The International Baccalaureate

The International Baccalaureate (IB) was founded as a progressive non-profit educational foundation in 1968. Its aim is to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through the understanding and respect of different nationalities and cultures.

Today, the IB works with almost 5,000 schools in over 150 countries and offers three academic programmes and one career-related programme to over 1.2 million students worldwide. The academic programmes are the Primary Years Programme for children aged 3 to 11; the Middle Years Programme for students aged between 11 and 16; and the Diploma Programme for students aged 16 to 18.

  • Through its four programmes, the IB offers a complete and progressive education for students aged 3 to 19.
  • The IB enjoys a reputation for providing a high-quality education to students for over 50 years.
  • The IB encourages international mindedness in its students. To do this, students must first develop an understanding of their own cultural and national identity.
  • The IB encourages a positive attitude to learning by inspiring students to ask challenging questions, critically reflect on topics, develop research skills, learn how to learn, and participate in community service.
  • The IB ensures its programmes are accessible to students in a wide variety of schools, including national, international, public and private schools.

An inquiry-based programme

Unlike many other curricula, the IB is not a system that heavily relies on standardised textbooks. Instead, it is as an inquiry-based programme that encourages students to learn independently, be innovative and creative, and think critically at all times.

From an early age, the IB equips students with all-important life skills to help them succeed in the real world of life and work. These are often neglected by curricula that focus entirely on the passing of standardised exams.


More subjects, more time

The IB Diploma Programme specifies that students study six courses, to help them be more well-rounded upon graduating. In comparison, students in the UK typically study three A-levels to apply to university.

In addition, IB students have more time to study and engage with a wider range of disciplines than A-level students. This gives them more freedom to work out what it is they are passionate about, before choosing a specific subject to study at university.


Key extra components

There are a number of extra components that must be completed by IB students for them to graduate from the Diploma Programme. These are Theory of Knowledge, Creativity, Action and Service and the extended essay.

Studying these components helps IB students to be reflective, internationally minded, well-rounded and at ease with critical thinking. These skills and traits are highly prized by top universities around the world, as well as in the world of work.

Ideal for today’s world

The IB is a curriculum for those who want to give their children the best possible start in life, both academically and personally.

It is a curriculum that encourages its students to do more than blindly accept what is put in front of them. It is a curriculum that nurtures within its students their natural capacity to question, to inquire, to be inquisitive and to think independently, critically and creatively.

Ideal for international families

The IB is also the perfect solution to many difficulties faced by international families. Having been originally established as a direct response to what is often a severe lack of flexibility in varying school systems around the world, the IB is now recognised in more than 100 countries.

As international families often move to different countries, due to work relocations, it is essential that the educational systems their children are in are recognised by, and if possible, in line with each other. This is especially important when it comes to moving on to university.

Visit the IB's YouTube channel

The IB’s YouTube channel is a great way to hear from International Baccalaureate students and staff from around the world. The channel also features some great videos from IB Diploma Programme graduates who have gone on to do something incredible.

Take a look


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