According to research findings published in the 12th annual University Admissions Officers Report, UK university admissions officers rate the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme (DP) as “exceptionally different and better than A Levels”.

The DP uniquely equips students with key skills

The survey, commissioned by ACS International Schools and the IB Schools and Colleges Association of the UK and Ireland (IBSCA), asks UK and US admissions officers to rate A levels and the DP. The qualifications are ranked against qualities such as ‘developing workplace skills,’ ‘nurturing an open mind’ and ‘encouraging independent inquiry.’ The DP ranks top in 11 out of the 12 different elements.

Over 80% of university admissions officers surveyed in both the UK and US say that different school exam systems develop different attitudes towards learning and work among students. All (100%) UK and US university admissions officers believe that the DP is uniquely able to well equip students with the skills they need to thrive at university and in the global workplace of the future.

Preparing students for university

Dr Peter FidzcukDr Peter Fidczuk, UK Development and Recognition Manager at the IB, said: “160,000 DP students across the world received their results in July 2017 and, according to the research, these are the students that university admissions officers consider best prepared for success at university. The qualities which the admissions officers were asked to compare in the survey are all key skills prized by global employers and which are incorporated into DP students’ programmes of study”.

The report highlights that admissions officers are concerned by how sufficiently prepared students are for university. However, 94% of respondents believe that the DP encourages independent inquiry compared to A Levels (49%), as well as develops self-management skills (91%) within its students; both of which are noted in the report as key success factors to thrive at university.  

Fidczuk added: “UK students need to gain a distinct and competitive advantage in an increasingly globalized world by following a curriculum that develops an internationally recognized skillset which is valued by universities at home and abroad, such as the IB”. 

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