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High Commission of Canada in the United Kingdom

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

High Commission of Canada in the United Kingdom
Haut-commissariat du Canada au Royaume-Uni (French)
Canada House.jpg
LocationLondon, England
AddressTrafalgar Square
High CommissionerJanice Charette
WebsiteOfficial website

The High Commission of Canada in the United Kingdom (French: Haut-commissariat du Canada au Royaume-Uni) is the diplomatic mission of Canada to the United Kingdom.[1] Until mid-December 2014, it was housed in two separate buildings in central LondonCanada House on Trafalgar Square and Macdonald House in Mayfair – with an additional Regional Service Centre at 3 Furzeground Way, Stockley Park, Uxbridge.[1] Additionally, the Government of Quebec maintains a representative office at 59 Pall Mall.[1]

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  • ✪ Studying for a degree in Canada: High Commission of Canada
  • ✪ UK Embassy Office at Jallandhar.
  • ✪ Attending a Non-immigrant Visa Interview at the U.S. Embassy
  • ✪ embassy interview questions


So welcome everybody, thank you very much for coming and listening to me chat, and thank you for sitting in the front row, people don't always sit in the front row. It's actually the first time that I've ever done this and the back rows are empty, so that's very promising I hope. I hope it's worthwhile for you. My name is Alison Goodings and I'm the Trade Commisioner for Education for the Canadian High Commision, which is based in London. I'd like to thank you all for being here today. I hope you leave here being a bit excited about the opportunities for studying in Canada. Canada has identified education as a priority, we've invested a lot of money into our education system and we're very keen to attract students like you and students from around the world to come and study and experience it for themselves. So has anybody here been to Canada before? Oh that's quite a few. Now not those people, everybody else, when I tell you I'm from Canada, what do you think of? What are some of the things that pop into your head? Snow, maple syrup, yeah. Okay that's good. So if you've never been to Canada your first thoughts may be snow and ice hockey and our Mounties- the famous Royal Canadian Mounted Police. And while we do have a lot of snow at certain times of the year and we do love hockey, I have to tell you except in zoos, the polar bears pretty much stick to the north, and most of us don't use dog sleds anymore. So while people's stereotypes about Canada are largely true- we do love hockey, you can find world class skiing or go kayaking or canoeing sometimes 20 minutes from major cities, we also have multicultural and modern cities. You can find ethnic communities for great food or shopping, you can learn to speak another language like French, you can go to a world class museum or art gallery, and find vibrant nightlife. Now Canadians are very proud of our famous people around the world, and here are just a few of them. Some of them you may know already, others include the famous architect Frank Gehry who built the Guggenheim Museum, he is Canadian; film director James Cameron is Canadian; the new Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney is from the Northwest Territories; and just last month actually Canadian author Alice Monroe won the Nobel Prize for Literature, she is the first Canadian to ever win this award and only the 13th woman to do so and she joins the company of very famous and renowned writers like Ernest Hemingway and Rudyard Kipling; and of interest maybe to some of you, Justin Bieber is also Canadian, but if not then don't hold that against us. Ok, of course as many of you know, what Canada has is space. Just to give you an idea of how big Canada is, you can fit the UK into Canada 48 times, but I did a little bit of research and you can fit Jersey into Canada 83,548 times, if that's a better reference point for you. Our entire population is 34 million and that means each of us has quite a lot of elbow room. To compare, the city of London has 9 million people living in it and that represents more than a quarter of Canada's total population. One of the things people are becoming increasingly aware of is how stable and strong the Canadian economy is. Canada is a great place to do business, it's a great place to work, but it's also a great place to study. So at the beginning of these slides I mentioned that education is a priority in Canada. Globally Canada is the third largest investor in our postsecondary education system after Switzerland and the United States. So why does that matter? Well it means that the quality of education in Canada is top notch and that Canadian academic credentials are valued worldwide. Now you may have noticed that I'm using the term 'postsecondary education system' and when I say that I'm referring to 'universities and colleges and institutes that can confer degrees or diplomas'. In Canada sometimes we speak of schools and we use that term a little bit more broadly I think than is done in other parts of the world. When I say school I am also referring to universities, colleges, as well as elementary schools, so we do use that word quite liberally. Business, MBA schools, those would be universities that have MBA programs. So let's talk about universities. Within Canada there are more than 100 postsecondary institutions offering more than 10,000 undergraduate and postgraduate programs, so there's a lot of options. These programs range from Biotechnology and Business, Computer Science, Liberal Arts, Media Studies, Nursing, Engineering, Agriculture, Performing Arts, and often students can combine 2 or 3 interests into a single degree. To give a few examples of what Canada has to offer, if you're interested in business or economics, there are 10 Canadian universities that were ranked in the top 100 schools for their Business and Economics program by the 2012 Academic Rankings of World Universities. QS World University Rankings ranked 4 Canadian universities in their top 100 schools for Computer Science. Life Sciences and Biotechnology has a lot of universities that are quite well thought of. Four Canadian universities in the top 50 for Psychology, 3 in the top list for Medicine, and 4 in the top list for Pharmacy and Pharmacology. One of the other interesting things about many post secondary education institutions in Canada is that they work with businesses to provide what are called Co-operative Education Placements, or Co-op Placements, and that's something that is very popular in Canada and in the U.S. as well. Co-operative Education is where a student can get job experience relevant to their field of study, while they're enrolled in their studies. It counts as credit towards their degree, but it also is usually paid for. So imagine if you were a student studying Kinesiology, you could have an opportunity to spend a semester working for a sports medicine clinic and you could work with top athletes, and you could take what you're learning and apply it right away, right from first year. It's not something that's offered just in the last few years of study. In fact some universities that specialise in Co-Operative Education Programs will offer a term per year, so you'll actually work four terms over a four year degree. And making a bit of money on the side is also a nice benefit. Just like in the U.K. and in lots of other places, Canadian universities offer three levels of degrees: Bachelor's, Master's, and Doctorates. Students at the bachelor level are known as undergraduates, and similar to the U.S. our bachelor degrees are 3-4 years of full-time study, it depends on the province you're