International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) History

The International Baccalaureate was founded in Geneva, Switzerland in 1968 as a non-profit educational foundation. Its original purpose was to facilitate the international mobility of students preparing for university by providing schools with a curriculum and diploma recognized by universities around the world. Since then its mission has expanded, and it now seeks to make an IB education available to students of all ages.

The IB Diploma Programme was created in English and French by teachers at the International School of Geneva with increasing assistance from several other international schools. The programme that led to the diploma consisted of a common pre-university curriculum and a common set of external examinations for students in schools throughout the world.

The Diploma Programme sought to provide students with a truly international education-an education that encouraged an understanding and appreciation of other cultures, languages and points of view. Schools that first offered the Diploma Programme were predominantly private international schools, but they included a very small number of private national institutions and schools belonging to state education departments. This has changed over the years and today around 50% of all Diploma Programme schools are public schools.

To give younger students access to an IB education, in 1994 the IB added the Middle Years Programme (MYP), a curriculum for students aged 11-16, and in 1997 it adopted the Primary Years Programme (PYP) for students aged 3-11. As with the Diploma Programme, the MYP and PYP seek to provide students with an international perspective and critical thinking skills.

© International Baccalaureate Organization, 2005-2007