something seriously needed in this increasingly global economy

    2. Ensure that only the best and brightest in Canada go to university; so that taxpayers foot the bill for only those truly deserving and that diplomas have meaning again.

    I would be happy if there were 20-30% international students at our universities. Diversity in thought.
  30. Listen up from Interior BC, Canada writes: A. Be from Switzerland puts it nicely. Absolutely, this type of finding or ranking is extremely US-centric. The Sorbonne, Heidelberg and the U. of Leiden a.o., are venerable, high quality institutions. These rankings are always a bit dubious. (I graduated from what is generally ranked as the #1 law school in Canada - Osgoode. I have my doubts about that ranking as well.)
  31. little bowpeep from Tax to death for no services, Canada writes: Of coarse they are, as Canadian politicians and a highly overcompensated public service try to make end meet on the backs of Canadian taxpayers. Not an overly bright idea, but coming out of the public sector one can expect little else.
  32. Skeptical Observer from Canada writes: Emilio I dont know which Canadian students you are talking about but in my experience I have seen Canadian students in the University system that didn't belong there because of their lack of knowledge and skills necessary to compete in our universities. Many of these students tend to drop out after a year or so, due to their ever increasing number of failing grades. And if they dont drop out, they tend to get expelled by the University.

    It is the same for american and international students that are in our universities, if they cant handle the high standards set for them they are expelled by the University. Even if they pay 20,000 dollars.
  33. David Barclay from Georgetown ON, Canada writes: Clarification: I did not say that Canadian University students have higher averages.
    I said that in American 'High Schools', creativity and critical thought is not encouraged. (This mirrors the culture which views non-conformity as suspicious and subversive.)
    Instead students are just heavily coached to prepare for US-standardized tests, to give the standard answers. As a way of inflating their 'high school marks' and getting accepted into College.
  34. North Star from Canada writes: J S from Canada writes: Degrees do have more weight in the US than they have here. B.A. and B.Sc. are almost a dime a dozen in Toronto because higher education is relatively inexpensive. That's kind of a problem.

    -----

    A good problem to have though JS. Cheers!
  35. Auroran Bear from Montreal, Canada writes: Red Arrow Crossing from Canada writes:

    I would be happy if there were 20-30% international students at our universities. Diversity in thought.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    McGill has 20% international students, highest in Canada
  36. Skeptical Observer from Canada writes: Auroran, is right. if our population stats are right the slim majority of mcgill students are first or second generation Canadians.
  37. Skeptical Observer from Canada writes: and 20 % are international students
  38. Oreos Eating near Parliament from Ottawa, Canada writes:

    As far as journalism goes, this article is a train wreck.

    What percentage of Western readers know that Dalhousie University is in the province of Nova Scotia?

    What percentage of foreign readers know that Dalhousie University is in the province of Nova Scotia? Or is in Halifax?

    For crying out loud, reporters are supposed to report the pertinent facts in the first few paragraphs of a news report. This article just assumes that, oh, of course, all readers in Victoria and Edmonton and New York, well, everybody just KNOWS that Dalhousie University is in the province of Nova Scotia in the city of Halifax.

    Yikes!

    Those are bad assumptions and bad writing flaws for a news article.

    Moving on from that, though: Nova Scotia is "a province with 11 universities"?

    WHAT!?

    Nova Scotia has about ONE FIFTH as many people as British Columbia. And so BC would need to have about SIXTY universities to be on par with Nova Scotia, per capita.

    Does anyone else find this number of universities for small provinces to be NUTS?
  39. Heather Czerniak from Milwaukee, United States writes: Gosh, I sure wish this was an option when I was in college. If Canadians are better educated than Americans, then I would've been better off earning my sheepskin up north.
  40. Klaus Gieger from Moffat, Ontario, Canada writes: Wait till these kids get to one of our esteemed degree mills and find out that they will be sitting on the stairs of a lecture 800 seat theatre taking a undergrad course and that they will never actually get to meet a real professor up close. The 'real' teaching will be done by some TA who can barely communicate in English while the Prof is off in their ivory tower doing their 'research'.

    That was my kid's experince until after graduation when they went back to school at a college to get some career skills and find a job outside of the fast-food industry.

    These American parents will be looking to sue somebody for sure.
  41. Lamont Cranston from toronto, Canada writes: A. Be from Switzerland: the Financial Times is a UK Publication. If you actually are living in Switzerland, you should be aware of that. It is highly noticable in the newstands - pink in colour.
  42. Oreos Eating near Parliament from Ottawa, Canada writes:

    North Star from Canada writes that it is a "good problem to have", that a "B.A. and B.Sc. degree are almost a dime a dozen in Toronto because higher education is relatively inexpensive."

    I disagree. That is NOT a good problem to have.

    Nowadays a bachelor's degree is a rip-off. It does not put you further ahead than the person in 1960 who only had a high school diploma. The bachelor's degree has become the needed ticket nowadays to become, um, a receptionist at the perfume section of the department store or a receptionist at the welcome desk at the white collar business, or a sales cashier at the museum gift shop.

    Those sorts of jobs should not be getting bagged in competitions by people with bachelors degrees. The fact that it is happening simply shows that a bachelor's degree has become worthless, no better than a high school diploma of a just a few decades ago.

    Many Canadians are getting ripped off who spend the 80 thousand dollars in Canada for a bachelor's degree tuition, textbooks, crummy room and board and lost income.

    The weird march of this country to making it so anyone with a pulse also has a bachelor's degree, that march has been great for the University Business here, but has been lousy for the average Joe and the average Jane. It means you pay a lot of money to become an indebted and cynical person whose job is no better than a high school grad back in 1960.

    Some of us with degrees have stable six-figure salaries, but also a deep suspicion about the alleged good it does to have so many millions of Canadians in bachelors' programs.
  43. Lamont Cranston from toronto, Canada writes: Red Arrow Crossing : the United States has around 10,000 (yes, 10,000) colleges, and Universities. I believe that the number of Universities which would continue to have a high ranking (at least relative to Canada's perceived elite) would be at least in the hundreds. Virtually any state schools' main campus would be on par with the Best of Canada. There is 50 to start.
    COmbine that with the mega enrolment numbers some of these schools have, (and do not forget the University of Toronto has 40 - 50,000, and it is considered one of Canada's best), and you will see that the US still probably has more quality positions than Canada.
  44. Commander Groovechild from Canada writes: I feel that post-secondary education in Canada is relatively cheap and affordable. In some areas of study especially in terms of pure academics it doesn't matter much if the school is in the U.S. or Canada since the content is comparable. In some emerging fields or in other words the applied sciences we haven't developed enough local talent for the skills to get passed along to students. Because of how our teaching environment is wired up, given that professors never have to retire, there will probably be a growing educational handicap in colleges and certain university disciplines.
  45. Lamont Cranston from toronto, Canada writes: David Barclay: point of clarification. There are pluses and minuses to all education systems. Asian high - schools are notorious for wrote learning. The question, is at which point in the educaiton system, is the flowering of creativity allowed, or encouraged. I believe that the US education system is so much older, broader, deeper, and mature, that it cannot be easily compared to Canada's.
    Can a turnip graduate with a degree from a virtually unknown US college? - absolutely. Will a degree from North Western, Duke, or Notre Dame (none of these "ivy League" be more "recognized" (whatever that means) around the world, relative to virtually any Canadian University? no question.
  46. Klaus Gieger from Moffat, Ontario, Canada writes: Oreos Eating near Parliament: Great post.

    Speaking as an employer of young people, unfortunately at this time when seeking an entry level employee I'm as guilty as anybody in demanding a B.A., even for a receptionist position. Why?

    Because a high-school diploma isn't worth the paper that it is written on any more. It offers no assurance that an entry level person can communicate well enough to answer the phone, draft a coherent letter/e-mail, or tabulate a column of numbers using simple arithmetic.

