To IB or not to IB?

The IB programme is often great for expat kids as it enables them continuity with their education. However, research is showing that the IB programme offers a lot more than just this. It may actually be the best education you can give your child, getting them the best results and giving them a solid foundation for life which they can build upon.

So what is the IB?

The IB is for students aged 16-19 and is an alternative to A-levels. The diploma comprises English, Maths, a Science, a Language, and an ‘individuals and societies’ subject such as History, Geography or Economics. Students are also then required to take a sixth subject. IB students also take the DP core: theory of knowledge, creativity, activity, service and an extended essay. Over 130 schools in the UK offer the IB programme. British universities and colleges accept the IB for entry to all first degree courses.

Research carried out by the IBO looked into how IB students fare in terms of university outcome and performance, and also looked into what factors specific to the IB helped students to achieve. Interestingly, the research highlighted the following key points:

IB students…

  • are more likely to attend the world’s top universities
  • are more likely to be offered a place at university than non-IB applicants
  • are more likely to complete their course and ultimately perform better
  • feel more academically prepared to succeed with their university work
  • are much more likely to immediately go to university once they finish school
  • are more likely than their A level peers to attend a top 20 university in the UK and to receive a first class honours degree
  • are more likely to engage in postgraduate study
  • are more likely to earn a university scholarship
  • are provided with 1st rate university preparation due to the rigour and breadth of the curriculum
  • feel more academically adjusted to the rigour and expectations of college and university coursework
  • tend to achieve higher grades
  • strongly feel that the extended essay prepares them for university research


IB students feel that the programme helps them to develop the following skills…

  • Time management
  • Critical thinking
  • Problem solving
  • Research
  • Writing
  • Language
  • IT
  • Organisation
  • International mindedness
  • Analytical
  • Preparedness
  • Motivation
  • Employment and work habits


If you are considering the IB programme for your child, then please do not hesitate to contact us to discuss the options and schools available to you.

You can find out more and read the original research papers here.

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