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Foreign Credentials Evaluation for Students Applying to Study in Canada

By:Kathleen Legris

Maintaining the quality of postsecondary programs in Canada is primarily the responsibility of individual institutions, which must operate within legislative and policy frameworks established by their respective provincial or territorial governments. Given the increasing numbers of international students applying to study in Canada, mechanisms for maintaining quality are increasingly important.
In Canada each university or college sets its own admission requirements and its own criteria for recognizing academic qualifications obtained abroad. Therefore, individual Admissions Office determine the procedures required to assess international qualifications.
The Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials (CICIC) collects, organizes, and distributes information, and acts as a national clearing house and referral service to support the recognition and portability of Canadian and international educational and occupational qualifications. The organization collects data about procedures for recognizing academic and occupational credentials in different Canadian jurisdictions. This information is stored in a regularly updated database covering more than 800 professional organizations. In partnership with the provinces and territories, they also provide current information about postsecondary education systems in Canada for a variety of users, including Canadian missions and evaluation agencies abroad. Publications include a Directory of Universities, Colleges and Schools in the Provinces and Territories of Canada, which lists Canada's recognized, authorized, registered and licensed institutions.
Students who wish to have an assessment of qualifications for information purposes can consult a credentials evaluation service. Although these services offer expert advice on how credentials obtained outside Canada compare with credentials from a Canadian province or territory, the evaluation is advisory only and does not guarantee recognition of credentials for purposes of admission to a postsecondary institution in Canada. The credential evaluation service will advise about document and translation requirements. Credentials evaluation services charge a fee for their services. Applicants should check with institutions of choice to verify whether they will accept the assessment completed by these services. Although it may assist postsecondary institutions in understanding foreign credentials, there is no guarantee they will be acceptable.

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