The Migratory Trends of International Baccalaureate Diploma Students in Asia Pacific: Going Global?

By Judith Guy and John Switzer.

Published by Journal of the World Universities Forum

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma was founded in
1968 to provide a common pre-university curriculum and a
recognised qualification for students in international
schools throughout the world. Many authors, including
Peterson (1987), Fox (1998), Hill (2002) and others, have
described a committed attempt to create an innovative
curriculum intended to foster international attitudes and
awareness, with foundations in the academic,
interdisciplinary tradition of comparative education.
Although the first IB diploma schools were predominantly
private international schools, a small number of private
national institutions and schools run and managed by state
education departments were also among the early adopters of
the programme. The situation has changed over the 40 year
history of the IB diploma. Today over half of the 2000+ IB
diploma programme schools are state schools, and a full two
thirds of all IB diploma recipients are now earning their
diplomas in their home countries; although in Asia, many of
those students will opt for tertiary studies abroad. This
paper explores the tertiary migration patterns of IB
diploma students from the Asia Pacific region. It considers
both those students who study the diploma within their home
country and those studying outside their home country.
Tertiary migratory trends are presented for IB diploma
programme cohorts over a period of several years. Distinct
patterns of student migration have emerged and have been
categorized. A number of push/pull factors for students
choosing tertiary locations locally and abroad are
considered. This paper concurs with the utilitarian notion
that the IB diploma as a global academic passport is an
increasingly significant value proposition for students
with widened tertiary options and very different imagined

Keywords: International Baccalaureate, IB Diploma, International Students, Migration Patterns, Tertiary Study

Journal of the World Universities Forum, Volume 3, Issue 5, pp.59-74. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.038MB).

Judith Guy

Director of Advancement and Access, International Baccalaureate, Singapore, Singapore

Judith Guy is currently the global Director of Advancement and Access for the International Baccalaureate, having previously served in the role of Regional Director for the IB Asia Pacific. Judith has academic interests in global trends in international education and in educational development and global policy and practice.

John Switzer

Head of Regional Development and Recognition, Advancement, Asia Pacific Office, International Baccalaureate, Singapore, Singapore

As Head of Regional Development and Recognition for the International Baccalaureate in the Asia Pacific region, John Switzer works with governments and universities throughout the region to develop appropriate recognition of the three IB programmes. He has continued interests in exploring the pedagogical alignment of various national and international education systems, as well as examining international mindedness in schools that offer the IB programmes.


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