October 2007

Message from Regional Director,
Nélida Antuña Baragaño

Nélida Antuña BaragañoDear friends and colleagues

1971 was a key year in my life. I graduated from the university of Liège (Belgium) , I married Djavad from Iran and I started my professional life at an IB school , Iranzamin International School in Tehran.

Although at this time my plans were not exactly to be a teacher, during the next 20 years I taught and discovered gradually the pleasure and reward of teaching. If I had the opportunity to go back on time I would certainly undertake the same pathway. This time by vocation!

The last 13 years spent at the regional office were an extraordinary corollary at my teaching experience and the discovery of how powerful the Education tool is! My passage at the regional office for Africa, Europe and Middle East taught me that Education is not just a matter for educators or administrators. Education is a matter where all of us are involved in all moments of our life, as learners and teachers. In a personal note, I would like to thank all of you, in the Africa, Europe and Middle East region for providing me the invaluable opportunity of learning and being always amazed by the cultural richness amongst us!   I wish you great experiences and success!

This will be my last Newsletter as regional director, as from January 2008 I will be involved in the new developments the IB is undertaking in its strategy for 2020, until my official retirement in 2009. My role will be looking at the worldwide level at one of the core activities of the IB, Authorization of schools and Evaluation of the programmes. I am sure it will be another exciting challenge too!

With warm regards

Nélida Antuña Baragaño

New Developments

We have introduced worldwide Quality Assurance Frameworks in three of the core activities of the IB regional offices namely

  • Workshops and conferences
  • Authorization process
  • Evaluation process

We are convinced that these instruments will improve the quality of these services and also give schools the opportunity to provide feedback by the means of questionnaires.

As part of the 2020 vision the Director General Jeff Beard has identified 5 core activities and formed groups whose task it is to take an in-depth look at the following areas and suggest strategies  to meet future demands.

  • Programme development
  • Assessment delivery
  • Professional development delivery
  • School relationship management
  • Programme recognition


During the year we have worked on recognition issues in the following countries:

Spain, Germany, Sweden, Norway and Denmark.

The situation for IB students have improved a great deal in Spain as students are no longer obliged to take the Selectividad examinations.

At a global recognition summit meeting in Frankfurt in June 2007 we identified countries in each region where the recognition needs to be  improved. The Programme recognition group mentioned above will continue the work and suggest strategies for the future.

To the meeting in Frankfurt we had also invited German representatives and the IB has asked for another meeting with the German authorities to discuss the current recognition agreement.

In the Nordic countries the focus has been on the conversion tables and we are grateful to the national asscociations of IB schools in these countries who have been very active.

Services and Fees

In connection with the general fee revision for the three programmes regarding authorization, evaluation and assessment the regional office has also revised the fee structure for its other services such as consultation visits and  in-school workshops. The complete table is now available on our web site. See links below.

School Fee Structure 2007-2008 (PDF)

Exhibitors Fee 2007-2008 (PDF)

We are pleased to note an increased interest in arranging Workshops in cooperation with the IB.  We are well aware of the challenge to meet present and future demand for professional development. This type of workshops can provide an efficient tool to increase the offering and bring down the travel costs for attending IB approved workshops. We welcome schools or organization of IB schools and other organizations with a proven record of arranging professional development events to contact us for more information (arlina.traanberg@ibo.org). The basic documents will soon be available on our web site.

Regional office correspondence with schools

As more schools implement and are authorized to offer our programmes in our region and more staff have joined our regional office, we need to develop efficient communication channels with schools. We get many e-mails on a daily basis which accumulate as we are travelling on school visits. We hope you understand that this may result in delays responding to your messages. However, we kindly ask coordinators to read carefully the correspondence we send about regional office procedures from each of our programme units. Several messages could be avoided if schools read all our instructions carefully. We also ask you to make sure parents contact the coordinator before they contact the regional office, this should be their first point of contact.

We will continue to do our best, but your help is highly appreciated.

