International Baccalaureate Director General visits Spain


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[Geneva (Switzerland)] [11 February 2022]—On Monday 14 February, Olli-Pekka Heinonen, the 8th Director General of the International Baccalaureate (IB), will visit Spain in a three-day official visit to Madrid and Andalusia, where he will visit the cities of Seville, Jerez de la Frontera and Marbella. Mr Heinonen will meet with representatives from Spain’s national and autonomous governments, and with school leaders and students from IB World Schools. This is the Director General’s first visit to Spain since taking office in May 2021, and illustrates the close ties between the IB and Spain, which date back to 1977, when the country’s first IB school was authorized.

Heinonen will also attend the ForumEduca educational leaders’ summit, where he will share his educational vision from the International Baccalaureate Organization’s perspective and his experience as Finland’s former minister of education. ForumEduca is an exclusive event where experts in education and schools from all over Spain meet to discuss the latest schools of thought in education.

“As Director General of the International Baccalaureate, I’m keen to travel to Spain to meet with key educators and government teams who have worked closely with the IB for many years, and have exemplified the IB learner profile for the leaders of the future”, said Olli-Pekka Heinonen. “The challenges we are facing today are very different to those we faced in the past. It’s not enough for heads of state and scientists to provide us with solutions; each of us has something to contribute towards these challenges. We must therefore prioritize education for action and aim to develop young people who are agents of change. What’s needed is a curriculum for the future that contextualizes the real world and which, taking into account specific challenges, can address issues relating to sustainability and student well-being. In this unpredictable future, education is our best source of hope. Developing and coaching young people is the only way of helping them to become the thinkers and engineers of the future, ready to build a better, more sustainable world for everyone”, the Director General added.

The International Baccalaureate is a non-profit foundation whose mission is to create a better world through education. For 45 years, the IB has enabled Spanish students at all types of schools—public, semi-private and private—to take control of their own learning paths and develop the skills and confidence they need to make progress and make a difference. It also equips teachers as architects of excellence in learning, who work alongside committed colleagues in a rewarding profession and with support from a robust global network.

The IB World Schools in Spain have forged a solid reputation for achieving positive outcomes that benefit the entire community. Spain was one of the first countries to offer the International Baccalaureate educational system, and currently has 175 IB World Schools teaching one or more of the four educational programmes in Spanish, English and French.

Primary Years Programme  


Middle Years Programme 


Career-related Programme 

Diploma Programme 


More information about the schools in Spain

In addition, the Spanish Government’s recognition of the International Baccalaureate diploma as equivalent to Spain’s national baccalaureate has made Spain the 10th most popular university destination for IB students worldwide. The IB has therefore become an ally in developing the international presence of Spanish universities, attracting IB students from over 5,400 schools in 159 countries.

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About the IB 

Founded in 1968, the International Baccalaureate (IB) pioneered a movement of international education and now offers four high quality, challenging educational programmes to students aged 3-19. The IB gives students distinct advantages by providing strong foundations, critical thinking skills, and proficiency for solving complex problems while encouraging diversity, curiosity, and a healthy appetite for learning and excellence. In a world where asking the right questions is as important as discovering answers, the IB champions critical thinking and flexibility in study by crossing disciplinary, cultural and national boundaries. Supported by world-class educators and coordinators, the IB currently engages with more than 1.95 million students in over 5,500 schools across 160 countries.