What You Need to Know About the International Baccalaureate

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Interested in learning about the International Baccalaureate? Here’s everything you need to know.


The International Baccalaureate (IB) offers an education for students from age 3 to 19, comprising of four programmes that focus on teaching students to think critically and independently, and how to inquire with care and logic. The IB currently engages with more than 1.4 million students in over 4,962 schools across 153 countries.



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The History of the IB

The International Baccalaureate (IB) was founded in Geneva, Switzerland in 1968 by a group of innovative educators, which saw a need for an international approach to education which would equip young people with the skills, values and knowledge necessary to build a more peaceful future.


Their challenge – to create an education which was academically rigorous, with a school leaving qualification which was accepted by the best universities around the world. Combining their collective skills, experience and expertise in all areas of education, they created the IB.


From this strong foundation, educators have continued to develop and co-create the education for 50 years – and today, it is just as true to its founding ethos and values of education for a better world.



What Does the IB Offer?

The IB offers four programmes as part of a continuum of international education.


In order to teach IB programmes, schools must be authorized. Every school authorized to offer IB programmes is known as an IB World School.



1. Primary Years Programme:


For ages 3 – 12. The focus is on the development of the whole child.

2. Middle Years Programme:


For ages 11 – 16. It encourages students to make connections between themselves and the world around them.

3. Diploma Programme:


For ages 16 – 19. It aims to develop students who have excellent breadth and depth of knowledge.

4. Career-related Programme:


For ages 16 – 19. It addresses the needs of students engaged in career-related education.

What Are the Benefits of an IB Education?

For Students


The benefits of the IB programmes for students are countless. To name a few, students will think independently and be their own masters in learning, be part of an education that can lead to some of the highest-ranking universities around the world, learn a second language, become culturally conscious, and learn to engage respectfully with people internationally. Moreover, they are also likely to perform well academically – often better than students on other programmes.



For Teachers


The IB sees teachers as essential to the success of schools and as part of a professional learning community. To support them, the IB offers IB educators many benefits, such as access to high quality professional development, innovative education frameworks and teaching resources.



For Schools


The IB offers significant benefits to schools. Schools who become an IB World School gain access to high quality programmes of education, which support development of knowledgeable and inquiring students; professional development that supports effective educators and collaborative professional learning communities; and a worldwide network of highly respected IB World Schools, working together to share best practice.



For Universities


Universities and colleges benefit from recruiting and admitting students from IB programmes in a range of ways, with IB programmes developing the knowledge, skills and disposition students need to be successful throughout their university careers. Research suggests, for example, that IB students are more likely than their peers to complete their undergraduate degrees and pursue graduate work; and that they are more likely to be engaged in various aspects of university life.



Where is the IB community?



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The IB has a presence in over 150 countries and universities worldwide recognize the strength of the Diploma Programme.


Both private and state schools around the world benefit from the IB education. Worldwide, there are over 4,900 IB World Schools which deliver the IB programmes.


Find out more about the IB in your country. Through this website you can find out how many IB World Schools are in your country – as well as which schools they are – and access upcoming professional development events.



Which Universities Recognize IB Programmes?

Once completing the Diploma and/or Career-related Programs, students can apply to universities or colleges that recognize the IB programmes. Higher education institutions around the world admit students based on their IB credentials, and many have specific admissions policies and guidelines for IB students. Admissions criteria can vary widely across educational systems and selectivity of the institution.


The criteria for each country and a list of universities per country accepting IB students can be found in the country recognition statements.



Becoming an IB Educator After Completing the UoPeople M.Ed Program


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The curriculum at University of the People (UoPeople) reflects the IB’s approaches to teaching and learning so the program will also meet the needs of IB World Schools who are looking to recruit teachers familiar with IB pedagogy.


The M.Ed. program at UoPeople will produce a new generation of globally-minded educators with an in-depth knowledge of curriculum, pedagogy, and assessment to support student-directed inquiry, interdisciplinary learning, intercultural competence, and critical thinking.


Students will receive a Master’s of Education in Advanced Teaching. Qualified graduates will not be required to attend a Category 1 Workshop if they want to teach in an IB World School.


This opens the way for an IB school to consider applicants for their teaching positions who graduated from this program.



Find out more about the IB and its programmes at