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Ontario Secondary School Diploma – number one choice for students – Why

Published Bernice on Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Secondary School Diploma in Canada

Last week we talked about how Canada’s education system compares to other destinations – specifically the UK and USA. This week we would like to talk about Canada and specifically Ontario with the Ontario Secondary School Diploma.

Education in Canada

Canada has 10 provinces and three territories, each responsible for its own education system. Every one of Canada’s provincial education systems outranks the US education system, and five provinces outrank the UK system --- again, this is whole education systems, from Kindergarten to PhD.

When we look strictly at high school, Canada ranks #1, #2, #3, regardless of language, better than Japan, better than Finland, better than 13th ranked UK, better than 24th ranked Australia, better than 31st ranked USA.

Ontario is #1, BC #2, Alberta #3. 

Of important note for international students, Ontario earns top marks and excels at integrating immigrant students and has the smallest gap between the performance of immigrant and non-immigrant students (Conference Board of Canada).  This is particularly significant as Canada is, arguably, the most culturally and ethnically diverse country in the world, and Ontario the largest province in Canada with the greatest diversity.  When one considers that Ontario is the #1 ranked high school education system in the world, regardless of language, in addition to the fact that there is no appreciable difference in educational outcomes between immigrants and non-immigrants, Ontario is truly the best place in the world to get a high school education – particularly for international students.

The Ontario Secondary School Diploma

Let us take a look at the Ontario Secondary School Diploma itself.

The Ontario Secondary School Diploma, or OSSD:

  • Is strictly standardized across the province with some of the most highly trained teachers in the world.
  • It takes four years to complete, grade 9, 10, 11 and 12.
  • The grade 9 and 10 curricula are fairly standard, and the grade 11 and 12 curricula provide a wider degree of choice.
  • All students must pass a grade 12 literacy test and all students must complete a minimum of 40 hours of community involvement.
  • Of the 30 credits required to earn the OSSD, 18 are compulsory and range from English to math, science to geography, history to arts, physical education, technology, a second language, business, humanities, civics and career studies.  This wide range of required courses gives students a broad and thorough education, ensures critical and analytical thought, exposure to literature and the arts, to science, math and technology --- it allows students to explore various academic and career opportunities while providing rigour and structure at a very high and consistent standard.
  • The OSSD is recognized by universities around the world.
  • And as mentioned, there is no difference in the educational outcomes between domestic and international students.

To be continued…..



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