studying in and whether the program is general or specialised. Some honours programs may require an additional year of study. And also just to let you know at this point that while I represent the country and the Government of Canada, education is not the responsibility of the National Government, rather the 10 provinces and 3 territories are responsible for setting and overseeing the framework under which the institutions operate. And that also will influence tuition, so then when you see a range of tuition costs from province to province, that's also the reason for that. Now Canada is a world leader in postsecondary research. We outpace many other G7 countries on higher education investment. In fact, more than a 1/3 of all research that is conducted in Canada happens in our universities. Canadian universities are doing highly innovative research in fields like Health, Biotechnology, High-performance Computing, Nutraceuticals, Renewable Fuels. Most often the research is done in universities in collaboration with Governments, business, local communities, and non-government organisations, which means that Canadian universities are key contributors, not just to research, but also to development and innovation. And some innovative technologies that you may have heard of that have come out of Canadian universities include IMAX film, SmartBoards, flatscreen technology, and Blackberry. Now in Canada we also have colleges which are similar in nature to further education institutes. Colleges offer a wide range of educational programs, usually in technical and professional fields such as Business, Agriculture, Health, Social Services, Broadcasting Journalism, Hospitality, Design Technology, I could go on. There's quite a broad range. Colleges work very closely with business and industry and they want to ensure that their programs are relevant to the changing work place and the needs of employers. College campuses are found in a thousand communities across Canada. On average 90% of college graduates obtain employment within 6 months of graduation, and approximately 20% of college learners have university degrees already and have come to college to find some practical learning to lead to a job. Colleges tend to offer 2 and 3 year diplomas to trained technicians, technologists, and service providers. Some people feel that this is a level of education that's neglected in many countries. In Canada we have about 8 technicians for every 1 engineer. In many countries it's the reverse. Some feel that we're too heavily focused on only the university route and that a technical education either on its own or in combination with the university degree is another way forward. Colleges and technical institutions in Canada offer programs like Food and Beverage Management, Hotel Restaurant Management, Culinary programs. They also offer applied degrees, so an applied degree is like a bachelor degree but it's got an applied focus such as a bachelor of Applied Technology in Industrial Design, a bachelor of Applied Business and E-commerce. Colleges also offer postgraduate diplomas for people who have university degrees or college diplomas already that are looking to add another level to their skills and their education. These programs are much more specialised and they tend to focus on the current industry and what practices are leading to high employment of graduates. A fairly new offering in Canada is joint university college diplomas and degrees. So these would be a two year program where you would be in college for two years and at university for two years after that, and you would graduate with both a diploma and a degree that would be combined. It's a fairly new offering. The advantages for students are that classes are much smaller in the beginning so you're going to have a lot more support, they're more applied and they're more practical with opportunities for placements, and in general they would have a lower cost than just university alone. So what do you need to know in order to apply? Well we recommend that you apply early, at least 8 months before the term starts. The school year in Canada typically runs from September until April. We don't have a very long break at Christmas, but we do have much longer summer break, approximately four months. And many universities in Canada will also have a January and an April intake, so if are looking to start your studies at a different time of the year there are opportunities for that. You'll need to provide your complete academic transcripts, including predicted grades. You'll be applying directly to the university and the programs that you're interested in. In some cases you can also apply to a general faculty, if you weren't sure exactly what program you wanted. You could apply to the Social Sciences or Arts faculties and you could then specialise what you want to study in your second year. There is no centralised admission process like UCAS. Admissions are based generally on academic merit, more competitive programs may require prerequisite courses or a minimum grade average. Some programs like Dance and Fine Arts will require a portfolio or an audition. But generally speaking admission is based on academic merits, so they're looking at your A-Levels, your predicted A-Level grades, and unlike the United States there is no standardised testing in Canada for undergraduate admission, so there are no SATs required. From an immigration side, if you're studying a course that's longer than 6 months you're going to need a Study Permit. A Study Permit, the application process is fairly simple, you can do it online or you can do it on paper. It costs $150, so just under £100 to apply, and you're going to need proof of acceptance, you can't apply for a Study Permit until you have a spot at an institution- you have to have that letter saying that they want you to come. You're going to need proof of identity; you're going to need proof of financial support, usually that's the form of bank statements from yourself or your family, whoever is going to help support you; and there will be a letter of explanation. There is the Citizenship and Immigration website as listed at the bottom of that slide, and I do also have some information on the stand on Study Permits if you had any other questions. So you can get a lot more information from our website. We've got this great tool on the website where if you have an idea what you want to study or where you want to study, but you don't really now all the other pieces, you can put that into the Step 1 section there. Say you knew your program it'll give you all the universities and colleges in Canada that offer that program. Say you really wanted to move to a particular city because you really want to go skiing a lot, so you're going to move to Vancouver because you can do that, you can put Vancouver in and you can see what universities are in that area and what they're offering, and then the second step will help you calculate your costs. So you need to be looking not just at your tuition fees, which is obviously important, but also things like books, accommodations, public transit- how much does it cost to take the bus? Things like that are important to have a look at, and then the third step will help you with the Study Permits. So lets compare costs. That's a big question. On an international scale, Canada offers a consistent quality education, at a reasonable cost compared to a lot of top international destinations. Tuitions fees are going to range, for international students, depending on the institution, the program your studying, as well as the province and territory, but according to Statistics Canada last year, on average tuition fees paid by international undergraduate was £11,650. So that was