Higher Education in Quebec

Higher education in Quebec differs from the education system of other provinces in Canada. Instead of entering university or college directly from high school, students in Quebec leave secondary school after Grade 11 (or Secondary V), and enter post-secondary studies at the college level, as a prerequisite to university. Although both public colleges (CEGEPs) and private colleges exist, both are colloquially termed CEGEPs. This level of post-secondary education allows students to choose either a vocational path or a more academic path.

Many factors have led to the province's current system of higher education, including linguistic, cultural and class tensions, as well as provincial distribution of natural resources and population. The Quiet Revolution of the 1960s also brought about many changes that are still reflected in the province's higher education system.

The provincial government is responsible for education in Quebec through the Ministry of Education, Recreation and Sport. Higher education in Quebec is available in both English and French at all levels. Unlike at the primary and secondary levels of education, wherein English-language instruction is permitted only under very specific circumstances, all tertiary students can choose to pursue post-secondary studies (in college and university) in English. As of 2011, there are seventeen universities, three of which are English-language institutions. There are 54 CEGEPs in total, in six of which the language of instruction is English.