    My only option is to look for a person with a BA, even though that is meaning less and less every year too, especially when it comes to math. I think that in the near future our receptionist will have to have at least a B.Sc. to handle both math and communications.

    What a sad commentary on the Canadian education system.
  47. David Barclay from Georgetown ON, Canada writes: Yes, there are simply more opportunities for graduates in the USA. Why? Because as a result of 'free-trade' corporations pulled the plug on Canadian locations. We abide by the agreement, the Americans disobey it anytime its to their advantage. Result; lots of educated young people can't find good jobs.
  48. Fred Lupinski from Toronto, Canada writes: The other side of this American-Canadian question is the number of Ivy League faculty get positions in Canada. In my experience, without really ever considering the talent level, we have a CYA mentality in most hiring practices. If someone turns out to be underwhelming, the committee can always say 'gee, s/he had a PhD from Harvard, Yale, et al.' Canada's best and brightest being edged out again.
  49. Laurence Fiddick from Australia writes: Contrary to the comments otherwise, some Canadian Universities ARE as good as Ivy League universities. Granted, no Canadian university is as good as Harvard, Yale or Princeton, but the Ivies also include Brown and Dartmouth.

    So, how do Canadian universities compare with these? Look at the Shanghai Jiao Tong ranking of world universities (http://www.arwu.org/rank2008/EN2008.htm). This is a widely respected measure. They also list North American universities separately. Brown ranks 46th and Dartmouth ranks in the 59-77 range. By Contrast, U of T ranks 19th, UBC ranks 28th, McGill ranks 42nd, McMaster ranks 54th, U Alberta and U Montreal also rank in the 59-77 zone. Dalhousie, however, doesn't make the top 100 but Boston U is 50th. Clearly, some Canadian Universities are as good as some Ivies. However, this is a bit of a distorted comparison given that Brown and Dartmouth are not particularly big, at least compared with the Canadian universities listed here, so the fact that they still rank so highly is impressive.
  50. Leaving Sooon from Canada writes: It seems like in the Ivy League schools, you get a lot more powerful contacts, networking potential, and strong job opportunities with alumni. That is something vital you just cannot get at Canadian schools.

    I think when comparing the quality of university education (as opposed to job potential) between schools, it depends MUCH more on what subject you are studying.

    I switched faculties while doing my Bachelors degree, and the difference in quality between programs was night and day.

    And the one who said BA/BSc are a dime a dozen in Canada doesn't realize that in the US, for most science jobs, a MSc is the minimum requirement. That's from talking with students I worked with while working in the US. It seems like a lot of our Bachelors programs are equivalent to their Masters for many schools, at least in the sciences.

    My friend started her engineering education in Canada and finished at a state school in the US and she never learned anything new in her final years in the US - the canadian material was much more advanced.

    Again, it depends on what field you are studying...
  51. Lamont Cranston from toronto, Canada writes: Laurence Fiddick: another confirmation of what the UK paper the Financial Times found - 17 of the top 20 universities in the World are in the US.

    As well - good point about Boston U vs. Dalwhere? (never understood the high esteem some of the Maritime colleges are held in Canada. They are of course, world famous in Canada)
  52. Joel Banks from Halifax, Canada writes: The cultural exchange aspect of this trend is good, not least for the US. One worries, however, that these US students will reinforce a cash cow approach to international students by universities and realtors. In the case of the universities, this approach will aggravate the decline of serious teaching and scholarship. In the case of the realtors, it will extend real estate inflation rampage in the economy.
  53. Lamont Cranston from toronto, Canada writes: Laurence Fiddick: that ranking also covers off one of the other posters questioning if there is any way to compare say, a Finish or Austrian University. Apparently there is, and Harvard, etc. still ranks above.
    No question, if you want to study middle ages Austrian History, and Austrian University s where it is at, But my guess, in that Science, general Philosophy, and others, it is still hard to beat the top flight schools.
    Even the G&M had an article years ago, that indicated that the 20 wealthiest US schools, individually had endowments larger than ALL Canadian Universities combined. Hard to match when it comes to supplying a lab, or building a facility...
    Now if we could only convince a US school to take back Richard Florida
    Florida...
  54. bruce t from Boston, United States writes: The US is a country of extremes. They have a vast array of post secondary education, and indeed like the US society on a whole, they can range from the very best in the world, to the very worst. Canada on the otherhand having an exclusively public funded system is more rounded, in that the extremes are not there. However the quality of universities is quite high across the board. Do they compare with Harvard, Yale, MIT, Stanford, probably not, but a better guage would be the public universities in the US. Michigan, Virginia, Berkeley, UCLA, U Texas etc, where they are quite comparable. As for cashing in, why not? Kids down here are brainwashed into jumping into massive debt, or making their parents use their retirement to get them an undergrad degree from a small private school. They simply don't understand debt and how it can hamstring someone when they graduate. Canadian universities are an easy answer to the adventerous kids. U of T, McGill, UBC, Waterloo degrees are all gold down here, and around the world. The President of Princeton is a Canadian (Queens U), as is the Chancellor of Berkeley (U of T), and the previous dean of medicine at Harvard (MD Alberta). Just because you are willing to pay 50k/year for an 'education' doesn't mean you are getting a good one. Top branded universities are important for careers in Law, business, or research, that's just the way the game is played, but for the most part students pour cash down the drain for the sake of a brand and prestige. So kudos to Canadian schools.
  55. J S from Canada writes: Many students from the US would love to remain in Canada. If you are worried about any investment lost on them, we should let them stay. I stayed after attending U of T and I have friends from the States that would like to stay.
  56. J R from Vancouver, Canada writes: A few posters here say that Canadian university degrees carry no prestige. They say that limiting who goes to university would add prestige to those degrees. That is correct. If access to a university education was limited to the rich again, a university degree would be the envy of everyone else. Everyone will see how valuable the rich kids' hard time in university turned out to be, when their daddy and mommy, or their friends, puts them up in cushy well paid jobs. They will attribute their success to their "education," not to their socio-economic class and connections.

    Certainly government efforts to throw the poor out of Canadian Universities, such as eliminating financial assistance and replacing it with deep debt, have already increased the prestige of Canadian university degrees a few notches. At least it is no longer "it's just a university degree" of twenty years ago, when the poor could atend university in peace in Canada.
  57. james mcintyre from hfx, Canada writes: Well maybe Lilly had never been out of Maine! There is no Ivy League school in Maine but that's no excuse for her ignorance in comparing Dal to an Ivy League, it is not even a potted Ivy which her Bowdoin would be.

    As far as returning and getting work, better run by that one one more time. Not going to happen.

    Why is the tuition about 3x more for the same course. The student has to live in the Canadian city/town, buy their products, God forbid they take anything over the border. This is true in some US schools also, but State schools which in many states are either free for residents or small stipend. California is free to state residents. Not a bad deal and employers have heard of the place, like UCLA, Berkeley, etc.
  58. Auroran Bear from Montreal, Canada writes: Oreos Eating near Parliament from Ottawa, Canada writes:

    North Star from Canada writes that it is a "good problem to have", that a "B.A. and B.Sc. degree are almost a dime a dozen in Toronto because higher education is relatively inexpensive."

    I disagree. That is NOT a good problem to have.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Better educated workforces are always a better thing.

    Unless you can show me hard evidence otherwise.
  59. james mcintyre from hfx, Canada writes: ps. Boston University is not comparable to Dalhousie. Plain and simple. Many Canadians have gone through BU doors as their hockey team is really the US Olympic team...good scholarship money to what is in fact more expensive than Harvard and other Ivies....since you are so hung up on Ivies.

