The International Baccalaureate (IB) programme: An international gateway to higher education and beyond

  • Susan E. Saxton International Baccalaureate
  • Ian Hill
Keywords: International baccalaureate, international education, curriculum internationalization, constructivism, critical thinking skills


The aim of this article is to present the International Baccalaureate (IB) Programme and briefly outline its core components, followed by a review of what authoritative reports identify as skills for the future, esteemed by universities and the job market. There is a striking match between these skills and IB outcomes; thus, DP graduates perform well in higher education and add to the reputation of those institutions. After a review of the literature, the authors found the IB Diploma Programme has been studied in many countries by both consultants and educational agencies, and also by a wide array of universities themselves; however, there are fewer qualitative studies concerning the degree to which IB graduates display attitudes, values, and behaviours in line with the IB Learner Profile. This is why the authors stress the claims made are supported by examples of significant research, noting that there is a dearth of qualitative longitudinal studies to sufficiently substantiate the affective domain claims that currently rely more on anecdotal evidence. The authors conclude by pointing out more research is needed in order to substantiate anecdotal evidence regarding future employment success for IB Diploma Programme graduates. 

DOI: 10.18870/hlrc.v4i3.123

Author Biography

Susan E. Saxton, International Baccalaureate
Dr. Saxton is an innovative champion of expanding access to quality higher education around the world.She is the Chief Academic Officer for Laureate Education, where she also leads Product Strategy and Development, Regulatory and Institutional Oversight, and Innovation, Research and Development.Prior to joining Laureate, she was Vice President for Strategy and Product Development and Dean of Students at Kaplan University.Dr. Saxton previously served as the Dean of the College of e-Learning at Lynn University in Florida, and was the Dean of the School of Business and Technology at Capella University.She formerly was President and CEO of Computing Solutions Inc., an internet-related education company providing consulting and networking for large technology organizations and providers.Dr. Saxton also served in the Tax Group (Arthur Young & Company) and the Entrepreneurial Services Group at Ernst & Young, providing tax and consulting services to key international clients.Dr. Saxton holds two Ph.D.’s, one in Business and the other in Human Services and Psychology from Capella University, formerly The Graduate School of America. She earned her M.B.A. in Finance from Boston University, and her B.A. in Mathematics from Wellesley College. She also attended the U.S. Naval Academy, Georgia State University (M.Tx.) and Columbus University (M.Ed.). Dr. Saxton has appeared before the U.S. Congress and U.S. government policy councils and departments to promote legislation that would broaden access to higher education.She is the author and editor of several books, articles, and case studies on corporate strategy, virtual teams, leadership, online teaching and learning methodology, and organizational management. She has taught more than three dozen master and doctoral courses and mentored over 100 doctoral students.


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How to Cite
Saxton, S. E., & Hill, I. (2014). The International Baccalaureate (IB) programme: An international gateway to higher education and beyond. Higher Learning Research Communications, 4(3), 42-52.