17 Top Designated Learning Institutions in Canada

Here is everything you need to know about designated learning institutions in Canada and how this affects you as an international student. In this article, you will find top DLIs at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels of education.

Canada is the home of international students worldwide because her institutions offer top-notch education. If you wish to apply and study in Canada, there are certain schools that the Canadian government has selected for international students.

These schools are recognized as “designated learning institutions” by the Canadian government and you can’t be given a study permit to Canada to study in any other school aside DLIs. That is why we created this article to help you learn about the top designated learning institutions in Canada.

As an international student, you cannot apply to study in any institution of your choice in Canada. before you apply, you must have to check if the institution is among those that are designated.

Once you check the list of the designated learning institutions in Canada, you can now choose any school that meets your needs and apply. However, all primary and secondary schools in Canada are designated.

What is a designated learning institution in Canada?

A designated learning institution in Canada is any school that holds the accreditation from a provincial or territorial government to admit international students.

All primary and secondary schools in Canada have this designation status. However, not all tertiary institutions in Canada are designated for higher learning.

What is the DLI Number in Canada?

This is the name that Organization ID in GCMS uses outside. It is the IRCC that assigns the DLI number to institutions.

How does this happen? If an institutions’ provincial or territorial ministry of education gives the school designation status, they will notify the IRCC about this. Upon confirmation of the designation status, IRCC will now give the institution the DLI number.

The DLI number allows the institution to be among the designated learning schools in Canada. In other words, the institution has the government’s license to admit international students.

How do I know that a Canadian college is a designated institute?

International students have several schools to choose from if they wish to study in Canada. These schools include primary schools, secondary schools, and post-secondary schools (colleges & universities, private career /vocational schools, and language schools).

The moment you select a school that you wish to apply to, you must check if the school is on the list of designated learning institutions in Canada.

To check the list, visit the IRCC website to check the tertiary institutions and their DLI numbers. You can find the DLI number in GMS under the Organizations & Entities tab; Type = Organization; Sub Type = Designated learning institution.

Additionally, all designated learning institutions in Canada always attach the DLI number on their letters of acceptance and letters of enrolment. This is because international students in Canadian tertiary institutions need a valid DLI number on their study permit to live, study, and work in Canada.

Designated Learning Institutions in Canada

Here, we compiled the list of the top designated learning institutions in Canada in three categories. They include primary schools, secondary schools, and tertiary schools.

Keep in mind that all the primary and secondary schools in Canada are designated.

However, the institutions in the tertiary category that are designated are compiled based on acceptance rate, ranking, number of programs, graduation rate, and student-faculty ratio.

Top Primary Designated Learning Institutions in Canada

Below are the best elementary schools for international students in Canada. All of these elementary schools are designated learning institutes.

  • Avondale Elementary Alternative School
  • Calumet Elementary School
  • Islamic Institute of Toronto
  • Northmount School
  • The Dunham School
  • Sathya Sai School
  • Parkland Elementary School
  • St. Sebastian Catholic School
  • Lakeview Elementary School

Top Secondary Designated Learning Institutions in Canada

Here are the best designated secondary schools in Canada:

  • Old Scona, Edmonton
  • St. Andrew’s College
  • Rundle College, Calgary
  • Brookes Westshore Private Boarding School
  • St Michael’s Choir (Sr), Toronto
  • York House, Vancouver.
  • Rosseau Lake College
  • Columbia International College, Ontario
  • Albert College, Ontario
  • Brentwood College School

Top Tertiary Designated Learning Institutions in Canada

The following designated institutions of higher learning are the best in Canada:

  • University of Toronto
  • McGill University
  • University of British Columbia
  • University of Alberta
  • University of Montreal
  • McMaster University
  • University of Waterloo
  • Ryerson University
  • York University
  • Trent University

1. University of Toronto

The University of Toronto (U of T) is a public research institution that was founded in 1827 as King’s College in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It is the oldest university in Ontario and one of the oldest universities in Canada.

U of T offers over 700 undergraduate degree and 200 postgraduate degree programs to approximately 60,000 students.

Furthermore, U of T has an acceptance rate of 43%, a graduation rate of 79.4%, and a student-faculty ratio of 29.1.

According to the 2021 QS World University Rankings, U of T is ranked #25 worldwide and #1 in Canada. In the 2021 Times Higher Education World University Rankings, the University of Toronto is ranked #18 in the world and #1 in Canada.

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2. McGill University

McGill University (McGill) is a public research university in Montreal, Quebec, Canada that was established in 1821. F

The university offers over 400-degree programs through its 50 research centers and institutes.

McGill University has an acceptance rate of 46.3%, a graduation rate of N/A, and a student-faculty ratio of 16:1.

The 2021 QS World University Rankings put McGill on #27 in the world and #2 in Canada. According to the 2021 Times Higher Education World University Rankings, McGill is ranked #40 worldwide and #3 in Canada.

In addition, the 2021 U.S. News & World Report Best Global University Rankings put McGill #51 in the world and #3 in Canada.

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3. University of British Columbia

The University of British Columbia (UBC) is a public research university that was founded in 1908. Its campuses are located in Vancouver and Kelowna.

UBC offers undergraduate degree programs, postgraduate degree programs, joint academic programs, exchange programs, and distance education programs.

The University of British Columbia has an acceptance rate of 52.4%, a graduation rate of N/A, and a student-faculty ratio of 15:1.

According to the 2021 QS World University Rankings, UBC is ranked #45 in the world and #3 in Canada. Times Higher Education’s World University Rankings for the year 2021 ranks UBC #34 in the world and #2 in Canada. The 2021 U.S. News & World Report Best Global University Ranking ranks UBC #31 worldwide and #2 in Canada.

