Findings from the Annual University Admissions Officers Report which were recently released, say that 97 percent of admissions officers favour the International Baccalaureate (known as a Diploma Programme (DP) type system) as the best preparation for higher education. The report appeared in a story by Schools Improvement.

Admissions officers were asked to score the IB and A-Levels out of five, against criteria such as ‘encouraging independent inquiry,’ ‘encouraging citizenship’ and ‘developing self-management skills.’ In an averaging of the rankings, 97 percent of admissions officers scored the DP four or five out of five, compared to 87 percent being scored similarly for A Levels.

The report showed that more admissions officers believe that the IB best encourages independent enquiry among students, with 95 percent voting in its favour on this category. Just 48 percent thought the same of A-Levels. The officers surveyed agreed unanimously that ‘independent learning and thinking’ is the most important element in students being ready and equipped to thrive at university.

Dr Peter Fidczuk, the IB’s UK Development and Recognition Manager, said:

“The Diploma Programme is consistently rated by university admissions officers as the best preparation for university, enabling students to confidently undertake independent study. It develops students who have expert knowledge in a number of different subjects, as well as the skills they need for academic success, such as time management, essay writing and referencing.”

The reports results follow statistics released by the Higher Education Statistics Agency, which showed that IB students, and those studying on similar exam systems, have a 57 percent greater chance of attending one of the top 20 universities in the UK, over students who studied A-Levels.

Fidczuk added:

“It is interesting to see how admissions officers compare a top point score of the DP (45) with the A Level equivalent. 72 percent of university admissions officers consider the top score of the DP to be equivalent to the award of three A grades at A Level; however the two scores are very different indeed. Just 0.3 percent of DP students achieve the top score, while 26 percent of A Level students achieve at least one A grade and 12 percent overall achieve three A or A* grades.”