    Candian schools just do not instill the rahrah (obnoxious as we find it)....one cannot get an invitation to a BU graduation w/o a family member is commencing or as a guest. Many Dal grads and other Canadian Univeristies just skip it...it is common custom...just sayin'. Just doesn't, if only rarely, happen at US school...great pride.
  60. james mcintyre from hfx, Canada writes: ps: Are the presidents of those Ivies mentioned as Canadians on the admissions committees...just wondering.

    also, are their graduate degrees, like Ph.D' from Canadian colleges or MA's and undergrad...I'm just sayin'...would really like to know.
  61. William Scott Lee III from Vancouver, Canada writes: Canadian universities are not Ivy League, the G&M is ahead of themselves. Its comparable to a elite state university like UCLA, Berkeley, UNC at Chapel Hill, William and Smith, UMass at Amherst. Boston University is a private school, so comparing it Dalhouise is a bit of a stretch.

    For most ordinary Americas going to any university out of state (let alone Canada) is expensive. However, if you are in smaller states with so-so state schools (ie Arkansas, Alaska, North Dakota, etc) and your kid is bright it does make a lot of sense to send them to Canada. If you are from a small state with poor universities, you are more or less "forced" to go out of state for a quality education. For an out of state student going to Berkeley is more expensive then going to Canada Secondly, if you are out of state getting into Berekley is as difficult to get into as Brown or UPenn.
  62. Jimmy K from Toronto, Canada writes: "You get things said that are very hurtful, so you have to learn to deal with that."

    ----

    Canadians seriously suffer from small man syndrome. Her fellow classmates probably took every opportunity they could get to tell her how much better they are than her. I don't know how such supposedly progressive and tolerant people can act like this and not see how hypocritical they are.
  63. Daniel Lieman from United States writes: Wow, you're kidding, right? About Canadian schools being comparable to Berkeley? Berkeley has had 24 alums win Nobel Prizes, has 7 Laureates currently as faculty (just to pick a random metric by which to measure)...

    I think perhpas 15-20 Canadians have won Nobel prizes, by contrast.

    Canada has some great universities, absolutely. But they ain't Cal.
  64. Beansy Boy from United States writes: "SL S from Canada writes: US Universities are a joke. With a few exceptions like MIT and Harvard a degree from a US University will get you a job that any college degree in this country will get you. Their Universities were dumbed down by illiterate sports players. Too much emphasis on sports and not near enough on viable education. That's why Canadian Universities rate so much higher than US Universities on the world stage"

    Astute observation, thus reflecting the fact that Canada ranks number 3 in the world in drug arrests (vs 41 for the US)
  65. Jim Saxon from Toronto, Canada writes: First of all - it hardly matters which university you go to at the undergrad level - unless it's Harvard. What matters most is the Grad school - and some Canadian Universities really do figure in the top twenty list.

    Secondly, why is this worth covering if some Americans wish to study in Canada? A lot of Americans go to the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Israel. Why in the hell are we so fixated with Americans? When will grow out of this Brian Mulroney Reagan's little puppy syndrome?
  66. Alec Robertson from Canada writes: Beansy Boy; Ask your government to make higher education more accessible to it's citizens then maybe they won't have to come up to Canada. Either way we welcome them.
  67. Lamont Cranston from toronto, Canada writes: bruce t: you picked a “poor” selection to compare to Canadian Universities. Most of the state schools you listed (at least their main campus) would still be in the top 50 in the world (and hence ahead of all but perhaps McGill)
  68. Lamont Cranston from toronto, Canada writes: Jim Saxon: Which Canadian schools figure in the top 20 in the list of Grad schools?
    The only one I am aware of is Queen’s joint Executive MBA with tada: Cornell (ivy league). And that is for a single program, let alone an overall ranking.
  69. Lamont Cranston from toronto, Canada writes:
    Daniel Lieman: to your point, I believe there are 12 – 15 US universities which individually have won more Nobel’s than Canada’s collective total. But then again, there are many countries of note which have won fewer Nobel prizes than a random selection of US Universities.
  70. Oreos Eating near Parliament from Ottawa, Canada writes:

    Auroran Bear writes: "Better educated workforces are always a better thing."

    For who? The rich business suit at the top of the company ladder?

    It is not "better" when so many of those university degree-touting folks in Toronto are doing low wage activities such as dead-end cashier and receptionist jobs.

    There is something maladaptive and abusive with a society that now demands university degrees for such brain-dead work (see post from Gieger above, who now insists on a B.A. for even the lowest of low jobs in his company).

    So it is 2009 and the bachelor's degree has replaced the high school diploma which was the 1960 entry level ticket.

    Some progress. Maybe by 2039 company chains will demand PhDs for cashier and receptionist jobs, which back in 2009 had only required a bachelor's degree.

    That would be a better work situation for Canada?

    I don't think so.

    It sounds to me like a way to needlessly saddle millions of young Canadians with a lot of debt, in a trajectory that leads nowhere financially fruitful.

    I am no fan of a society in which Toronto's minimum wage jobs require a (hundred thousand dollar and four year) degree diploma. That is not helpful for he individuals seeking work.

    Further, such a degree-demanding system simply puts more and more pressure at all levels to have more an more people into universities who should not have been there in the first place. And that is not good for maintaining rigourous standards of our universities.
  71. Doctor Demento from Canada writes: Sarah Palin finished third in the 1984 Miss Alaska pageant at which she won a college scholarship and attended the University of Idaho for a journalism degree - and she was just a couple of steps away from launching missiles at Russia, which she claims she could see from her back yard . . .
  72. Jim Saxon from Toronto, Canada writes: Lamont Cranston from toronto, Canada writes: Jim Saxon: Which Canadian schools figure in the top 20 in the list of Grad schools?
    _______________________________________________________
    Lamont - Why don't you start by giving statistics about how many of the so called "Nobel Laureates" are teaching under-grad classes in universities in US.
  73. Lamont Cranston from toronto, Canada writes: Jim Saxon: Why don't you A). Answer my question, and B). Stay on topic?
    To answer your question, I can't say I do, or do know if any Nobel Laureates are teaching Undergrad courses at US Universities. Which would put them by that measure on par with every Canadian University?
    So Which Canadian Grad Schools are inarguably in the top 20 universities in the world, and by what accredited group?
  74. Lamont Cranston from toronto, Canada writes: Doctor Demento: And this has to do with?
  75. Jordan Maslyn from United States writes: A great alternative destination is Europe, where several countries have no study fees whatsoever.
    The paperwork can be somewhat daunting, but there are some agents around that offer some assistance, e.g. study-eu.org or study-in-europe.org.
  76. Troy K from Calgary, Canada writes: The fact of the matter is, Parents in the U.S. are financially tight. They either have to dig into their 401k plans to flip for their kids tuition, or they are stuck at home feeding a 20-24 year old kid because the kid cannot afford tuition and rent, and probably can't even find a job.

    With a major worldwide recession, you need to save money. Hell, if their kids are attending school in Alberta or Sask. they can work part-time jobs while they are studying. Both provinces have unemployment rates at 5% or lower, and tuition rates for colleges and universities are much lower than almost all U.S. states.

    If the economy picks up after they graduate, these kids can choose to get a Canadian green card, or look for work back home in the states.
  77. Doctor Demento from Canada writes: Lamont Cranston: this has to do with the ridiculous assumption that some arrogant snobs have that one needs a degree from a prestigious university to achieve success.

