Postsecondary education in Manitoba

Postsecondary education in Manitoba is delivered primarily through eight public institutions and four religious institutions, all of which have degree granting authority, with the exception of the Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology (MITT). All 12 post-secondary institutions are English-language institutions except for the Université de Saint-Boniface which is a French-language institution.

Most of the province's postsecondary institutions are situated in the provincial capital of Winnipeg. This includes: the University of Manitoba, Université de Saint-Boniface, the University of Winnipeg; Red River College, Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology (MITT), and École technique et professionnelle.

Brandon University and Assiniboine Community College are located in Brandon, an urban community located in southwestern Manitoba. Assiniboine operates a satellite campus in Dauphin and regional centres in Russell, Neepawa and Swan River. Assiniboine Community College and Brandon University offer select programs in Winnipeg, mainly focused on the health professions.

Red River College operates five regional campuses in the Interlake, Portage-la-Prairie, Steinbach, and Winkler communities. Through the Eastman Education Centre in Steinbach, several institutions offer a variety of courses.  

The University College of the North (UCN) is located in the northern communities of The Pas and Thompson, and also operates regional centres in 12 communities across northern Manitoba: including Churchill, Flin Flon and Swan River (public access centres), as well as in nine First Nations reserve communities. UCN offers college and university-level programming.

Private, degree-granting religious institutions are located primary in southern Manitoba. Canadian Mennonite University and Booth University College are located in Winnipeg. Providence University College and Steinbach Bible College are respectively located in the rural communities of Otterburne and Steinbach.

Postsecondary education in Manitoba is the responsibility of the Minister of Education and Training. The Department of Education and Training approves new programs, allocates funds to the institutions, approves college budgets and ensures that the education system is well coordinated to serve the needs of Manitobans and the labour market.

The four private, degree-granting religious institutions receive an annual grant in support of their operations, but at a lower amount than the public institutions. The Department of Education and Training has a proportionately lesser role in the operations of these institutions.

Postsecondary education in Manitoba traces its history to a number of religious denominational colleges founded in the nineteenth century, beginning in 1818. In 1877, three of these colleges — Saint Boniface, St. John's, and Manitoba College — were brought together by government as constituent parts of the University of Manitoba. The colleges continued to offer instruction, while the University of Manitoba performed the examinations for and granting of degrees. In 1900, an Act of the provincial legislature changed the university's statute to permit it to offer instruction. Also historically religious institutions, the University of Winnipeg was founded in 1877, followed by Brandon University in 1898.

Manitoba's community college system grew out of three vocational institutions — the Brandon Vocational Training Centre, the Northern Manitoba Training Centre, and the Manitoba Institute of Technology. Respectively, these became Assiniboine, Keewatin, and Red River Community Colleges. Along with École technique et professionnelle, the three English-language colleges provide vocational and technical training across the province. Red River Community College has since changed its name to Red River College, and in July 2004, University College of the North assumed the operations of Keewatin Community College, while also expanding programming to include university education in northern Manitoba. In 2011, Collège universitaire de Saint-Boniface became the Université de Saint-Boniface (USB). In 2014, the Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology (formerly a public regional vocational school known as Winnipeg Technical College) was established as a separate institution through passage of the Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology Act.

Programs and credentials offered by degree-granting institutions

The University of Manitoba offers a broad range of undergraduate (bachelor), graduate (master and doctoral), and professional degree programs in more than 90 disciplines. The University of Winnipeg, Brandon University and Université de Saint-Boniface (USB) maintain a strong focus on undergraduate education, while offering limited numbers of master level programs in specialized areas. University College of the North offers a variety of certificate, diploma and undergraduate degree programs, but not graduate programming.

In addition to degree programs, Manitoba universities offer a variety of other credentials, including at the certificate and diploma levels.

The University of Winnipeg and St. John's College at the University of Manitoba also offer courses in theology and divinity through a theological consortium that includes several institutions across Manitoba. 

