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Japanese Students Obtain Greater Opportunities to Pursue an IB Education

Collaborative Project between the International Baccalaureate and The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan will provide Japanese students greater possibilities to take up an IB education in Japanese.

Japan, May 22, 2013 – The International Baccalaureate (IB) and The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan (MEXT) announced the launch of a collaborative project which will see the development of a Dual Language IB Diploma and which will facilitate access to an IB education across Japan. The project was agreed upon during a ceremony at the IB’s Global Centre in The Hague by the IB’s Director General, Mr. Jeff Beard and Deputy Minister, MEXT, Mr Shinichi Yamanaka. This project is part of MEXT’s goal to increase Japan’s global human resources that enterprises and industries can draw upon in an increasingly interdependent and competitive globalised economy.

The Project’s overarching goal is to enable more students from schools in Japan to learn through an IB Diploma education that can be taught and assessed both in Japanese and English. Accordingly, the IB will also work to significantly grow the number of IB Educators in Japan to facilitate workshops and deliver IB Professional Development to teachers and administrators.

In this exciting new development, the IB, working closely and in cooperation with MEXT, will undertake the development of Japanese as a response language for IB Diploma assessments and will facilitate the teaching and learning in these subject areas by translating core documentation. Such developments are anticipated to lead to the growth Japanese secondary schools offering the IB Diploma programme. A significant cohort of secondary schools from Japan is likely to be authorised as IB World Schools by 2015. In turn, this will facilitate the applications of Japanese students to the worlds top universities where an IB Diploma is welcomed for its academic rigor and development of skills critical for success in the 21st century.

To support the assessment of the Dual Language IB Diploma Programme, the IB will undertake to recruit and train a cluster of bilingual examiners and moderators in Japan.

Ian Chambers, Director IB Asia Pacific commented, “The IB has a long association with MEXT and this cooperation allows the IB to be an integral part of Japan’s plans to develop global human capital. The IB and MEXT share a common goal of developing inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who will contribute to their country and to the world.”

The IB Diploma Programme (DP) is an academically challenging and balanced programme of education with final examinations that prepares students, aged 16 to 19, for success at university and life beyond. It has been designed to address the intellectual, social, emotional and physical well-being of students. The programme, has gained recognition and respect from the world’s leading universities. IB Diploma Programme students must choose one subject from each of five subject groups ensuring breadth of knowledge and understanding in their best language, additional language(s), the social sciences, the experimental sciences and mathematics. Students may then choose either an arts subject or a second subject from groups 1 to 5 to complete a six subject diploma. In addition students are required to undertake a 4,000 word extended essay, an in-depth study of a question relating to one of their DP subjects; Theory of knowledge, a course on critical thinking, the nature of knowing and understanding of knowledge as a human construction; and Creativity, Action, Service (CAS), a range of activities which sit alongside the student's academic studies throughout the Diploma Programme.

About the International Baccalaureate

Founded in 1968, the International Baccalaureate (IB) is a not-for profit foundation, which offers four high quality and challenging educational programmes for a worldwide community of schools. For 45 years, IB programmes have gained a reputation for rigour and high academic standards, for preparing students for life in a globalized 21st century, and for developing citizens who will create a better, more peaceful world. Currently, more than 1 million IB students attend more 3,500 schools in 144 countries. To learn more, visit