    Along the same lines it should be noted that Bill Gates chose to drop out of Harvard after 2 years than to continue his studies there . . .
  78. Lamont Cranston from toronto, Canada writes: Doctor Demento: Agreed. But I do think that the "Bill Gates" case is always noted becasue of its' exception, rather than its' commonality.
    I can't remember how the quip begins, but it has a punch line that goes like " the miracle is not that the dog spoke English so well, but that it spoke at all".
    A university degree does not guarantee individual success. However, on average, University grads will out earn those without a degree. That is inarguably backed up by every study I have ever seen. Is this advantage declining? Some think so, and I for one do not disagree that this trend may be growing.
    The original purpose of a university degree was not at all tied to monetary success. It is only in the last century or so, with the introduction of Business faculties, etc. that is has developed that measurement of "success"
  79. Michael Rudin from United States writes: Canada has a very good education system, especially at the High School level.
    High School level education does suffer in many areas of the US, that does not mean all areas or all schools.
    Many Canadian Schools are bargains, but so are many US state supported colleges. 9,000 Americans have applied for Canadian colleges, not an overwhelming number. These American students can also receive US government-backed loans to attend Canadian colleges.
    To belittle American education at the university level is nonsense and contrary to the facts even though you the writers on this board bias overcomes fact. Inexpensive is not the test of top quality.
    Of the top rated 100 universities in the world, 34 are in the US, many of which are state schools, 4 are in Canada.
    On the graduate school level the disparity is even greater.
  80. Mind the Pigeons from Library Square, Canada writes: Doctor Demento from Canada writes: "Lamont Cranston: this has to do with the ridiculous assumption that some arrogant snobs have that one needs a degree from a prestigious university to achieve success."

    I don't get it.

    Demento brought up Sarah Palin who went to the University of Idaho and who "was just a couple of steps away from launching missiles at Russia, which she claims she could see from her back yard".

    So I don't get it. That part of what Demento wrote says Palin is stupid and dangerous and is a graduate of the University of Idaho and failed in her election attempt.

    So what does that do to support the idea that one does not need a prestigious university's degree to achieve success?

    It does not make sense.

    Has Demento been drinking heavily or something?
  81. Bjoergvin Bjoergvinsson from Austria writes: Well, I can say that Canadians and Americans can save a bundle if they speak German. They can come to Austria now for 600¬ per semester for non-EU students. If I would have know this I would have tried to learn German in high school. Also for students the rent is approx. 225¬/month.

    I would also disagree with the posters that say there is no benefit to Canada for the students that come to Canada. I believe in a fair number of cases students end up settling in the cities where they go to univ. I went to University in Ottawa and I know some people who settled there afterwards. If you like the city where you study there is no reason to think that international students won't do the same (if given the opportunity with visas and such)
  82. J Kay from Canada writes: Regarding the question as to whether Canadian universities are as good as US Ivy League universities I would suggest they are, with a caveat.

    And to those who are counting up the number of Noble Laureates at given universities, that is for the most part utterly irrelevant, so try again.

    Where US universities distinguish themselves internationally is at the graduate level, NOT the undergraduate. And it is only at the graduate level that the 'quality' of the professors makes much of any difference. Many Noble laureates are solid researchers but horrible lectures and professors and it is more the quality of teaching that matters at the undergraduate levels than whether your professor is a Fields Medal recipient.

    At the graduate level, Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Caltech, etc. have such large endowments and high quality research environments that they can afford to have the best equipment, and to maintain the funding to researchers so that they don't spend half their year writing grant applications. This helps create an environment that fosters top quality research. As others have noted however there are a number of top international universities that are often overlooked when these types of analyses are done.

    The second thing that helps is that Noble prizes are a bit like Oscars, they are campaigned for and the US does this VERY well. If one looks a bit at the priory disputes within academia and the Noble prizes this becomes clearer. Similarly, once one has been published in top rank journals it is easier to continue to be published therein and thus things like school reputation plays a part in developing those reputations which help garner Noble prizes.

    At the undergraduate level all of this is irrelevant. The quality of the education one receives is a function of the quality of teaching, the quality of students and how much they are pushed. Top Canadian universities (UofT, UBC, etc) deliver just as much.
  83. J Kay from Canada writes: I meant to qualify my comment that Noble laureates are solid researchers, but generally poor lecturers / professors. The are of course exceptions.
  84. Casual Observer from Toronto, Canada writes: First of all, having more foreign students (U.S. included) coming to Canada is not a bad thing. Canada really should make higher education a business (at least on foreign students).
    1. As long as the tuition cost for foreign students covers per unit student cost, plus a profit amount. This can help to pay for say, scholarship for deserving Canadian students or keep tuition for Canadian students low.
    2. While they are here, their spending helps Canadian economy. Let's not lower the GST/PST
    3. Universities can control the number of student visas they issue as enrollment from Canadian high school graduates declines, since foreign students can fill the increasing void and help Canada to maintain higher education for its own citizens by keeping the enrollment number constant, without crowding out Canadian students.
    4. By holding enrollment steady, or may be with a gradual increase over time, Canadian universities can keep or even hire more professors, and hopefully, Canadian students.
    5. If these foreign students return to their home country and excel, they could be the best living recruitment advertisements for Canadian education institutions.
    6. They returned students can also help to promote culture, commerce and understanding between their home country and Canada.
    7. If they stay, their own expenses paid for the higher education, and they further contribute to the Canadian economy and society.

    It really is a win-win-win-win for all: Canadian universities, the students, Canada as a country, and the foreign students' home countries.
  85. Lamont Cranston from toronto, Canada writes: J Kay: No question. "Star" profs, a generally not of great value to a student.. But it does boost an institution's rep...

    Overll, it is funny. Canadian tuition is generally cheap, an yet the alum are misers compaired to the huge donations American Alum give to their "overpriced" institutions.

    I guess it is a reflection of who values their education more..
  86. Felipe Haloo from Montréal, Canada writes: I think the writer really missed the shot here. She should've aimed at the Chinese students who are flooding the whole western universities from Finland to Alaska!!!

    Another interesting phenomenon is that in Québec, french-speaking Universities, mainly HEC, Polytechnique, Université de Montréal, Université de Sherbrooke and Université Laval are cashing up with Africans.

    For ex., if you go to Sherbrooke University's business school, you'll find more Africans in your class than Canadians. It's astonishing!!!
  87. Doctor Demento from Canada writes: Lamont Cranston from toronto, Canada writes "A university degree does not guarantee individual success. However, on average, University grads will out earn those without a degree."

    Agreed. My engineering degree from the University of Toronto has provided me with an exceptional income - other U of T grads like both Ted Rogers (Jr and Sr) have done even better. My point is that you can get just as good an education at U of T as you can at MIT . . .
  88. Doctor Demento from Canada writes: Mind the Pigeons from Library Square, Canada writes "I don't get it."

    Cognitive impairment conditions such as the one exhibited by Mind the Pigeons are quite common . . .
  89. Casual Observer from Toronto, Canada writes: I take issue with the notion some posted here that U.S. high school standards are not as high as Canadian High Schools, and students are coached to prepare for standard tests.
    Many Canadian high schools provide vigorous academic programs such as IB and AP. My daughter (currently in 10th grade) found out her school would not allow her to take any AP courses until she is in 12th grade in the TDSB system. My niece, who graduated from a public high school in Irvine, Calif, took 5 AP courses by the time she finished 11th grade. She sat for all 5 tests, ranging from English, Chemistry, Calculus, to U.S. History, scoring 5 or higher in each (6 is maximum) In the U.S., if a students aspires to lofty goals and is focused and diligent, they can achieve a lot, not to say that Canadians high school students do not. Inflated grades will not help a student score well on AP.

    It can be extremely competitive for high school students in U.S. for university admission, and the student has to be well-rounded. My niece is also an accomplished pianist and violinist, and she can play a decent game of tennis. She got accepted by UCLA, UC Berkeley, Georgetown and Yale. She is now in her 3rd year at Yale.

    The key to education, in my opinion, is first comes the student. My niece wants a good college education, and she works at it. Then comes the parents, as my brother and sister-in-law encourage and support her. Next comes good teachers (there are good teachers in poor schools) who know the subject and can teach, and finally the curriculum/program, such as AP that pushes high school students to learn and work at college level.
  90. Lamont Cranston from toronto, Canada writes: Doctor Demento : No doubt. BUT what is the standard of success? Student satisfaction at graduation? 20 Years later? How about lifetime earnings? Or number of patents awarded? Perhaps number of company presidents?

