IB Education in China

The International Baccalaureate (IB) is a global education program focused on the student’s holistic development. It aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help create a better world through intercultural understanding and respect.

2022 marks the 50th anniversary of the IB in China. Over this period, it has transformed itself from offering only an international curriculum for expats into an educational model that gives Chinese students diverse perspectives on learning and opportunities to learn alongside students from all over the world.

A brief overview of IB education in China

IB education is an international educational program that offers a variety of courses and exams. The program has been in existence since 1968, and its primary goal is to help students develop their intellectual, personal, emotional and social skills. It also aims at developing their understanding of the world around them through intercultural understanding, inquiry-based learning and collaborative problem solving.

The IB curriculum teaching in China is divided into three sections: PYP (Primary Years Program), MYP (Middle Years Program), and DP (Diploma Program). Each section has its own goals and requirements that must be met when completing it during high school or college, respectively.

What is Chinese IB?

Chinese IB is the IB curriculum taught in China. It consists of two years, and students study a wide range of subjects, including academic courses, Mandarin Chinese, art, music and physical education.

The 6 Attributes of IB Education

The IB is designed for motivated students who want to develop their academic skills, challenge themselves, gain independence and discover new interests whilst enjoying the company of friends from around the world.

The curriculum provides a well-rounded education promoting intellectual, personal, emotional and social growth through inquiry-based learning.

Here are 6 common attributes in the IB education in China:

Communication skills

IB education emphasizes the importance of communication skills. Students are encouraged to communicate with others in various ways, including written assignments, research papers, presentations, and speeches.

Social Skills

Good social skills are one of the essential attributes of an IB education. It is not just about getting good grades and passing exams but also about working well with your peers, teachers and others around you.

Self-management skills

Self-management skills are about being responsible for yourself and what you do. You need to manage your time well, ensure you’re getting your work done on time, and be aware of how you spend your time.

Critical Thinking

Critical thinking is the ability to analyse and evaluate a situation, concept, problem or argument by applying logic, reason and evidence. It involves a high degree of intellectual flexibility and creativity. 

This skill is highly valued in IB education.

Research Skills

Research skills are an essential part of the IB curriculum. Students are taught how to conduct and report research, as well as how to evaluate the quality of other people’s research. 

This is important because it allows students to use their research skills when they are presented with a problem or question—and it will enable them to critique the work of others when necessary.


IB Education promotes teamwork skills.

IB students are taught to work together as a team, listen to others’ opinions and ideas, and be open-minded about their own. This is one of the many reasons IB students are well-prepared for life after graduation.

Is the IB curriculum the same in the world?

The IB curriculum is the same in every country, but not all assessments are. The lower levels (PYP and MYP) have standardised tests while higher-level students complete internal exams that are tailored to the individual student’s needs.

What is the IB style of teaching?

The IB style of teaching is student-centred, inquiry-based, project-based and interdisciplinary.

The IB philosophy also emphasises collaborative learning, where students work in groups to solve problems or complete tasks that require more than one person’s knowledge. This type of learning encourages students to work with their peers rather than compete against them. 

In addition to this aspect of the IB program, all subjects are taught holistically—meaning that some common theme or idea connects every subject area. For example, IB schools in Shanghai teach history, which connects with geography and economics.

What is the value of an IB Diploma?

The IB Diploma is a qualification that universities and employers highly value in China.

It is a globally recognised qualification that builds on your existing A-levels or high school diploma to prepare you for further studies or a career.

Besides China, IB is offered by schools worldwide and is considered one of the most prestigious international qualifications.

The IB Diploma provides an internationally accepted qualification that can open doors to some of the best universities worldwide and leading employers.


There are plenty of options for students who want to study for an International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma in China. Some schools offer the IB curriculum and prepare students for the diploma, while other schools provide only the diploma.

The key is finding what works best for your student’s needs and interests to succeed academically while also having fun!

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