What is the International Baccalaureate?

The International Baccalaureate is the educational programme designed for children of ages 3-19. Contrary to popular misconception, ‘baccalaureate’ does not apply to higher education only! What the programme looks like, what IB stages exist, and what are advantages of the International Baccalaureate Programme – all these things will be found out in today’s article!


What the International Baccalaureate stands for? The International Baccalaureate (IB) refers to primary and secondary education. It culminates in the Diploma Programme which is a two year course qualifying students for Higher Education (Universities and Colleges). Let's find out together what the IB (International Baccalaureate) programme is and whether it is suitable for your child! 

The IB – is an educational age-appropriate programme designed in Switzerland (in the 1960s) for children of age 3-19.  IB courses can be delivered in local languages. However the Diploma programme  is delivered in either English, French, and Spanish In Kazakhstan, the  International Baccalaureate is represented by 8 schools currently, with teaching carried out in English, Kazakh and Russian.  

In its structure, the IB is organised at three levels:  

  • PYP (Primary Years Programme), designed for Pre-School and Primary School students of age 3-11; 
  • MYP (Middle Years Programme), designed for Secondary School students of age 11-16; 
  • Diploma Programme, aimed at high school students of age 16-19.

Why is the International Baccalaureate (IB) a good option? 

Considering that more than 5,400 schools in 159 countries have joined the IB system over the past 50 years, the programme is considered to have serious advantages over national education systems. Let’s list the main ones:  

  • The IB Diploma is recognized by universities around the world and opens unlimited opportunities for your child; 
  • A graduate of the IB programme speaks at least two foreign languages ​​(usually three); 
  • In countries where foreigners require a preparatory year (Foundation) to enter the university, holders of the IB Diploma may go straight to the first year; 
  • The programme is not based on thoughtless memorization of educational material, but on deep immersion into the topics of each discipline and research work;
  • Students learn how to research and assess the value of acquired knowledge and is an obligatory part of the educational process; 
  • The global context of the programme. Students are introduced to various world cultures and significant issues of our time, growing up as people with an international mindset and a broad outlook. 

Sounds good, does not it? What about practice? To understand what to expect, let’s draw a portrait of a high school student.

Meet Ainara (18 y.o.). 

Ainara is a graduate of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IB DP), where she studied after successfully completing the Middle Years Programme (MYP). In the IB DP, Ainara studied the following subjects at two different levels: English, Russian and Chemistry at the standard level, History, Physics and Mathematics at the advanced one. Being a comprehensively developed personality, Ainara additionally studied Spanish and Chinese, and was professionally engaged in rhythmic gymnastics, painting, music, yoga and figure skating. 

In order to promote the School Mission, Ainara took an active part in various events and forums, in the Model UN conference. As part of the compulsory CAS (Creativity, Action, Service) course, Ainara volunteered for charitable projects on inclusive education conducted by the Dara Foundation and the Association of Parents of Children with Disabilities. 

Ainara planned to enter New York University Abu Dhabi and study science. According to world rankings, university education in the United States provides a high level of fundamental scientific research. According to the results of the training, Ainara scored 44 points out of the maximum possible 45. The chosen university accepted her without entrance exams and provided not only a 100% grant for studying, but also costs of accommodation and a scholarship. 

Impressed by Ainara's achievements? 

She is indeed an intellectually developed, purposeful, enthusiastic student striving to make the world a better place and is inspired by the goals and practices of sustainable development. The dream of any parent! All this is the result of systematic training in the IB programmes. That is why the International Baccalaureate programmes in schools are gaining popularity from year to year!  


The International Baccalaureate in the schools of Nur-Sultan originates from our school - Miras International School, founded in 1999. It was the first in Kazakhstan to receive accreditation for all three levels of the IB programme. You can learn more about these programme, by visiting the school with your own eyes, become acquainted with the leadership and teachers, ask questions of interest at the Open Days, which we regularly hold. 

глазами, познакомиться с руководством и педагогами, задать интересующие вопросы можно на Дне Открытых Дверей, которые мы регулярно проводим. Заполните форму на сайте и выбирайте удобный для Вас день!  Добро пожаловать в школу «Мирас»!

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