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The Importance of an IB Education in 2019

The Importance of an IB Education in 2019
The Importance of an IB Education in 2019

The International Baccalaureate (IB) is an ever-growing worldwide community of students, educators, and schools, with a shared mission to offer the best possible international education. Grounded in rigorous curricula, IB students encourage deep inquiry and relentless curiosity to develop students to be caring, courageous risk-takers and critical thinkers. Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2018, the IB is now taught to over 1.4 million students at over 5,000 schools in 153 countries.

As stated in our mission, the International Baccalaureate (IB) education inspires young people to become lifelong learners – fostering open and enlightened minds through four programmes of education for all primary and secondary students, aged 3-19. The IB learner profile describes a broad range of human capacities and responsibilities that go beyond academic success – developing internationally minded people who recognize their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet and help to create a better and more peaceful world.

Continually reviewed curricula

The IB continually reviews and innovates its curricula, evolving with the changing demands of information technology, global interconnectivity, higher education, and employment. The new Diploma Programme (DP) mathematics course —' Applications and interpretation '— is a great example of how the IB helps students develop their ability to use mathematics describing our world, whilst modeling and solving practical problems using the power of technology, teaching students skills in a practical, problem solving oriented context – skills that are needed to succeed in today and tomorrow's society .

College readiness

Independent research shows, again and again, that IB students are better prepared for university and are more likely than non-IB graduates to stay enrolled and thrive. In the most recent global research findings on the Diploma Programme (DP), a study from the IB in the United Kingdom showcases that DP students outperform their 'A Level'-peers in terms of enrolling in top universities and achieving ­first- or second-class honours. A different research in this report suggests that students with a Middle Years Programme (MYP) background have an advantage to students who continue on to the DP. Yet another large-scale study in the DP indicates that enrolment in the DP increases the probability that students will graduate from high school and enroll in college.

Preparing students for the 21st century

DP graduates are better prepared than non-IB graduates in 21st century skills such as global mindedness, cultural sensitivity, problem-solving and critical thinking, as a recent study confirms. The skills that are needed to succeed in today and tomorrow's society go beyond traditional academic content and disciplines. The ability of IB students to think and collaborate across countries, cultures and disciplines allows them to approach challenges in ways that truly make a difference, today and in the future. Our 2018 annual review showcases many great examples of the societal impact of an IB education – read about the impact areas here.

Skills that businesses value

IB programmes encourage the type of "soft" skills — such as teamwork, communication, self-motivation, understanding communities and relationships — that employers look for. One component of the DP core is creativity, service and learning (CAS), which helps students undertake new challenges, learn to persevere and develop personal skills.

A study into the Career-related programme (CP) shows that the CP has positive effects on students' personal attitudes, such as professionalism and respect, and helps students to acquire a strong work ethic and collaborative skills.

One associated skill that is highly valued by students is using networking to make career-related connections. Launched in 2012, the CP has been uniquely designed to do just that: it combines the rigour of IB courses with practical learning, promoting both college and career readiness. The CP increases student motivation and provides a depth of knowledge that will be hard to achieve in a classroom setting, as stated in a study on experiences within the CP. Students from the CP explain how this helps them achieve their ambitions, and how they are able to see the link between their academic studies and the rest of the CP – preparing them to live and work in an ever-changing world with rapidly evolving technologies and many complex issues.

Assessing what's important

The organization creates its own, internationally-benchmarked assessment to ensure that students are challenged to think critically, rather than simply being able to recall knowledge – encouraging students to take ownership of their learning, be risk-takers, practice self-management skills, in a safe, learning environment. The IB's approach to assessment is widely recognized and respected: the best universities in the world actively seek out IB students, and the organization always stays true to its core mission—to assess what is important to measure, not what is easy to measure. The curricula are designed to allow teachers to be passionate about their subjects and focus students not only on content, but also on how they think and learn – motivating teachers and reinventing a passion for teaching.

Our four programmes

  • The Primary Years Programme (PYP), for students aged 3 to 12, focuses on the development of the whole child as an inquirer, both in the classroom and in the world outside.
  • The Middle Years Programme (MYP), for students aged 11 to 16, provides a framework of academic challenge that encourages students to embrace and understand the connections between subjects and the world around them, and to become critical and reflective thinkers.
  • The Diploma Programme (DP), for students aged 16 to 19, is an academically challenging and balanced programme of education with internal assessment and final examinations that prepares students for success at university and life beyond.
  • The Career-related Programme (CP) , for students aged 16 to 19, incorporates the educational principles, vision and learner profile of the IB into a unique offering that specifically addresses the needs of students who wish to engage in career-related education. CP students undertake a minimum of two DP courses and a career-related study which supports the programme's academic strength and provides practical, real-world approaches to learning.

Our four IB programmes are currently offered in over 5,000 IB World Schools, in 153 countries and territories — teaching more than 1.4 million students worldwide.

IB programmes are taught at 5,001 schools across the globe with 2,932 schools in the Americas, 1,162 schools in AEM (Africa, Europe and the Middle East) and 907 schools in Asia-Pacific.Of the IB programmes, the PYP is taught at 1,692 schools worldwide (316 in the Americas, 365 in the AEM and 511 in the Asia-Pacific). The MYP is taught at 1,295 schools across three regions (765 in the Americas, 297 in the AEM and 233 in the Asia-Pacific region). The DP counts a total of 3,319 schools worldwide (1,777 in the Americas, 955 in the AEM and 587 in the Asia-Pacific region). Finally, the CP is taught at 218 schools (127 in the Americas, 76 in the AEM and 15 in the Asia-Pacific region).

In 2018, more than 180,000 students received their Diploma Programme and Career-related Programme exam results in the November 2018 examination session. Read more about the IB: https://ibo.org/


The International Baccalaureate does not rank or endorse any individual schools, but is focused on advancing the best quality in international education worldwide.

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