Manitoba post-secondary education institutions offer a variety of online programming in addition to their on-campus offerings. All institutions post online program offerings on a common Web site called This Web site allows students to browse all online programming offered by Manitoba's public post-secondary institutions in order to select the programming that fits their educational goals. In order to meet the needs of Manitoba's northern student population, the four public degree-granting universities

Programs and credentials offered by colleges and institutes

Assiniboine Community College, Red River College and the University College of the North offer a broad range of certificate and diploma programs, as well as apprenticeship, adult education, and a variety of professional and technical courses. École technique et professionnelle offers similar certificate and diploma programming, but in French. Additionally, Red River College offers two baccalaureate degrees in construction management and nursing respectively. A variety of integrated programs are also provided jointly between colleges and universities.

Finally, the Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology (MITT) offers a unique hybrid learning environment by providing technical career education opportunities to both high school students as well as postsecondary learners.

Programs and credentials offered by the International College of Manitoba (ICM)


Established in 2008, ICM is a private institution that serves as a pathway for first year undergraduate international students who seek admission to degree programs at the University of Manitoba (UM). ICM students receive a completion certificate and typically transfer credits for all UM equivalent university courses once they have been granted full admission to the UM. In order to be granted entry to the UM following the completion of ICM courses, program graduates must meet the regular admission requirements established by the UM.

Programs and credentials offered by Private Vocational Institutions


 Private Vocational Institutions are establishments that offer employment training in a wide range of technical and occupational fields. Unlike public institutions, Private Vocational Institutions are not eligible for direct financial support from government as they are typically privately owned and operate as for-profit businesses.

Credentials offered by Private Vocational Institutions operating under The Private Vocational Institute Act in Manitoba are limited to one and two year certificates and diplomas in vocational programming. Each of the occupations included in the National Occupational Classification (NOC) Index of Titles is designated as a vocation for the purpose of The Private Vocational Institutions Act, except those exempted by regulation.

The Province of Manitoba regulates Private Vocational Institutions under the authority of The Private Vocational Institutions Act. The Act is designed to provide a degree of consumer protection for students attending registered Private Vocational Institutions by maintaining an insurance fund for registered students and by ensuring programs provide the skills and knowledge required to gain entry-level employment in their chosen field of instruction.


Apprenticeship is one of the longest-established methods of skill development and training. In Manitoba's apprenticeship training and certification model, an employer and an employee and Apprenticeship Manitoba enter into a formal training agreement in which they agree to participate in a structured, workplace-based and technical skills training program that can ultimately lead to journeyperson certification for the apprentice

Through apprenticeship training, employees acquire relevant skills and knowledge while earning a wage, and employers gain highly skilled employees.

It is an industry-driven training system. The Apprenticeship and Certification Act establishes an Apprenticeship and Certification Board (the Board). The 14-member Board is appointed by the Minister of Education and Training to represent the interests of employees, employers and the public. The Board designates trades for apprenticeship training and trades certification. For each designated trade, the Board establishes the training standards and journeyperson certification requirements, and-with the approval of the Minister-establishes the regulatory framework through which apprenticeship training programs are delivered.

The Board appoints industry representatives to Provincial Advisory Committees (PACs) to provide trade-specific advice on training and certification standards, and regulation content for each trade.

Apprenticeship Manitoba (“the Branch”) coordinates and facilitates the Board's regulation and training standards development and provides other technical, administrative and financial support to the Board and the PACs.

Operationally, the Branch administers and monitors apprenticeship training and administers certification examinations. Branch staff also oversee the network of training support programs, accreditation of pre-employment programs, community-based training partnerships with rural, northern and Aboriginal communities, essential skills assessment and upgrading, prior learning assessment and recognition programs, certification examination preparation, and support the communication and marketing of career opportunities in the skilled trades.