    It is hard to say. But I would venture that MIT Engineering grads, disipline to displine are more successful than U of T grads (grad year to grad year). But are they happier? more satisfied etc. Who knows?
    Did they receive a better education? Once again, how was it applied to outcome....
  91. J Kay from Canada writes: Lamont Cranston: I think you'll find that the difference in alumni donations between Canadian and US universities is (primarily) twofold:

    1) Because Canadian universities received a sizable portion of their funding, especially operating funding from the government, I think this plays into few alumni feeling the need to donate to the universities. What endowments do occur are almost always earmarked as capital donations and thus can only be used to build new building or buy equipment but not to fund operating costs.

    2) Perhaps even more important is the difference in "rah rah rah" 'school spirit' between Canadian school and US ones and this goes beyond simply university down to the high school level. The US has almost institutionalized competitiveness - even the faux variety - to the point where one wraps themselves in the school colours almost as much as they wrap themselves in the US flag. We dont display the same level of school 'spirit' or 'pride' in where we attend for the most part and thus have far less emotional connectedness with our schools.

    The combination of these two things is what I would argue largely drives the differences in alumni support between Canadian and US schools.
  92. Lamont Cranston from toronto, Canada writes: J Kay: No kidding. Canadians donate around 1/4 rth as much as Americans to charity. This is because Canadians are taxed much more highly, and believe that the "government" will take care of it.
    This also goes to a recent book in the US, that points out that Conservatives are far more charitable than liberals. Canada, be a more "liberal" country, would follow that line of thinking..
  93. J Kay from Canada writes: Lamont Cranston: Actually Lamont I would argue that point bout charity, not the actual statistics, but the interpretation of them. I think if one delved deeper one will find other reasons that drive this that has little to government or conservatism.

    I would also argue the taxation thing for the most part. American are not substantially lower taxed than Canadians. Some US states where they have no state income tax may appear to be lower taxed BUT they have numerous local taxes and user fees to make up the difference. Places like California and New York are not really less taxed than Ontario and again one has to consider what one gets for the taxes they pay. There is an article on MarketWatch, a publication by the WSJ suggesting that higher taxed countries are actually happier and that the US will certainly be headed the way of higher taxes at some point.

    As to the giving to charity, I think one will find that by an large the difference is more tied to religion and the normative practises that have developed therein. By charity, I wonder if churches are excluded from the category, but beyond that there is a cultural tenet of religion to give, a tithing, and this practise is something like much of religious dogma that becomes ingrained both within the individuals and within the religious sub-culture. I suspect, especially in the US that one would find that the religious are more likely to vote conservative, hence the disparity. The same is likely true here as well.

    Lastly one needs to look at the difference in tax treatment between Canada and the US for charitable donations. This something I haven't personally looked into so I cant comment with any authority but I suspect you'll find that the tax treatment for charitable giving in the US is more favourable.

    Lastly I've seen lots of people hand money to homeless people on the streets but I doubt they claim it on their taxes. So there will be official and unofficial giving as well.
  94. Lamont Cranston from toronto, Canada writes: J Kay: I agree with your observations, but defer to more study (I forget the name of the book, but it looked to be a great read).
    As well, as one wag pointed out some time ago, Multi - millionaires donating to build an opera house (named after them) is not charity, but monument or "edifice" construction...On the other hand, if a medical faculty is built and named by someone wealthy
  95. Lamont Cranston from toronto, Canada writes: J Kay: I would also not be so sure on the taxes (current situation-the US will have to pay higher taxes at some point). The max rate in the US is at $250,000 @ 38% (Federal). Most state sales taxes (There is no GST equivalent) is below 8%...
  96. Garnet Kadey from Tillsonburg, writes: American Brains.........not so smart ...Did not know anything about Canada. All she had to do was google "Canada". How can Americans be so ignorant about there biggest trading partner. Go round with head in the sand.
  97. Mind the Pigeons from Library Square, Canada writes: The posts from J. Kay make good sense.

    But Doctor Demento writes: "Cognitive impairment conditions such as the one exhibited by Mind the Pigeons are quite common".

    My mind works fine Demento, unlike yours.

    And what I wrote stands. Your explanation made no sense, about why you said you wrote that about Sarah Palin.

    You said your writing about Palin "has to do with the ridiculous assumption that some arrogant snobs have that one needs a degree from a prestigious university to achieve success."

    What? You brought up Sarah Palin who went to the University of Idaho and who you pointed out "was just a couple of steps away from launching missiles at Russia, which she claims she could see from her back yard".

    So I don't get it.

    That part of what you wrote says Palin is stupid and dangerous and is a graduate of the University of Idaho and failed in her election attempt. So what does that do to support the idea that one does not need a prestigious university's degree to achieve success?

    It does not make sense, what you wrote. No sense at all. Your argument about prestigious schools was in no way supported by your example of Palin. That is just a fact, Demento.

    Fortunately most of the posts are much more interesting than yours and make sense on this board and obviously are written by much more intelligent writers than you, such as J. Kay. I bet if J. Kay and you ever took an IQ exam, you would be at least 30 points behind him.
  98. Alec Robertson from Canada writes: Perhaps young people from the U.S. are choosing Canadian schools because they offer courses in areas of study that are not popular in the States (World History, Geography. English as a second language)
  99. Old Timer from Timmins, Canada writes:

    Mind the Pigeons from Library Square writes: "I bet if J. Kay and Demento ever took an IQ exam, Demento would be at least 30 points behind Kay".

    No kidding!

    I bet if Demento took an IQ test against the two year old daughter of J. Kay, Demento would score 30 points lower.

    Reading J. Kay's posts is like reading the Wall Street Journal.

    Reading Demento's posts is like reading the graffiti spray painted by the angry, elementary school class clown drop-out.
  100. Doctor Demento from Canada writes: It seems that in cognitively impaired Mind the Pigeons' mind, being elected as Governor of a US state is not indicative of success, regardless of how lowly a university he/she attended or how intellectually challenged he/she is.

    Judging by the quality of Mind the Pigeons' prose, he/she has an IQ lower than his/her shoe size and probably didn't graduate high school, let alone attend university . . .
  101. Beansy Boy from United States writes: When a Canadian meets another Canadian in a foreign country is it just sort of understood that there is this inferiority complex and huge chip on their shoulder that binds them or do they have to feel each other out first?
  102. Doctor Demento from Canada writes:

    Mind the Pigeons = Old Timer = Tyler Williams . . .
  103. Jimmy K from Toronto, Canada writes: Casual Observer, international studies over and over show that the US primary education system, on a whole, is failing their citizens. Anecdotal evidence of what schools in what districts allow students to take IB or AP in the US versus ones that don't in Canada cannot be extrapolated across the school systems and the entire country, and your experience with American high schools in IRVINE of all places certainly cannot be extrapolated across that entire country. Irvine has some of the most affluent people in the US, and some of the best schools in the US as well. Orange County Calif. isn't exactly main street America.

    For example, I have a counter example. When I was in High School, I went to a public school and took IB starting in Grade 10. No extra fees or anything, if you were smart enough, you were in. That was it. (I did not go to TDSB). Most Americans who took IB were there not based on scores or merit, but rather a combination of being somewhat smart enough but mainly being affluent enough to go to a Private School with an IB only curriculum. The result was that 90% of my class got 7 out of 7, 10% got 6 out of 7, and NO one got 5 (or else they would be mercilessly ridiculed). The American average was 5. This does not mean that Americans are less smart, just that their school system wasn't pushing their smartest into these types of programs, because too much of their ability to access enriched education was based upon their wealth.

