Moosung Lee, John Spinks, Ewan Wright, Jenny Dean and Ji Hoon Ryoo—University of Canberra, University of Hong Kong and University of Virginia
This study explored the post-secondary experiences and outcomes of International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme (DP) alumni at three leading universities in the Asia-Pacific region, including two in East Asia and one in Australia. In particular, the study examined the academic performance, 21st-century skills, university preparation and extra-curricular engagement of DP and non-DP graduates. The study involved a three-phase, mixed-method study based on university grade point average (GPA) data, online survey data (n = 845) and interview data (n = 54). While there was no significant difference in GPA between DP and non-DP alumni, on average DP alumni reported higher capacities for a variety of 21st-century skills compared to their non-DP counterparts. IB graduates were also highly positive about their DP learning experiences as preparation for higher education and the development of key skills. Specifically, they felt the DP had prepared them to engage in classroom discussions and group work, develop global perspectives and communicate effectively. Some students, however, reported that they could have benefited from stronger content knowledge before entering higher education, particularly in mathematics or other STEM-related fields.