To become an apprentice, a person must meet basic academic eligibility standards (normally, high school standing or equivalent) and have a sponsoring employer. Persons who do not meet minimum academic standards may be able to access upgrading or prior learning assessment options in order to enter into an apprenticeship.

An employer and an employee sign an apprenticeship agreement. This agreement outlines each party's roles and responsibilities. This agreement takes effect when registered with Apprenticeship Manitoba. With an agreement in place, the apprentice learns the skills in his or her chosen trade by working under a certified journeyperson. The apprentice is paid a wage, which is set out in regulation, for the work performed.

Approximately 80 per cent of the apprentice's training occurs on the job by a skilled journeyperson who oversees and mentors the apprentices. The other 20 per cent is technical training, taken once per year in a block of time (an average of 8-12 weeks) away from the workplace. Apprenticeship Manitoba arranges for the delivery and funding of the technical (in-school) aspect of apprentices' training. Once the apprentice has successfully completed all required levels of technical training and practical on-the-job training they are eligible to write a certification examination. If successful, the apprentice receives a Certificate of Qualification and becomes a certified journeyperson in the trade.

Manitoba is a member of the pan-Canadian Interprovincial Standards Red Seal Program. For trades designated under the Red Seal Program, the Manitoba Certificate of Qualification bears the Red Seal endorsement. The Red Seal program is a pan-Canadian Interprovincial standard, which is recognized across all Canadian jurisdictions. The holder of a Certificate of Qualification that bears a Red Seal endorsement may work in that trade anywhere in the country without being required to undergo additional training or assessment.

There are nine compulsory certification trades in Manitoba. All persons who wish to work in a compulsory certification trade must apprentice to become eligible to write the certification examination. The compulsory certification trades are: Construction Electrician, Crane and Hoisting Equipment Operator, Electrologist, Esthetician, Hairstylist, Industrial Electrician, Refrigeration and Air conditioning Mechanic, Sprinkler System Installer, and Steamfitter/Pipefitter.  

It may not be necessary to apprentice in a trade if a person can show that he or she has significant previous experience working in that trade. In this situation, if a person can demonstrate sufficient scope and experience in the trade, it may challenge the examination and, if successful, acquire a Certificate of Qualifications in the trade (including a Red Seal, if applicable). This examination-only process is called Trades Qualification.

University and college admission requirements vary from program to program. In general, direct entry to each institution often requires proof of successful high school completion, with some programs further requiring specific high school courses and/or prospective students having met specific academic achievement requirements. Certain programs also require the successful completion of admissions/entrance qualification examinations, work /professional experience and/or other explicit requirements. Institutions may also establish special admissions provisions for persons who continue to be enrolled in secondary school (who are often less than 18 years of age), as well as for mature applicants (persons who are at least 21 years of age) who do not meet direct entrance requirements.

All persons interested in applying to postsecondary programs or institutions in Manitoba are encouraged to consult with an appropriate  institutional admissions officer or academic counsellor concerning the program to which they wish to apply. Prospective students are encouraged to refer to the institution's course calendar for specific admission and programmatic information.

Tuition fees at Manitoba colleges and universities are among the lowest in Canada for both domestic and international students. Each institution charges slightly different rates depending on the program of study. As in other jurisdictions, Manitoba institutions typically charge international students a differential fee to study at their institution. Institutions should be contacted directly for more information regarding specific fees

Manitoba residents may be eligible to receive student financial assistance through the Manitoba Student Aid Program. The student aid program offers a variety of loans, scholarships, and bursaries to students who meet the program requirements. Additionally, Manitoba colleges and universities offer a variety of scholarships and awards to qualifying and/or eligible students. External scholarships and grants may also be available depending upon the institution and/or program in which a student is enrolled.

All prospective students in need of financial support are encouraged to consult with an appropriate admissions officer or academic counsellor at their institution of choice to discuss available financial support.



Comprehensive review of this information: January  2019