In a survey of 150 university faculty and admissions staff from the UK, the IB Diploma Programme was rated higher than other qualifications based on the breadth of the curriculum; development of critical thinking, time-management and communication skills; and motivation of the students.
- 97% were satisfied the Diploma Programme prepares students for university.
- 96% favoured a broad curriculum of the type IB offers.
- 57% felt the Diploma Programme offers an advantage to students as preparation for higher education.
Similarly, a survey of 160 university faculty and admissions staff from Australia and New Zealand showed that 77% of respondents indicated that the IB Diploma Programme prepares students well for university.
Motivated and enthusiastic learners perform well and complete their degrees
According to data from the National Student Clearinghouse, a data source for students in post secondary institutions in the United States (US), students who receive the IB diploma are 38% more likely to graduate from university with a degree than other students in higher-education institutions.
Some 88% of IB diploma students received a bachelor’s degree within six years or less, and international IB diploma students attending US schools showed similar graduation rates (86%) compared to a rate of 58% for all students. The strong performance of IB diploma students in university is consistent for IB students regardless of whether they attended state or private schools or the socio-economic status of the student.
Within the University of California system from 2000–2002, IB diploma students showed higher graduation rates than a matched comparison group of students of similar backgrounds and achievement levels. They also had higher GPAs, both at the end of their first year and upon graduation. Furthermore, scores on the IB diploma were strong predictors of performance in university, and a 1-point increase in the IB exam score was associated with a corresponding increase in GPA of up to .38 points or approximately 10%.
IB students are more engaged learners
In 2009, the High School Survey of Student Engagement (HSSSE) by Indiana University’s Center for Evaluation and Education Policy surveyed some 40,000 high school students across three broad dimensions of student engagement: academic, social/behavioural and emotional. Responding to questions about the amount of time spent studying, engagement in classroom discussions and the types of academic tasks they do inside and outside of the classroom, IB students showed significantly higher levels of academic engagement compared to students within the same school and to those in the larger survey population.
Through the focus on challenging academic content and the key cognitive strategies in the
Diploma Programme, IB diploma students are able to demonstrate the ability to think critically and to
apply concepts across disciplines and subjects. In university courses, they show intellectual initiative, emotional maturity and self-management skills, qualities that lead them to stand out from their peers.