Would-be college students in Quebec must first spend a year at a special postsecondary institution where they decide on a course of study.

Region Overview

Quebec is the largest province in Canada – the size of France, Germany, and Spain combined. It is situated in the country’s southeast. It was a French, then a British, colony before becoming part of the federation of Canada in 1867. The territory is known for its thousands of lakes and diverse terrain, encompassing Arctic tundra, taiga, and boreal forest, vast swaths of which are sparsely populated. Most people live in the temperate-forest region between the cities of Montreal and Québec. About 80 percent of the population speaks French as a first language.


Covering such a huge area the climate of Quebec has wide temperature variations. In the south, where most of the population lives, the weather is continental, with four seasons varying from hot summers (June to August) to cold, snowy winters and lots of rain. The central region has longer colder winters and shorter cooler summers, while the far north experiences a severe Arctic climate with a freezing winter and continuous permafrost. Winter can vary from five months in the south to eight months in the north, averaging between 14° and -13°F (-10°C and -25°C).

Annual rainfall
Monthly average rainfall:  January 84 mm (3.3 inches); April 76 mm (3 inches); July 111 mm (4.3 inches); October 89 mm (3.5 inches).


Canada GDP is $1,300,000,000,000


Canada total population is 33,487,208

Overview of Higher Education

The system of higher education in Quebec differs from that in other Canadian provinces. Postsecondary education begins not at traditional colleges and universities, but at collegiate-level institutions where students choose either a vocational or classically academic course of study. Students leave secondary school a year early, in the 11th grade.
The year at the so-called General and Vocational Colleges means that those pursuing a bachelor’s degree must study only three years instead of four at a traditional college or university in Quebec. A master’s degree requires an additional two years of study, and a doctorate generally requires another three years of study.
Quebec has 19 universities, three of which provide instruction primarily in English. (Instruction is available in both English and French, at all levels.) The University of Québec is essentially a network of nine branches serving some 87,000 students and more than 50 municipalities.
(Sources: The Canadian Encyclopedia; Quebec Ministry of Education, University of Quebec)

Number of Colleges, Universities, Technical Institutes

Number of Colleges, Universities, and Technical Institutes (total): 19

Number of Higher Education Students

Number of students enrolled: 268,011

Number of international students enrolled: 123,901

Contact Information

Ministry of Education, Recreation and Sports

1035, rue De La Chevrotière, Québec, Québec, G1R 5A

Web site: http://www.mels.gouv.qc.ca/

Phone:418 644-0664


Contact:  Michelle Courchesne, Minister of Education Recreation and Sports