Amazed by the Canadian University options

For any country to leverage itself with the rest of the world, a well trained and experienced human resource base is imperative. Rwanda is no exception.
A computer laboratory at Seneca. The New Times/ Courtesy.
A computer laboratory at Seneca. The New Times/ Courtesy.

For any country to leverage itself with the rest of the world, a well trained and experienced human resource base is imperative. Rwanda is no exception.

Experts point out a number of reasons as to why students prefer foreign education as opposed to home based education. The expectations of those who travel abroad are enormous with many students hoping to have greater access to better facilities and vast exposure with a view of securing employment in any part of the world. Talk of becoming a global citizen!

A more serious assessment of this trend reveals a much more complex mosaic of push and pull factors that Rwandan students need to interrogate and comprehend. Sometimes students choose to study in universities with the easiest admission criteria, where more often than not, admissions are given on spot once one attends a university fair or meets some slim pre-admission requirements.

We recently took part in a tour of Canadian Universities that was organised by the Nairobi-based Canadian High Commission.

In our visit we toured University of New Brunswick, University of St. Thomas, Seneca College in Toronto, University of Waterloo, Ryerson University, Niagara College and University of Guelph.

In education circles, we define learning as enduring change of behaviour as a result of acquisition of new knowledge and skills. In fact, it is an experience. We do not measure learning by one’s ability to reproduce what he/she has been taught. Rather, it is by one’s ability to apply experience gained in class in a practical environment.

The University of Waterloo stands out as one of those in the world that has left an indelible mark on education. Mike Lazaridis, the co-founder and former chief executive of the Canadian Research In Motion (RIM), a company that invented the Blackberry, was a student of the University of Waterloo.

Seneca College in Toronto is the largest government funded college with over 3 per cent of the total student population being international students drawn from over 113 countries. Seneca also prides itself in its gigantic aviation school full with 38 planes and a state-of-the art airport.

However, your dreams getting admission in Seneca College and becoming a great pilot in the near future will always remain an illusion if you are a drug addict or an alcoholic. Even with excellent grades, you have to pass a very stringent drug and alcohol test to secure admission in Seneca Aviation School.  

The Canadian University College offers a pre-medical program that is a gateway to admission to Loma Linda Medical School, in California, US, one of the top 100 prestigious medical schools in the US.

The arts oriented students can be spoiled with choice at the University of St. Thomas with its unbeatable over 75 liberal arts options. The variety explains the institution’s dynamism and superbly knit curricula that can never miss an arts student’s needs.

I guess my exposition sounds like a mere dream to some if not some sort of fiction. Never mind. Nu-Vision High School. With its excellent IGCSE and A-level program prospective partnership with Universities in Canada and the UK, Rwandan students are just a step away from grand careers and opportunities to study overseas.

One of the main requisites of getting admission in the best Canadian Universities is having at least a B grade average pass in Senior 6. Some universities can give conditional admissions pending the submission of Senior 6 results. Proficiency in English language is also paramount. TOEFL, IELTS and MELAB results are needed in this case.

The quality of education and living standards in Canada are amongst the highest in the world, but the cost of living and tuition fees for international students are generally lower than in other countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom. As such, Canada is often the preferred choice for students attending college or university.

The sky has ceased to be the limit for big dreamers. If it were, people would not be going to space for holiday.

Martin Rusanga is the Director of Nu-Vision High School, Kabuga – Kigali

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