Is the Diploma Programme right for my child?” is a question countless parents have contemplated over the years, and many have actively supported it, by enrolling their children into IB World Schools around the world. To put things in perspective, there are more than 1 million students taking the Diploma Programme in 3632 schools in 146 countries (IBO, 2013).

 As the world is becoming an increasingly smaller place, thanks to better communication and information technology, it has become more and more important to develop international mindedness and build global connections. Starting this at an early stage is in fact one of the main reasons behind international schools, with many of them offering the Diploma Programme. To ensure high standards, all IB World Schools must undergo an exhaustive authorization process in order to offer one or more of the programmes, which includes a study of the school’s resources and commitment to the IBO’s mission and philosophy. As compared to traditional curricula offered in other schools, the IBO’s Diploma Programme presents numerous advantages:

  • Standard Curriculum: all IB DP authorized schools offer the exact same course material in all subjects that the school offers. This makes switching between IB World Schools very easy for families that move frequently.
  • Advanced Teaching Practices: Teachers in IB World Schools are periodically trained in using the most up-to-date pedagogical tools and methods by sharing their expertise across the worldwide network of IB educators from around the world.
  • International Mindedness: By connecting with peers and educators from around the world, students are able to broaden their cultural as well as intellectual horizons and get a first-hand experience of becoming global citizens.
  • University Preparation: Course material and assessment in various subjects of the Diploma Programme cover the depth and breadth that is comparable to university level courses. Many universities even offer transfer credit for some courses.
  • International Recognition: The Diploma Programme is a university preparatory course that is globally recognized by universities in numerous countries. Many highly acclaimed universities around the world actively welcome students who have completed the IB Diploma.
  • Holistic Development: Students are able to make connections across traditional academic disciplines and explore the nature of knowledge through the Theory of Knowledge course.
The core components all of IBO's programmes encourage students to participate in creative and service-oriented activities, while at the same time emphasizing the importance of reflection on a personal and academic level. These, and many other strengths of the Diploma Programme make it a very attractive option for many students and parents. However, there are some practicalities and challenges that need to be considered as well:
  • Availability: Although the Diploma Programme is growing in many countries around the world, schools that offer may or may not be available in your city / town. You can find out more about IB World Schools in your region by clicking here.
  • Cost: Depending on your country, the Diploma Programme may be offered in public schools or private institutions. The latter tend to be much more expensive. For example, annual tuition costs at international schools may range between $15000 - $20000. There may be additional expenses involving admission, cost of learning resources, final DP exam fees etc.
  • Academic Rigor: Straddling 6 subjects in considerable depth and breadth, allocating time for a 4000 word research paper, a thought and research intensive Theory of Knowledge course, as well engaging in various Creativity, Action and Service activities over the period of 2 years involves a lot of challenging work and time management.
  • Vocation Specific Higher Educational Requirements: While the Diploma Programme is gaining increasing amounts of recognition at numerous universities around the world, there may be some institutes of higher learning that have very specific entry requirements, for which an IB Diploma may not be appropriate.

Seeking expert advice?

Being DP alumni and university graduates ourselves, we have been professionally counseling numerous parents and students about the IBO’s programmes and related topics for the last 4 years. To find out whether it is right for you or your child, feel free to contact us or schedule an appointment for more information.