The International Baccalaureate Diploma
The IB organisation was founded in 1968 in Geneva and is run both privately and by the state. According to the IB website, the first IB schools were 'predominantly private' and its current guiding principles include the 'development of intercultural awareness and understanding among young people', the promotion of 'holistic education' and 'higher-order cognitive skills such as critical thinking, analysis, problem-solving and creative thinking.'
The International Baccalaureate® (IB) offers four recognised international education programmes to more than one million students aged 3-19 in 146 countries. The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IB DP) is a two-year pre-university course for students from 16-19 years of age. The organisation is a non-profit educational foundation and evolves around its mission 'to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect'.
IB DP and English - official policy
The relationship of IB DP and English is quite straightforward. The IB Language Policy (cf. IB Language Policy) clearly states that English is the 'organization's internal working language, in which most operational and development activities take place. It is also the language of its governance, management and academic committees'. Hence, English is not only a key language of instruction in the IB and IB DP but it is also one of the administrative languages of the organisation, that is, it is used in formal situations, official documents and correspondence, and serves as a means of communication with the public. The language policy of the UWC is described below (see 'Language policy and proficiency').