    Overall, when you look at international studies that show how American students and Canadian students fare on international tests, Canadian students are always near the top of the pack, and American students are sadly at the bottom. This is not a reflection of intelligence, but likely just how well funded schools are. It IS indeed a fact that American schools gear students up for the SAT's and do little else in those final years. How much actual learning is going on I'm not quite sure of.
  104. Alec Robertson from Canada writes: Beansy Boy; This article discusses "American Brains" Get yourself one then comment
  105. james mcintyre from hfx, Canada writes: To Casual Observer from Toronto:

    Unbenownest to the Canadian bloggers/posts, your niece is an exceptional student. The Canadians have no idea the chances of being accepted at Yale...they get in to help diversity in the ranks and it is not comparable. Congratulations, you should be so proud.

    The high schools are definitely not a joke...take a look at the one in Cole Harbor, NS, put any of those students up against your niece. We will be hearing about her and she is one of many with wonderful oppt'y 'ONLY IN AMERICA'.

    Globe and Mail is now editing the blogs, so typical.....you don't even live with freedom of speech in Canada. Checkout US blogs, comments go into the thousands...who does it hurt...CANADIANS and their outlook.
  106. Jimmy K from Toronto, Canada writes: Beansy Boy, no. Only when they meet in America, no where else.

    See, they expect Americans to understand them, because they (think they) understand Americans, and are absolutely horrified when Americans ask questions about Igloos and Caribou. However, they have no such pre-requisites placed on people from other countries. When someone from the Czech Republic asks about Seal Blubber, it's all fine and good. No need to get sanctimonious. When an American (OUR LARGEST TRADING PARTNER!!) asks if we have electricity, somehow, outrage pours forth, and it is expressed through passive aggressive "we're better than you because of x, y, and z" comments.

    Anyway, if Americans are as confident about themselves and their place in the world as they pretend to be, they really shouldn't let all this yapping about them bother them. It's a subtle form of affection, really.
  107. Mind the Pigeons from Library Square, Canada writes:

    Demento, but you did not write about Palin as a success when you first posted, no then you wrote "Sarah Palin finished third in the 1984 Miss Alaska pageant at which she won a college scholarship and attended the University of Idaho for a journalism degree - and she was just a couple of steps away from launching missiles at Russia, which she claims she could see from her back yard".

    A stupid and dangerous third-rate beauty pageant winner of an Idaho school, you are telling me your message you meant there was that she is a success? What? Small wonder Lamont Cranston from toronto then wrote to you: "Doctor Demento: And this has to do with?". Hard to know what you are talking about from what you wrote. Same with, I am young, why do you call me an old timer? And who is Tyler William and why should I care?
  108. Edmond Dusablon from United States writes: james mcintyre from hfx, Canada wrote: '... which in many states are either free for residents or small stipend. California is free to state residents. Not a bad deal and employers have heard of the place, like UCLA, Berkeley, etc.'

    As a long-time California resident I can assure you that state schools are not free, they are merely bargains compared to private schools in California like USC and Stanford. Tuition at state schools (e.g., San Diego State or UC-Davis or UCLA) is dependent on residence status (in-state, out-of-state, etc.).

    A Bachelor's degree in engineering from UC-Davis or UCLA will set you back between US$40K-$50K, including room and board -- that's barely buys one year at USC. As such, I would advise any American HS student to select a state school for their bachelor's degree (so they don't impoverish themselves with student loans) and then get a Master's degree from the best school they can get in to (even better if they can get an employer to pay for it).

    Finally, I've no doubt Canada has excellent schools but I can't think of a single one with a world-class engineering program. Can anyone out there can enlighten me as to which are the best engineering schools in Canada? U of BC, perhaps?

    I advise
  109. Edmond Dusablon from United States writes: Jimmy K from Toronto, Canada wrote: 'See, they expect Americans to understand them, because they (think they) understand Americans, and are absolutely horrified when Americans ask questions about Igloos and Caribou.'

    Okay, I'll take the bait. Exactly why do you have a caribou on your quarter?
  110. Casual Observer from Toronto, Canada writes: Jimmy K, some clarifications: Granted, Irvine is considered an upper middle income neighborhood, with a high concentration of professionals and entrepreneurs from nearby high tech firms, but I was referring to the public school in Irvine, not some prep schools or private elite schools in NY or the NE. And like Canada, AP courses offered at public school in U.S. does not require extra fees. I have no knowledge of IB programs in the U.S., so I cannot comment on that.

    As for my daughter's case, she has the support of her current math teacher (she is taking 11th grade math in 10th), and the chair of math department to take AP Calculus in grade 11, but guidance shot it down. Her school does not offer IB.

    U.S. definitely need to improve its funding for public education and raise its overall performance. However, I would say the believe here in Canada that U.S. schools mind only SAT scores in the high school years is very misguided. The primary determinant for admission to any Ivy League school, and as far as I know, the UC system, is grade, not SAT.
  111. JM G from Canada writes: As engineering goes, probably UofT, UofA, and Waterloo might be considered "best", but I'm never sure what such qualitative rankings mean. Do they take a different sort of calculus at one school versus another?

    Anyway, as a current Dal student in a professional program, I have no complaints about facilities or - compared to the likes of BU at least - costs. And I love Halifax.
  112. Commander Groovechild from Canada writes: I'm not too sure what you mean by a "world class" engineering program. However, Waterloo sticks out as a good school for engineering students. It's the home of RIM. Bill Gates tries to visit Waterloo specifically. With any luck Stephen Hawkings will go there. But obviously engineering is not directly linked to theoretical physics. In Canada when a person graduates with an engineering degree, she or he is not actually recognized as a professional engineer. There is a separate process to become a PE. I'm sure the same principle applies to foreign engineers entering Canada. I personally consider it scary if somebody is recognized as an engineer but has no knowledge of local codes, standards and regulations. So to me an engineering degree represents just the beginning of a long march. This means that even an outstanding engineering program does not necessarily lead to success as an engineer.
  113. Casual Observer from Toronto, Canada writes: Rankings should not be relied upon as the sole criteria for determining how good a college or university is. I think the name Harvey Mudd College is probably quite unknown to most people, but it is a fine engineering school in SoCal
  114. Mind the Pigeons from Library Square, Canada writes: Dusablon from California USA writes "Finally, I've no doubt Canada has excellent schools but I can't think of a single one with a world-class engineering program. Can anyone out there can enlighten me as to which are the best engineering schools in Canada? U of BC, perhaps?"

    I have a story to tell there! A top of the class classmate of mine from UBC (not "U of BC"!) transfered down to Stanford to finish his engineering degree, so he had done two years at UBC and did the remaining years at Stanford.

    His exact quote about his transfer year arriving at Stanford was that for a lot of courses "it was like transferring back to grade 12 of high school".

    So based on that I would think the fame of a lot of US engineering schools has to do not with the challenging teaching curriculum, but rather with the well funded research at the graduate and post-doc level.

    UBC's gears are famous for pranks, like hanging cars (including one from the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco).
  115. Festina Lente from United States writes: Finally Dr Demento has revealed that he is a graduate of University of Toronto...a fact that he has kept secret when questioned.

    The high six figure salary for being in upper management in a prestigious unnamed Canadian firm...we may learn that in another slip of the tongue! My, such credentials! Who would have known?

