The History of the IB Program
The idea of an International Baccalaureate, that is of an international university entrance examination which could be taken in any country and recognized in any country, was first conceived by a group of teachers in the International School of Geneva in conjunction with other international and national schools in Wales, New York, Teheran, Copenhagen, Paris, Frankfurt, and Montevideo. They were concerned with both preaxial and educational needs. On the practical scale, the school authorities found that the necessity of preparing their sixteen to eighteen year-old university-bound pupils for separate examinations, such as the Swiss Maturite, the College Board Achievement tests, the British G.C.E "A" Levels, and the French Baccalaureate, required the establishment of a large number of very small and therefore very expensive classes.
On the educational side, the teachers were impressed by the two grave disadvantages resulting from separate examinations in the various countries. Students preparing for different examinations became segregated according to their various nationalities. At the same time, subjects had to be taught so as to accommodate the vagarie and varieties implicit in the different national system of education requirements.
In 1963, a grant from the Twentieth Century Fund made it possible for the International Schools Association to set up an ad hoc group of international educators to investigate the possibility of an international examination. Their studies and discussions and the program that resulted also received substantial support from the Ford Foundation. In 1965, the International Baccalaureate Office was established in Geneva as a foundation under Swiss law. An International Council of Foundation was formed and an experimental project was launched in 1967 and offered for use in twenty schools starting in 1970.
Since its founding in Geneva, Switzerland, the has grown to include more than 1700 Diploma Programme schools in 126 countries around the world. This growth reflects world-wide respect for its comprehensive and balanced curriculum and its rigorous international examinations.