An increasingly popular alternative to the HSC, QCE or VCE is the International Baccalaureate (IB). It is recognised by leading universities in Australia and around the world. The International Baccalaureate (IB), formerly known as the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO), is an international educational foundation headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, and founded in 1968. It offers four educational programmes: the IB Diploma Programme and the IB Career-related Programme for students aged 16 to 19, the IB Middle Years Programme for students aged 11 to 16, and the IB Primary Years Programme for children aged 3 to 12. To teach these programmes, schools must be authorized by the International Baccalaureate.
The IB consists of:
- Primary Years Programme (PYP)
- Middle Years Program (MYP)
- Diploma Programme (DP)
- Career-Related Programme (CP)
All IB candidates are required to choose and complete six subjects from separate groups in order to complete the qualification. These include:
- two language subjects (the student’s own language, as well as an additional language)
- a social sciences subject
- an experimental sciences subject
For the sixth subject, students can choose either an arts subject or a second subject from the aforementioned groups. Unlike the state-based senior secondary certificates, where results are based on each student’s comparative performance against all other students taking the same subjects, the IB measures student performance against pre-specified assessment criteria.
Did you know? International Baccalaureate (IB) programmes of education are currently offered in three languages. These are English, French and Spanish.
The IB Diploma Programme was described as “a rigorous, off-the-shelf curriculum recognized by universities around the world” when it was featured in the December 18, 2006, edition of Time titled “How to bring our schools out of the 20th Century”. The IBDP was also featured in the summer 2002 edition of American Educator, where Robert Rothman described it as “a good example of an effective, instructionally sound, exam-based system.”