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4. University of Alberta

The University of Alberta (U of A or UAlberta) is a public research university in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada that was established in 1908.

U of A offers over 388 undergraduate and 500 postgraduate programs to over 39,300 students out of which 7,800 are international students. UAlberta has 3,620 academic staff together with 15,380 support and trust staff.

The university has an acceptance rate of 58% and a graduation rate of N/A.

UAlberta is ranked #119 in the world and #5 in Canada by the 2021 QS World University Rankings. In the 2021 Times Higher Education World University Rankings, U of A is ranked #131 in the world and #6 in Canada.

Additionally, the University of Alberta is ranked #138 worldwide and #5in Canada by the 2021 U.S. News & World Report Best Global University Ranking.

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5. University of Montreal

The Université de Montréal (UdeM) is a French-language public research university in Montreal, Quebec, Canada that was established in 1878.

UdeM has an affiliation with Polytechnique Montreal (engineering), and HEC Montreal (business). The university offers over 600 academic programs that span through the undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

UdeM has an acceptance rate of 50%, a graduation rate of N/A, and a student-faculty ratio of 250:1.

In the 2021 QS World University Rankings, The University of Montreal is ranked #118 worldwide and #4 in Canada. UdeM is ranked #73 in the world and #5 in Canada by the 2021 Times Higher Education World University Rankings.

The 2021 U.S. News & World Report 2021 Global University Rankings ranks UdeM #140 in the world and #6 in Canada.

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6. McMaster University

McMaster University (McMaster or Mac) is a public research university in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada that was established in 1887.

The university has over 27,000 undergraduate and over 4,000 post-graduate students. Some of its top-ranked courses include Medicine and Dentistry, Veterinary Science, Nursing, and Pharmaceutical Science.

Mac has an acceptance of 58.7% and a student-faculty ratio of 25:1.

McMaster is ranked #69 in the world and #4 in Canada according to the 2021 Times Higher Education World University Rankings.

In the 2021 QS World University Rankings, McMaster is ranked #144 in the world and #6 in Canada. According to the 2021 U.S. News & World Report Global University Rankings, McMaster University is ranked #133 worldwide and #4 in Canada.

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7. University of Waterloo

The University of Waterloo (WaterlooUW, or UWaterloo) is a public research university that was founded in 1959. Its main campus is in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.

UW appears on the list of the designated learning institutions in Canada. Some of its top-ranked courses include Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Civil Engineering, Electrical & Electronic Engineering, and Chemical Engineering.

UWaterloo has an acceptance of 53%, a graduation rate of 76.84%, and a student-faculty ratio of 20%.

In the 2021 QS World University Rankings, Waterloo is ranked #166 in the world and #7 in Canada. The University of Waterloo is ranked #201–#250 in the world and #9–#10 according to the 2021 Times Higher Education World University Rankings.

According to the 2021 U.S. News & World Report Ranking, UWaterloo is ranked #210 in the world and #9 in Canada

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8. Ryerson University

Ryerson University (Ryerson or RyeU) is a public research university in Toronto, Ontario, Canada that was established in 1948.

Some of the ranked degree courses in the university include Masters of Science in Data Science and Analytics and Masters of Science (Computer Science). Ryerson appears in the list of designated institutions of higher learning in Canada.

The university offers 62 undergraduate programs and 49 specialized minor programs. The acceptance rate of Ryerson University is 80%.

Ryerson University is ranked #12 in the publication’s “Comprehensive University” category according to the 2021 Maclean’s University Rankings.

According to the University Business Incubator Index, Ryerson is ranked #3 in the world among over 400 incubators in more than 70 countries and #1 in Canada.

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9. York University

York University is a public research university in Toronto, Ontario, Canada that was founded in 1959.

The university offers over 120 undergraduate programs with 17-degree types (BA, iBA, BHS, BSc, iBSc, BBA, iBBA, BEng, BES, BDes, BPA, BFA, BCom, BEd, BDEM, BHRM, BScN, BSW) in its 28 research centers and 11 faculties.

York University has an acceptance rate of 89%, a graduation rate of 82%, and a student-faculty ratio of 1:6.

In the 2021 QS World University Rankings, York University is ranked #531–#540 in the world and #8 in Canada.

York University is ranked #401–#500 in the world and #17–#18 in Canada by the 2021 Times Higher Education World University Rankings. According to the 2021 U.S. News & World Report Best Global University Ranking, York University is ranked #432 in the world and #17 in Canada.

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10. Trent University

Trent University is a public liberal arts university in Peterborough, Ontario that was founded in 1964. The university’s satellite campus in Oshawa serves as the Regional Municipality of Durham.

Trent University offers certificates, degrees, and diploma programs. In addition to this, the university offers thesis-based and course-based master’s programs, apart from Ph.D. and graduate diplomas.

Trent University has an acceptance rate of 33%, a graduation rate of 97%, and a student-faculty ratio of 18:1.

The university is ranked 8th according to the 2021 Maclean’s University Rankings. In the 2016 Center for World University Rankings (CWUR), Trent University was ranked 884th in the world and 29th in Canada.

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Conclusion

Over the years, Canada has continued to be a study destination for students all over the world. All the schools in Canada offer quality education that leads to the award of degrees in various fields of study.

International students that wish to study in Canada should endeavor to check if their choice of institution is designated or not before applying.

Keep in mind that only the institutions that have the Canadian government’s approval (designated institutions) to host international students will offer you admission as an international student and you will be able to obtain a student visa. However, all elementary and secondary schools in Canada are designated.

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