    Canada certainly has many fine institutions of higher learning...but why none are ever selected for the thirty most distinguished list? Is Canada being slighted? Surely U of T with graduates like the (in)famous Dr Demento belongs on that list.
  116. Outlier in Calgary from Calgary, Canada writes: I think we need to disinguish between branding and quality education. I recall with some amusement a National Post survey that ranked the university of Waterloo number one in Canada for both Medical School and Business education by Canadian readers. Sadly UW has neither school despite the acclaims. There is no doubt that some US school are the at the top in the world for various programs. They should be. Harvard's endowments are so large that they can afford to 'buy' nobel prize winners and put them on their faculty. Other US schools of moderate academic clout fare well by making many millions of dollars from college sports from TV revenue and so forth. No Canadian school can compete with that. The fact is that for very little money, our schools manage to compete rather well with the majority of US schools of comparable size. However, the continued undermining of public funding for Canadian universities is forcing them to find new sources of income- including foreign tuitions. The ability to attract students from foreign countries is only one metric of the branding and reputation of a university. It is nevertheless an important one that we shouldn't ignore.
  117. Beansy Boy from United States writes: It is absolutely astounding as to how true it is that Canadians have no identity of their own and only exist relative the the US. This entire thread is filled with posts trying to make the comparison that Canadian universities are as good as those in the US. Not simply that Canada may have some good universities. And implied in nearly every post is that the reason nobody knows or appeciates this is because of some evil being perpetrated by the US. Canadians must be some of the most depressing, downbeat people on earth.
  118. Skeptical Observer from Canada writes: Excellent your brains are ours. You foolish Americans we Canadians now have your brains.

    Its Victoria day, a holiday, which is probably why this article received a little too much attention.
  119. james mcintyre from hfx, Canada writes: To Edmund Whatever: A resident of Ca., is a person who resides in the state. The free tuition to state school is for a person who is and has been a resident of the state, for a state school, such as UCLA. No one suggested someone from out of state, which is the point, blahblah.
  120. james mcintyre from hfx, Canada writes: ps to Edmund and those who may believe what he writes. Room and board, travel, your clothes, your toothpaste are not to be considered part of the cost of your education. If you were a trash collector you would have to have room and board, etc.

    Don't mislead yourself. Phone your state schools and ask them to break down your engineering costs and see what you paid for tuition.
  121. Casual Observer from Toronto, Canada writes: To James Mcintyre: UCLA does charge a resident of California. No city college, college, or university in the U.S. does not charge a tuition. Here is a link to UCLA's fee schedules: http://www.admissions.ucla.edu/prospect/budget.htm. The web page displays "Registration Fee" of 7,554 for California residents.
  122. Dawn from Minnesota from Minnesota, United States writes: james mcintyre from hfx, Canada writes: ps. Boston University is not comparable to Dalhousie. Plain and simple. Many Canadians have gone through BU doors as their hockey team is really the US Olympic team...good scholarship money to what is in fact more expensive than Harvard and other Ivies....since you are so hung up on Ivies.

    To james mcintyre from hfx: In the Olympics, athletes represent their own countries. Most of the U.S. hockey players come from the upper Midwest. The high school hockey programs are so good here in Minnesota that Sydney Crosby came here to study....and play hockey before turning pro. The high school hockey playoff games take place every year at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul and are televised.

    The school with the most professors who have won the Nobel prize is the University of Chicago, not an Ivy Leage school.

    Schools like the Unitversity of Michigan and Virginia are better than any north of the border. They come in a solid first, second, or third in the country in most of their major programs.

    Michigan has a nuclear reactor, the Phoenix, on North Campus. Its NE program is second only to MIT. Michigan's medical school is always ranked in the top five in the U.S. The University of Michigan hospital burn unit is a regional center for burn victims. If you wear a pacemaker, it is likely to be made by Medtronic, a company that was started at the University of Minnesota. Digital Equipment, the first computer company, and Cray were both start-ups in the Twin Cities. The University of MN is known for pioneering many organ transplant procedures.

    I could list many other U.S. universities and very significant accomplishments by graduates and professors. Innovative research comes from universities all over the United States.
  123. Doctor Demento from Canada writes:

    How typical of Americans to simply "assume" that they have the best universities in the world . . .
  124. JM G from Canada writes: I guess Minnesota is a great place then. Of course, McMaster has its own reactor and its medical school pioneered "problem-based learning", something emulated by just about every school in North America. Dalhousie in Halifax is a major centre for such things as neural transplantation and stem cell research - search for "Halifax Injector". Great research is being done everywhere, but I'd stack up our schools to yours any day.
  125. Edmond Dusablon from United States writes: james mcintyre from hfx, Canada writes: To Edmund Whatever: A resident of Ca., is a person who resides in the state. The free tuition to state school is for a person who is and has been a resident of the state, for a state school, such as UCLA. No one suggested someone from out of state, which is the point, blahblah.

    To james Whatever from hfx -- Universities in the California public university system charge tuition to in-state students, and they are not cheap (they're just cheaper than private schools). Even the local public community colleges charge tuition. No California public higher education institution is free. I have no idea where you got your information but it's wrong.
  126. Edmond Dusablon from United States writes: Doctor Demento from Canada wrote: 'How typical of Americans to simply "assume" that they have the best universities in the world . . .

    It's not an assumption -- it's based on independent evaluations. But how typical of you to try to cut us down. No matter how well-educated, the chip on the shoulder always comes to the fore.
  127. Zoe Morrow from Canada writes: There are definitely universities in Canada that are Ivy League quality. Just look at McGill for instance. Admission standards are very high. The school has long and old traditions and first rate faculty.
    As they say at McGill - "Harvard is the McGill of the south". They even sell the T-shirts...
  128. Zoe Morrow from Canada writes: JM G from Canada writes: I guess Minnesota is a great place then. Of course, McMaster has its own reactor and its medical school pioneered "problem-based learning", something emulated by just about every school in North America.
    -------------
    No, you are wrong. McMaster is unique in Canada in its approach...so no, its PBL is not emulated by "just about every school in North America".
  129. JM G from Canada writes: Perhaps not every school, but we have lots of PBL at Dal, though the curriculum tends to be much more structured. Of course, Mac used to have the highest failure rate on the LMCCs, so it took a while to work out the kinks. ;)
  130. Doctor Demento from Canada writes: Edmond Dusablon from United States writes "It's not an assumption -- it's based on independent evaluations."

    Independent evaluations eh? Any chance these "independent" evaluations are US-based?
  131. Alec Robertson from Canada writes: Edmond Dusablon; "Chips" as seen by a "Dip" perhaps?
  132. jeremy hepner from VancouverNew York, Canada writes: This entire thread is moot. I did two undergraduate degrees at UBC, an MA at NYU, and am now completing my doctorate at Columbia University which is an Ivy League school. Every school I've attended was great because I got involved and found where the opportunities were that matched my interests.

    The education I got in Canada was first class - excellent! The two American degrees offer something else. Yes, graduate degrees are the strength of big American schools; however, the name, the nobel or award X winners draw curious people and it is all about connections here - you meet the people who will go on to do great things in your field, and you can get a good start on a career. Big American schools like Columbia are all about relationships.

    Why did I come to America when I got a great education in Canada? I want to teach at a Canadian university - my dream job - but go ahead and look at the biographies of the faculty members at the big Canadian schools and read to see where they received their degrees - their American degrees that is.

    The bottom line is that there is not the same respect for Canadian graduate degrees as there are for American ones - it may be that the search committee is stacked with American degrees but it doesn't matter, it just seems to be the way it is.

    A very interesting read, thanks all!
  133. Let me tell You How It Is from United States writes: " On the flipside, an estimated 29,000 Canadians headed south in 2007-2008 for undergraduate or graduate studies,"
    /
    /
    That's a lot of Canada's "Best and Brightest". Likely most will stay in here. Good deal for us. We get really highly educated people without spending the resources to educate them and what does Canada get in return? What do Canadians get all upset about recently with years if editorials and almost daily media articles?: yes, in return Canada gets anti-social religious zealots like Canadian Omar Khadr, Canadian Diab wanted in Paris for murdering 4 people at a synagogue, Canadian Abdelrazik, Canadian Ressam the millenium bomber and other assorted human trash and human parasites.
    /
    /
    Good deal for us. This is one of the few articles in years that even discusses Canada's ill afforded brain drain. 29,000 highly educated Canadians must have cost Canadian taxpayers $100's of millions. But that's Canada's problem not ours.
  134. Alec Robertson from Canada writes: Let me tell You How It Is from United States; it is true that we have allowed some undesirable individuals into Canada but as far as I know none of them flew a plane into a skyscraper or crashed one into a government building
  135. Commander Groovechild from Canada writes: I found that university professors from the U.S. were among the best teachers. So we have U.S. professors and students here. I think this is a good situation for everybody.
  136. plain joe . from Canada writes: "American Brains"

    That's an oxymoron isn't it?
  137. james mcintyre from hfx, Canada writes: Dawn from Minn.....you are so off the point! Pontificate after you do your research. Somehow I don't believe the GM article is about high school hockey in Minnesota nor is it about who goes to the Olympics...reread! And, btw, The Syd is from where I live and he is not really one to compare the pros/cons of universities in Canada recruiting US students. He sticks to hockey.