for 2012/2013, and this slide was from 2011 actually, but still within the range so still fairly accurate. This particular slide is looking at a cross sample of programs from universities across Canada, and the universities that they looked at in Canada were McGill, University of Montreal, University of Alberta, University of British Columbia, and University of Toronto. And just to compare the UK sample was the University of Manchester, Nottingham, Warwick, Middlesex, and Oxford. So when you take the cost of living into consideration as well, Canada becomes an even more attractive option. Canada's largest and most expensive cities are relatively more affordable than many other major cities around the world. The cost of living in smaller Canadian cities and towns, where there are many quality schools is also very affordable. When comparing to the U.S., depending on the program you're studying obviously and the location where it's being offered, the total cost savings to study in Canada can be more than half. So how are you going to fund your studies. Well, there's obviously personal and family funds as one option, and hopefully as we all hope to have the support of our families to pay for our studies. Government loans is another option, or I should say grants as well because there is a grant system in Jersey for that. The Canadian Government does not offer loan programs to international students, in fact Canada is a nation of students that are largely paying for their own education and funding that through bank loans. The loan program in Canada is very small and it's means tested. Bank loans again, that would be something that you would have to look at getting here before you go. There are some universities that are starting to work with Canadian banks to offer international student loans, but those tend to be MBA programs, which are very expensive, and it's only just beginning. So that's another opportunity which hopefully will expand. And then there's money to be found within the universities themselves, there's jobs on campus- usually a lot of universities will put aside jobs on campus for international students. Assistantships, you can work with a professor and do research. If you have a particular expertise in something you might be able to be a teaching assistant as well, those are opportunities later on in your degree. External funding sources, jobs off campus, lots of opportunities for that, and again like I mentioned the Co-operative Education Program- if you're doing one of those programs there's money in that. And then of course there's always scholarships. Now scholarships for international students are typically available from the institutions individually, and continuing scholarships that will go through your whole degree are highly competitive, they would consider academic merit, extra-curricular involvement, and your financial situation. In some instances students are automatically assessed for scholarships as part of your application process, so you could get your letter of offer and it can come with some money attached to it in some cases if your grades are high, which is very good. There may be other scholarships that are available throughout your studies, scholarships for second and third year students that are based on academic performance. The larger scholarships are obviously going to be very competitive, they'll usually require a separate application, they'll look for some references, they'll want to see what kind of extra-curricular activities that you're doing. Unlike the United States, Canadian universities do not offer a lot of athletic entrance scholarships, so if that's something that you're thinking specifically of, there are some opportunities but not as many as there are in the U.S. And we've got a great website as well for scholarships, and you can go in there and say where you're from and where you're going and it'll help you figure out what kind of options there are. Now you can also work while your studying in Canada. Typically both on and off-campus. Most full-time international students do not need a permit to work on campus, but if you want to work off-campus, obviously it would depend on your program of study and which university you're at, they may have some specific rules that do allow you to work, but generally speaking most university programs will allow you to do that, and an off-campus work permit is something you can apply for after you've completed a term, your grades are okay, you're still going to classes, and you can apply for that. And that off-campus work permit would be valid for the rest of your degree. After students graduate there are opportunities to stay and work in Canada, many students will be eligible for an up to 3 year work permit. It's an open work permit and this means that after graduation if you'd like to stay and work for a little bit and get some valued international work experience to go with your international degree, you have that opportunity. Because it's an open work permit you don't have to have a job offering in order to apply for it, it's not linked to what you've studied, and you don't need an employer to sponsor you in any kind of way, it's an open work permit. It's up to three years, the work permit will be no longer than the length of study. So if you went for a two year degree you would qualify for a two year work permit, if you did a one year program, one year, if you did a four year program, only three, so it's only up to three years. So a word or two about campus life. Canadian university campuses have wired libraries, they have Olympic quality sports facilities, they have public concert halls and art galleries. They offer a great possibility for students to combine learning and leisure. There are many services and support offered to international students to make them feel welcome and help them settle in. Right now there are 265,000 international students in Canada that are being supported by orientation programs, international student advisors, study skill programs, disability support, careers counseling, and student associations. Housing is generally available on most campuses and if not assistance is always provided to help students find it off campus. Canadians like most everywhere else like to play and watch sports, while hockey does tend to dominate some of our culture, we're in to the same sports that you are here as well, although sometimes we just call them by different names, soccer instead of football. And many universities will have there own leagues so you can play sports while you are there as well. We encourage students and parents to really broaden the search to include universities and colleges you may not have heard about. Given that there's quite a standard of excellence across the country, the choice should be about finding the right place for the individual student, the right program, the right campus, the right city, the right lifestyle, rather than only considering places you may have heard of through the media or friends. So we encourage you to focus on the best place for individual success. This is our website, there is lots of information on it. Everything that I've said and more detail is on the website, there's also a tool to help you find schools offering the programs you're looking at, and the tools that help you figure out costs and Study Permits and Work Permits, there are also student testimonials which are lot of people find quite helpful. So thank you very much for your interest, I'm going to be at the table out there for the rest of the evening. If you have any questions I'm happy to try and answer them and if I can't answer them tonight I'm happy to get your details and get back in touch with you and answer them after. Thank you.



