12 February 2016

IB students out-perform in race for top UK university placements

Latest HESA report concludes that IB students outperform A-level students in race for top UK university places, university achievement, postgraduate destinations and salary.

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A new report from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) has concluded that IB students achieve greater success in their higher education destinations, university classification, graduate salary and post education career than A-level students.

University destinations and degree classification The report findings showed that students who undertake the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) have a 57 per cent greater chance of attending one of the top 20 UK universities than students who study traditional A-levels. The data concluded that between 2012 and 2013, 46 per cent of IB students achieved places to study at a top 20 UK university compared to 33 per cent of A-levels, with data sources used being The Complete University Guide League Table, the Guardian University Guide 2015 and the Times University Guide 2015.

Conclusions from the report also show that IBDP students have a significantly greater likelihood of earning a first class degree compared to their A-level peers (23 per cent vs 19 per cent respectively).

Adrian Kearney, Regional Director EMEA at International Baccalaureate said, ‘The Diploma Programme develops students whom top universities want to recruit; students with expert subject knowledge, with the skills required for academic success – research, essay writing, referencing; and above all, with the spirit of intellectual inquiry and critical thinking, and the ability to challenge, argue and ask questions.’

Postgraduate destinations and salary

The HESA report also reveals that IB leavers are more likely to be employed in graduate level jobs and earn, on average, more than their A-level counterparts. This was particularly pronounced in professional, scientific and technical careers, where 18 per cent of DP students ultimately ended up versus 13 per cent for their equivalent A-level peers.

The research used* also highlighted that the average salary for a DP leaver who has studied mathematical studies at university was £30,000, compared to £22,000 for A-level students who had graduated from the same course.

The Higher Education Statistics Agency report compared students entering UK higher education from the IB programme with students entering universities having undertaken A-levels. As part of the research, key areas such as progression from further education to university, including university enrolment and achievement, higher education institution destinations, postgraduate destinations and the salary of leavers once in employment were analysed.

Dr Katy Ricks, Head of Sevenoaks School said, ‘It is very exciting to see that this survey demonstrates what we have known and appreciated about the IB for nearly 40 years at Sevenoaks. It is without question the best preparation for students entering higher education and the workplace. More than 70 per cent of our students go on to study at one of the top UK universities (and over 100 students go on to study at one of the top ten), and with one of the UK’s largest IB cohorts, we are well placed to confirm the findings of the HESA study. ‘

* The Destination of Leavers from Higher Education Survey

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