Visa Issue

IB Africa, Europe, Middle East regional office policy concerning VISA APPLICATIONS

Misunderstandings sometimes occur concerning the responsibility of the Africa, Europe, Middle East regional office in cases where visas are refused by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of a country where an IB event is being held. 

The following is the regional office policy concerning visas, which is stated in programmes for all Africa, Europe, Middle East events –

  • Acquiring the necessary information on whether a visa is needed, and the length of the application process, is the sole responsibility of each participant or coordinator.   It is essential to check visa requirements with the relevant embassy or consulate, or with a travel agency, before registering for the event. As a general rule, passports must be valid for at least six months after the proposed stay in the country concerned.
  • While the the IB makes every effort to ensure that visas are granted to all participants, the final decision of a Ministry of Foreign Affairs is beyond the IB’s control.  The regional office therefore bears no obligation to reimburse a registration fee in cases where a visa is not granted.
  • The Africa, Europe, Middle East Events Unit can provide a visa support letter, to be downloaded from Regis (IB online registration system) by the IB coordinator.  This facility is only available to participants whose registration has been confirmed by the Events Unit.  Detailed instructions can be found by clicking the visa button on the left hand side of the screen when registering participants)
  • In cases where a visa is refused, cancellations received by the Events Unit up to three weeks before the event will be reimbursed to 80% of the registration fee.   Cancellations received after this deadline will be charged the full registration fee.

News from the Programme Units


Primary Years Programme

PYP Memo (PDF)

PYP workshop leader training 2008 (PDF)

PYP workshop overviews for schools 2007-2008 (PDF)

Please select the above links to read the news

Middle Years Programme

MYP memo link (PDF)  

Diploma Programme

Diploma Memo (PDF)

Intellectual Property and Copyright Policy

Please select the link below in order to know the latest news on Intellectual property and copyright policy

Intellectual Property and Copyright Policy

IB Community Theme

The IB community now includes more than 2000 schools, 500,000 students, teachers, parents, staff and examiners and other colleagues in more than 125 countries. In an effort to strengthen this large and growing community and the IB mission, which we share, the IB has initiated an exciting new project— the IB community theme.

The idea of a community theme was conceived in 2006 and the first theme: sharing our humanity, was officially launched in April 2007 at the annual general meeting.

Please take time to look at the information on the web site (by selecting the link below) about this project and discuss at your school how you can contribute. The regional office will address the theme in forthcoming conferences and workshops.

IB Community Theme (PDF)

IB Bursary Fund

We would like to draw your attention to this relatively new fund which is intended to provide short-term grants for schools experiencing financial challenges or wanting to increase access to IB programmes.

There were not many applicants in the last application round and with this newsletter we would like to encourage schools to make better use of this possibility.

For more information please select the link below.

There will be no further rounds for 2007 but please note the following dates for 2008.

Applications in 2008 close on the following dates:

15 February 2008 for grants in 2008

27 June 2008 for grants in 2008

31 October 2008 for grants in 2008-2009

IB Bursary Fund

Online Registration System

The events unit continues to develop the online registration system in order to make the process more efficient and improve the service to schools and workshop leaders.


Important Notices

Contact Details

Please ensure the email addresses for your head of school and the programme coordinator(s) are updated in IBIS; if we do not have the correct addresses in our system it is possible that your school will not receive important messages from us and the IB in general.

Changes to Staff and update

We welcome the following new staff to the office

Anne Cornely,
PYP and MYP Assistant

Nelson Matute,
Events Assistant

Agata Ott,
PYP Assistant

Victoria Pierlot,

Professional Development and Research Manager

Susanne Schaerer,

Personal Assistant to the Regional Director

Christelle Scheidegger,

Business and Finance Manager

Laura Swash,

MYP Associate Regional Manager

And fond farewells to

Jane Marin,

Personal Assistant to the Regional Director

Sandra Sutter-Tompkins,

PYP Assistant

Roy Whittet,

MYP Associate Regional Manager

Your Suggestions and Comments

This newsletter is intended to inform you of the regional office activities, but if you have anything you would like included, let us know!  Send your suggestions and/or comments to ibaem@ibo.org.