The Canadian high commission in London is Canada's oldest diplomatic posting, having been established in 1880. Canada House, in Trafalgar Square, became the site of the mission in 1923. In 1962, Canada also acquired the former American Embassy at 1, Grosvenor Square in London's Mayfair district, and it was renamed Macdonald House. Macdonald House was the official residence of the Canadian High Commissioner until the building was vacated in mid-December 2014, after having been sold for redevelopment.

Canada's presence in London goes back to 1869, when Sir John Rose, 1st Baronet was appointed as Canada's informal representative in Britain. This was the first Canadian diplomatic posting and the first from any British colony to the motherland. Since Canada did not have a foreign ministry, Rose acted as the personal representative of Canada's prime minister, Sir John A. Macdonald. Rose's position was retained despite a change of government in Canada, and his position was given the title "Financial Commissioner for the Dominion of Canada". Additionally, in 1874, the government of Prime Minister Alexander Mackenzie named Edward Jenkins as Canada's Agent-General in London. Jenkins, a British Liberal Party Member of Parliament in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom, had grown up in Quebec. His duties in that role were clarified to the House of Commons of Canada in May 1874 by Canadian Prime Minister Alexander Mackenzie, who said that Jenkins would have surveillance of the Canadian emigration business in London and occasionally be asked to attend to other business of a confidential nature.[2] In addition, he would be "expected to give some little attention to Canadian gentlemen sojourning in London".[2] Jenkins held the post for two years.[3] Mackenzie then appointed former Nova Scotia premier William Annand as agent general in 1876; he held the position until Mackenzie's government was defeated.[4]

