IB Global University Admissions Conference 2023


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Thank you to everyone who attended the first ever International Baccalaureate (IB) Global University Admissions Conference from 28 February-2 March, 2023. It was a remarkable experience as we gathered virtually to discuss the transition to higher education.

It was a great privilege to have over 800 attendees from 89 countries gathered on a virtual platform to engage in thought-provoking discussions, while exploring various strategies and best practices for supporting students transition to universities. Attendees explored how to prepare the next generation and equip them with the skills needed to succeed in the university admissions process.  

Attendees joined in from around the world to learn and collaborate with educators, universities, and counsellors all with a shared passion for education, and aiding in the success of students. Our outstanding line-up of speakers shared unique perspectives on higher education through their own experiences and areas of expertise. The success of this conference would not have been possible without the enthusiastic participation, insightful contributions and meaningful engagement from our participants, universities and speakers. We were truly inspired by the heart-warming sense of community.   

Opening day 

On opening day, we welcomed best-selling author, thought leader and Senior Advisor to the Schubert Center for Child Studies at Case Western Reserve University, Dr. Lisa Damour to lead our opening session. The opening session focused on one of the most important topics impacting students and society at large: mental health. We learned about the science behind stress and anxiety and how to empower ourselves and students to manage mental health in a fruitful way.

See highlights from the opening Keynote in the video

Second day 

The Keynote session on the second day was delivered through a panel discussion from the incredible Professor Chi Kin Yim, Jonathan Burdick and Louise Banahene. We learned more about current issues related to admissions world-wide, specifically issues impacting IB students, or obstacles universities encounter with particular IB applicants. It was a truly though provoking session thanks to these three admissions professionals, who discussed the trendy topics related to education and difficult questions regarding the future of admissions.   

The second day also included 10 informative breakout sessions, a captivating student performance and a University Fair that connected participants to over 100 different universities.  

See the highlights from day two panel discussion in the video below.

Closing day 

Finally, we wrapped up the conference with our closing Keynote session presented by Arizona State University President, Michael Crow. Renowned educator, knowledge enterprise architect, science and technology policy scholar and higher education leader, President Michael Crow explained to us how it is possible to design a public learning enterprise capable of world-class teaching, learning and research at scale with the help of leading-edge technology and customized learning. We were truly inspired by his teachings and presentation. 

The day concluded with 10 more breakout sessions, an incredible student performance and our final University Fair. 

See the highlights from our final Keynote session in the video below.

In addition to the Keynote sessions, attendees were able to participate in 40 breakout sessions across four different tracks. 

These covered a wide range of the most relevant topics for education professionals and were specifically targeted to the university admissions process. All sessions were recorded and available for participants to watch following the conclusion of the conference. 

Session highlights included the following: 

  • Diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging at the IB and in IB schools - Dr Michele Rice, the IB’s first Head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI), led an insightful discussion centered on how we can lend support in developing DEIB initiatives and how we might sustain an IB culture of international-mindedness, equity, inclusion and belonging at the IB communities. Find out more by reading the IB’s Diversity, equity and inclusion statement
  • What works in transitions programming in schools and universities: Evidence, policy and practice – Katie Rigg informed us about the evidence base related to the specific transitions needs of international students and the aspects of school and university programmes that are most effective at meeting these. 
  • Navigating the Fourth Industrial Revolution: Who is driving? - Marie Vivas and Jonathan Burdick discussed the Fourth Industrial Revolution, an era which will bring us advanced robotics and autonomous transport, artificial intelligence and machine learning, advanced materials, biotechnology and genomics. As we work with students and communities to prepare them for an uncertain future, we learned how to center student voices and needs in the conversation during this fascinating breakout session. 

The full conference programme can be found here. 

We would like to express our heartfelt thanks to our community of passionate counsellors, admissions and recruitment staff, presenters, universities, and schools for joining us at the first IB Global University Admissions Conference. The success of this conference would not have been possible without you. 

See you at our upcoming conferences! 

Want to see more #IBUni2023 highlights? 

Keep up to date with IB Global Conferences on all social media platforms. Relive our attendees’ favourite moments of the conference on social media with #IBUni2023. 

See the social media highlights here.