    As far as Harvard vs. McGill...only a Canadian would bother with the analogy....why not use your own Universities to compare one another. And, Rice is the Harvard of the SW....oh, where is Rice? Oh, where is McGill?

  138. Bert Russell Paradox, BC from Canada writes:
    So Amercians flood in to take advantage of our cheap schools....??? I suppose not teaching our children Canadian History in school does reduce costs ....
    Do American know we have newly embedded PCorrectness that allows Segregation?
  139. Morris Rewitt from London, United Kingdom writes: This is just free-market dynamics at work and this is great.

    I find it very stupid to compare Canadian universities as a whole and US universities as a whole . I went to McGill undergrad and that was great . I went to Harvard graduate and that was great as well (incidentally ,many of the best professors at Harvard are Canadians , and John MacArthur , from Vancouver , BC , was a superb Dean at the Business School for over 10 years).

    Let each university fend for itself . Don't let nationality be too much of a criterion or we'll find ourselves in the stupid Belgian vs French situation where governments at all levels are trying to interfere with the market and who may attend which university via nationality quotas , etc.
  140. Kevin Chew from Germany writes: This article reminded me of two things:

    1) Canadian university education is expensive, not cheap as purported by some. Cheap compared to the US perhaps ...

    2) American university education is insanely expensive.

    Tuition has risen to insane levels not because it was artifically suppressed before. It has done so because universities have transformed themselves into educational corporations, churning out degrees like counterfeit bills.

    Someone derisively mentioned online degrees from the University of Phoenix . Well, at least they are honest about what you are buying, and more cost-effective at delivering it.
  141. Beansy Boy from United States writes: Doctor Demento from Canada writes:

    "Independent evaluations eh? Any chance these "independent" evaluations are US-based? "

    jeremy hepner from VancouverNew York, Canada writes: "The bottom line is that there is not the same respect for Canadian graduate degrees as there are for American ones - it may be that the search committee is stacked with American degrees but it doesn't matter, it just seems to be the way it is. "

    Ahh, pity the poor Canadian. Everything in their universe is unfair and the result of evil doing by the USA.
  142. Katherine R from Canada writes: jeremy hepner from VancouverNew York, Canada writes: "The bottom line is that there is not the same respect for Canadian graduate degrees as there are for American ones - it may be that the search committee is stacked with American degrees but it doesn't matter, it just seems to be the way it is. "
    ................................................................................
    Huh? Really? I have three degrees (two from Canada) and I work at MIT. I do not feel it has hurt my potential to excel as a scholar at all.

    Jeremy, maybe you just weren't a strong applicant for other reasons. Don't blame your Canadian degrees for your failed academic career!
  143. evelyn robinson from Canada writes: How does Canada gain by educating Americans at lower tuition costs.????
    Do not Canadian taxpayers help to keep these costs down.
  144. Investment Industry Insider from Toronto, Canada writes: This is actually a troubling trend that started back in 2005 with MBA schools, to which I was a witness

    Rotman, unofficially ofcourse, will reject a Canadian applicant with a 675 GMAT score but accept a US student who has a 575 grade (600 - is the benchmark for above average intelligence).

    After I got into Schulich (685 GMAT) - I discovered that Rotman needed US Int'l applicants to supplant its funding so badly that they started rejecting Canadian candidates with 700 scores (management super stars), who then applied to Schulich for the January admission roll.

  145. Beansy Boy from United States writes: Investment Industry Insider from Toronto, Canada writes: ......

    "Rotman, unofficially ofcourse, will reject a Canadian applicant with a 675 GMAT score but accept a US student who has a 575 grade (600 - is the benchmark for above average intelligence). "

    Dear lord, is there not one Canadian who can take responsibility for themselves?? What does unofficially mean? That it exists in your head? Is this the only way a Canadian can feel good in their own skin?

  146. J Kay from Canada writes: Katherine R: I think you owe jeremy an apology. You should re-read his post. Nowhere did he suggest he had difficulty in getting an academic appointment. Instead he said that he went to the US - where he currently is to complete a doctoral degree at Columbia - because in his opinion, it seems like it would be easier to obtain an academic post at a Canadian university with a doctoral degree from a US university.

    While I don't necessarily share his opinion, I understand where he is coming from. I've certainly perused the educational background of more than a few Canadian university faculties and have noticed not only big name US schools but also international ones as well (Oxbridge, Sorbonne, Plank Inst., Insead, etc.). There does seem to be the possibility of some bias against Canadian educated Ph.Ds. That said I personally know a handful who have obtained academic posts at home after doing post doctoral research abroad (Cambridge, Caltech, LM Munich,etc) so certainly all is not lost.
  147. Hee Hoo Sai from Canada writes: Considering the condition of the American economy, it is in our best interests to educate as many Americans as possible to facilite out mutual recovery. Need a good automotive engineer to get the H1 back in production.
  148. Check your facts from Canada writes: Here is what I got from the story:

    There are more than three times as many Canadians attending American universities as Americans attending Canadian universities.

    American universities charge Canadians three times as much for tuition as Canadians charge Americans.

    Based on the above, there is almost ten times as much money flowing south for post secondary education as there is flowing north.

    If these were the numbers for any other industry, such as auto parts, I can't imagine that the Globe's spin would be about how good it is for Canada.
  149. Jim Wilson from Vancouver, Canada writes: "I could list many other U.S. universities and very significant accomplishments by graduates and professors. Innovative research comes from universities all over the United States."

    Exactly.

    And let us face it, a calculus course is a calculus course at any University. What the 'ivy leagues' offer for many programs is networking connection and job opportunities, not superior education or course selection. Anyone choosing harvard over virginia tech for engineering on the basis of course selection or quality is an idiot.

    In terms of course quality, you have to be specific and compare universities per program. And for many programs, a lot of universities are equivalent. (How much different can a basic macroeconomics course be at Harvard as compared to other institutions?)

    In terms of networking and connections, the ivy leagues dominate. If that matters, then it may be worth the cost. (ie: an MBA or law degree from a top school in the US will allow access to jobs that a degree from a third tier school will not)
  150. Scott H from United States writes: American students who come to university in Canada will probably be in for a rude awakening at the amount of anti-Americanism that pervades these institutions. We Canadians like to fashion ourselves as a welcoming "multicultural" lot, but from my experience as a dual citizen we in fact maintain one last prejudice.

    This article from the Washington Post may be 5 years old (read: Bush-era) but I recommend any interested party give it a read.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A15638-2004Nov26.html
  151. Beansy Boy from United States writes: Scott H from United States writes: American students who come to university in Canada will probably be in for a rude awakening at the amount of anti-Americanism that pervades these institutions. We Canadians like to fashion ourselves as a welcoming "multicultural" lot, but from my experience as a dual citizen we in fact maintain one last prejudice.

    This article from the Washington Post may be 5 years old (read: Bush-era) but I recommend any interested party give it a read.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A15638-2004Nov26.html

    I agree with every sentence in that article. That was written 5 years ago and it paints a horrible picture of Canadians back then. Today it's a national sickness. And probably most Americans still have no idea that's what Canadians are like. It's to Canadian's advantage that we pay no attention to Canada.

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