Our commitment to international education starts with a belief that the only way to appreciate someone else’s culture is first to be confident in your own. The “international-mindedness” that permeates our programmes is about more than learning a second language.

For example, in biology, students might learn about the typhoid bacteria but also its impact on life expectancy in a developing country. Students learning about the history of their town or region might look at the broader context, of history and the effects of certain global events, and how these apply to their local environment.


The IB and its programmes are unique in many ways. We are a not-for-profit organization, which means that there are no shareholders and any surplus income is reinvested back into our work. We are independent of political and commercial interests.

We operate in 124 countries, frequently working alongside national educational systems. Most schools, for instance, offer the Diploma Programme alongside other courses whereas the Primary Years Programme and Middle Years Programme are flexible enough to incorporate national curriculum requirements.

Widely Recognized

Our programmes are challenging. Universities recognize the depth and breadth of the rigorous work undertaken by students of the Diploma Programme, which requires them to study six courses, selected from six subject groups. As a result there are many literate scientists, numerate artists, and sociologists able to communicate in more than one language among IB graduates. In spite of this breadth, the depth of subject study is not sacrifi ced. Universities also welcome the creativity, action, service (CAS) requirement alongside the 4,000 word extended essay component, the latter demanding research, analysis and in-depth study to prepare students for work at university level.

Research by and with universities in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States has demonstrated that IB students are well prepared for university. Over 1,500 of the best universities around the world list their IB admission policies on our web site at http:// Of course results are important, and we are proud of our programmes and of our students, but the IB experience is much more than that: it’s not just a way to learn, it’s a way of life.


Like the world it seeks to improve through education, the IB never stands still. Our programmes are continually reviewed and enriched, and our vision constantly sharpened as a result of research, both our own and that of other respected academic bodies. Innovative and creative teachers of IB programmes from many different cultures play a critical role in the development of each programme. The programmes represent good practice from around the world, and the curriculum review process involves practising teachers, examiners and education experts.

We are flexible enough to be able to respond to new research and pedagogy studies and engage with expert analysis where appropriate.

For instance, the Middle Years Programme team has had the opportunity to collaborate with the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Project Zero on interdisciplinary learning. Project Zero’s mission is “to understand and enhance learning, thinking, and creativity in the arts, as well as humanistic and scientific disciplines, at the individual and institutional levels.”