When Macdonald returned to power in 1878, he wanted to elevate the office of Financial Commissioner to "resident minister", but this was disallowed by Britain, who offered the title of high commissioner instead. This was the origin of the practice, which continues to this day, whereby members of the Commonwealth send high commissioners rather than ambassadors to each other.

The first official high commissioner was Alexander Tilloch Galt, appointed in 1880. The office remained the most important in Canadian diplomacy and was always filled by political appointees rather than career diplomats, even after Canada created a Ministry of External Affairs in 1909.

As the high commission's role grew, it needed to expand its facilities, and on 29 June 1925, King George V and Queen Mary officiated at the dedication of Canada House on Trafalgar Square. The mission's needs continued to expand, however, and Canada acquired the former American embassy on Grosvenor Square, renaming it Macdonald House, in honour of Canada's first prime minister. Macdonald House opened on Canada Day (1 July) in 1961.

Evening photo of High Commission
Evening photo of High Commission

Canada House was refurbished in 1997–98. After years of operating from two buildings, in mid-December 2014, all of the activities of the High Commission were regrouped in the expanded and fully refurbished Canada House on Trafalgar Square. In order to expand the historic Canada House, the Government of Canada had purchased the adjoining building at 2-3-4 Cockspur Street, originally built as the British head office of the Sunlife Assurance Company of Canada in 1927. It is remarkable that the Sunlife building had been built to match the architecture of Canada House. For that reason, it does look, from the outside, as if the building was built from the start as an extension of Canada House, although this is not the case. The historic Canada House and the former Sunlife head office now form a very coherent ensemble.[citation needed]

List of Canadian high commissioners in the United Kingdom

Representative of the prime minister/
Financial commissioner of the Dominion of Canada
Start of term End of term
Sir John Rose, 1st Baronet 1869 1880
Agent-General Start of term End of term
Edward Jenkins 1874 1876
William Annand 1876 1878
High Commissioner Start of term End of term
The Hon. Sir Alexander Tilloch Galt 1880 1883
The Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Tupper 1883 1896
The Rt. Hon. Donald Alexander Smith, 1st Baron Strathcona and Mount Royal 1896 1914
The Rt. Hon. Sir George Perley 1914 1922
The Hon. Peter C. Larkin 1922 1930
Lucien Turcotte Pacaud (acting) 1930 1930
The Hon. Howard Ferguson 1930 1935
The Rt. Hon. Vincent Massey 1935 1946
Norman Robertson 1946 1949
L. Dana Wilgress 1949 1952
Norman Robertson (second time) 1952 1957
The Hon. George Drew 1957 1964
The Hon. Lionel Chevrier 1964 1967
Charles Ritchie 1967 1971
Jake Warren 1971 1974
The Rt. Hon. Paul Martin Sr. 1974 1979
Jean Casselman Wadds 1979 1983
The Hon. Donald Jamieson 1983 1985
The Hon. Roy McMurtry 1985 1988
The Hon. Donald Stovel Macdonald 1988 1991
Fredrik S. Eaton 1991 1994
The Hon. Royce Frith 1994 1996
The Hon. Roy MacLaren 1996 2000
Jeremy Kinsman 2000 2002
Mel Cappe 2002 2006
James R. Wright 2006 2011
Gordon Campbell 2011 2016
Janice Charette 2016
Interior view of the British Columbia Room, Canada House
Interior view of the British Columbia Room, Canada House


See also


  • "Canadian Heads of Posts Abroad from 1880". Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. Archived from the original on 14 April 2014.
  1. ^ a b c "The London Diplomatic List" (PDF). 13 December 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on 11 December 2013.
  2. ^ a b "The Canadian Parliament". The Times. London. 26 May 1874. pp. 4, col C.
  3. ^ "John Edward Jenkins". The Quebec History Encyclopedia. Retrieved 4 December 2010.
  4. ^ "Biography – ANNAND, WILLIAM – Volume XI (1881-1890) – Dictionary of Canadian Biography".

External links

This page was last edited on 20 September 2019, at 06:11
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