About the IB
Who we are
The IB is a nonprofit educational foundation, motivated by its mission, focused on the student. Founded in 1968, we currently work with 4, 655 schools in 147 countries to develop and offer three challenging programmes to over 546,000 students aged 3 to 19 years.
The International Baccalaureate (IB) is more than its three educational programmes. At our heart we are motivated by a mission to create a better world through education.
We value our hard-earned reputation for quality, for high standards and for pedagogical leadership. We achieve our goals by working with partners and by actively involving our stakeholders, particularly teachers.
We promote intercultural understanding and respect, not as an alternative to a sense of cultural and national identity, but as an essential part of life in the 21st century.
All of this is captured in our mission statement.
The International Baccalaureate aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.
To this end the organization works with schools, governments and international organizations to develop challenging programmes of international education and rigorous assessment.
These programmes encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.
What does the IB offer?
We develop and offer three programmes of international education for students aged 3 to 19, working in close cooperation with IB World Schools.
Our three programmes span the years from kindergarten to pre-university. The programmes can be offered individually or as a continuum.
Each programme includes a curriculum and pedagogy, student assessment appropriate to the age range, professional development for teachers and a process of school authorization and evaluation. The programmes are available through 2,075 IB World Schools in 125 countries.
What makes the IB unique?
The IB offers a continuum of high-quality education that encourages international-mindedness and a positive attitude to learning. Our programmes are accessible to students in 125 countries through our close cooperation with the worldwide community of IB World Schools.
The IB is unique:
Who governs and manages the IB?
The IB is governed by an elected council that is representative of the main regions and stakeholder groups who make up the organization. It is managed by the director general and a team of 300 employees.
The IB is governed by the 17-member Council of Foundation.
Council members (except the director general) are all volunteers and receive no payment for their time or work for the organization.
The council has five committees to manage its regular business:
The council draws its membership from each of the IB regions through the four regional advisory committees (RACs) and the four regional heads representative committees (RHRCs). The chairs of the international heads representative committee (IHRC) and the IB fund board of trustees are also members. There is a tradition of involving IB graduates as members. The council elects its own presidents, secretary and treasurer.
The major responsibilities of the council include the development and approval of a strategic plan and the appointment of the director general.
The director general appoints the IB's professional staff of approximately 300 people who manage the organization and provide services and support to IB World Schools.
What are IB World Schools?
The IB does not own or manage any schools. Instead, we work with schools around the world (both state and privately funded) that share our commitment to international education.
Schools that have been authorized by us to offer one or more of our programmes are known as "IB World Schools".
Authorization to become an IB World School is an intensive process that typically takes two or more years and includes site visits by an IB team.
A regular process of evaluation is undertaken by schools that have been authorized.
How is the IB funded?
The IB charges fees for its services - specifically for student assessment, teacher training and publications. Each IB World School pays an annual fee. In addition, donors and governments provide funding that supports special projects and initiatives.
How has the IB grown?
Approximately 1.3 million students are enrolled in one of the three IB programmes at schools in 147 countries. Over the past ten years, the number of students has grown between 10% and 20% each year, resulting in remarkable levels of sustained growth.
Compound annual growth rates for the three programmes demonstrate strong year-on-year growth. The IB is currently estimated to reach over 1.3 million students.
Managing this rapid growth while maintaining our reputation for high quality is central to the challenge of our strategic plan.
Where is the IB located?
We work with schools in 147 countries from our headquarters in Geneva and our offices / representatives in Bath, Beijing, Buenos Aires, Cardiff, Geneva, Mumbai, New York, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo and Vancouver.
The director general is based at the headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.
Our largest office is the curriculum and assessment centre in Cardiff, UK where we also house our departments for finance, human resources, information and communications technology (ICT), and strategic planning. Our research unit is based at the University of Bath in the UK.
The IB regional offices support schools in the four IB regions: Africa, Europe, Middle East; Asia-Pacific; Latin America; and North America and the Caribbean.