UK leads the way as 5,000 students get their International Baccalaureate (IB) results

Posted on 12th Jul 2018 in International Baccalaureate, United Kingdom

On Friday 6th July, students from 140 UK schools received their IB results, with the UK outperforming all other areas of the world.

Around 5,000 pupils in the UK now study the IB, with 143 schools offering it as an alternative to A Level examinations. Of these, 55% are state schools and 45% independent, making it a truly universal qualification.

The UK is a world leader in terms of the IB, with pupils from the UK accounting for more than half of the highest point scorers from across Africa, the Middle East and Europe and for almost 25% of the world’s top scorers. In addition, the UK also achieves a higher points average than the rest of the globe. In the UK the average is 34.9 out of 45 as opposed to a worldwide average of 29.78.

The results come as the IB celebrates its 50th anniversary. The programme continues to go from strength to strength, while holding firm to its original principles. Over the last five decades it has seen no grade inflation and all pupils are still required to study Maths, English and at least one science and one language until the age of 18.

This is in complete contrast to A Levels, where students specialise and narrow down their learning at 16. In addition, Ofqual recently announced it is considering grading changes for language and science A Levels, to encourage more students to opt for these subjects.

As Lord Jim Knight, former education minister says: “The IB is the best curriculum in the world right now. It combines academic rigour with real world skills in a global context. Not only do Diploma programme students do better at university, they are also better prepared for success in work.”

IB qualifications are also increasingly sought by universities. Paul Teulon, Director of Admissions at KCL comments: “The IB’s depth and educational vision is perfect preparation for the multifaceted world of 21st century Britain. IB students are lucky to have the depth of content, the breadth of vision and the independent learning skills required when they arrive at university.”

Andreas Schleicher, Director for Education and Skills, OECD, says: “IB schools have evolved into one of the most innovative models for forward-looking education, developing students who can think for themselves and work with others, and who are open to the world and to the future.”

David Lakin, Head of education, Institution of Engineering and Technology, adds: “Education programmes such as the International Baccalaureate provide a broad education, including Maths and a science, rather than the three subjects at A Level. This gives young people longer to discover their real strengths and interests before making life-affecting choices.”

John Claughton from the UK’s IB Schools and Colleges Association concludes: “We’re delighted to see the UK do so well with this year’s IB results, demonstrating real world leadership. For 50 years, the IB has offered an education with the serious purpose of making a better world. IB pupils benefit from a broad education, which enables them to think and make connections.”