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What UK universities know about IB: Questions and answers about university applications

This post is part of a series in which admissions officers answer questions about International Baccalaureate (IB) student university applications.

Students and parents considering universities in the United Kingdom often ask how these universities consider applicants with an IB education. University of East Anglia, University of Southampton, King’s College London and Christ’s College Cambridge tell us why they look to admit IB students, the skills IB grads bring to their university and the advantages an IB education gives students for the future.

“We like to admit IB students because we know they do well … I’m often asked by applicants: ‘Why should I put the effort in to study IB when there are many apparently easier alternatives out there?’—the answer to that is that you are just likely to be more successful … furthermore , I think you shouldn’t be just scared of challenge, the fact that the IB has lots of stretch and challenge in it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s difficult.”

“The Standard Level subjects enable students to acquire complementary knowledge that can often be incredibly useful to them when they get to university—broadening the options they might have available to them. When students get to university what they’ll discover is that they are surrounded by people and ideas from all around the world and the international perspective they acquire while studying the IB prepares them really well for that … because of the curriculum they follow they already know that some courses will immediately play to their strengths and some courses might be things they have to work at, and if you are going to succeed you have to be able to be resilient.”

“Qualities that we look for in students … having an understand of the subject but also having an interests and passion, having an inquiring mind, the ability to work independently as well as part of a group, and also having career aspirations … the IB programme develops these attributes in students through the combination of the depth coupled with breadth in the subject learning”

“When an IB student applies to King’s we ‘re looking at a range of things … the IB programme takes the student as a whole and gets the student to think about all of their learning in the round rather than just looking at them as individual subjects; we have a large number of interdisciplinary subjects … and it’s important that students can think about this in this complex way.”

We would like to extend a special thanks to Richard Harvey, Emily Tomlinson, Nicky Stecker-Doxat, and Paul Teulon. You can learn more about University of East Anglia (UEA), University of Southampton, King’s College London, and Christ’s College Cambridge by visiting their websites.