IN Malaysia, the UK is the most popular destination for students to further their studies, followed by Australia. In its multi-destination strategy, IDP Education Limited has decided that besides continuing to focus on these destinations, the company will also focus on destinations such as US, New Zealand and the latest addition, Canada. "Canada has come up as a new destination for a few reasons. The country has a great environment and is a very welcoming country in terms of academic students as well as migration. It has some wonderful universities where students can look forward to a bright future," said IDP Education Limited Country Director, Ajay Rao. "It may not be a very popular destination for Malaysian students compared to UK or Australia, but it is a destination for the future". Canada has one of the most employable education systems, not forgetting that they are also very research focused. Some of the top research universities are located in Canada, and they have a few highly ranked universities, easily in the top 50 and top 100 in the world. Students get two ends of the spectrum to suit a wide range as not all students are academically inclined, while some want more practical courses. "The education structure in Canada is a little different from the others where they offer four-year degrees, unlike UK which has three-year honours degrees. Also, UK degrees are more specialised compared to Canada which are broader, however students are encouraged to take as many electives as possible from the core subjects," said Jayanthi Thevarajah, IDP Education Limited, Destination Head – UK (Malaysia, Indonesia and South Korea) & New Zealand and Canada (Malaysia). "It also helps that the fees are affordable, ranging between CAD14,000 and CAD30,000 (approximately between RM45,222 and RM96,904) a year. Living costs in Canada averages around CAD15,000 (approximately RM48,444) a year, depending where you are. It is fairly affordable if you work out the maths for four years," she added. Students who are interested to further their studies in Canada can do a Canadian Pre-University qualification after their SPM, which is offered in a few private colleges, or alternatively, they can get admission into a Canadian institution if they did A Levels, which is quite a universal pre-university programme. IDP has its own client relations team in Canada who liaise with the institutions out there. Some of the universities they are working with include University of Alberta, Queen's University, and Carleton University which has many Malaysian students. Also, the University of Guelph has the top veterinarian science course in the world, while the Emily Car University of Art and Design is one of the top universities in the world just for art and design. "Our complete partner list at the moment is about 50 partners, but this list will expand to include the others," Jayanthi said. Canada institutions have two intakes a year in January and August, and their application deadline is quite early where they will be closing by March. However, some universities will extend their application deadlines until May or June. Also, Canada universities are different in that most of them will have an application fee, and they will take between four and six weeks to turnaround the application. In terms of visa application, there is a local visa agency in Malaysia and IDP offers support to the students by helping them with their application from how to fill up the application to what documents they need to submit. Student visa takes a longer time to process, and will take between four to seven weeks. "I think Malaysians are now looking at being globally employable, and Canada welcomes its graduates to stay on and work. Students are not necessarily looking to migrate, but they just want the opportunity to work in another country and come back with that added experience. This is particularly appealing which is not so obvious in other countries," Jayanthi said. "Our aim is very ambitious. Currently for Malaysia, our long term plan is to have 600 students going yearly to Canada. We are aware that we launched in April and we may not start big this year, but I think we need to go through the motions of learning and gearing up for next year," she added.