Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA)
This study examined the higher education enrollment and achievement of matched cohorts of International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme and A level students who entered higher education in the United Kingdom (UK). The first section of the report provides an overview and descriptive statistics of the IB and A level cohorts, and the second section examines higher education enrollment and outcomes of IB diploma and A level students matched using propensity score matching. Analysis showed that IB diploma students were significantly more likely than their A level peers to attend a top 20 higher education institution in the UK, after controlling for differences in academic ability. Additionally, IB diploma students had a significantly greater likelihood of earning a first-class honours degree than did A level students. A level students, however, were more likely than IB diploma students to take a science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) course during their first year of higher education. First to second year university continuation rates were similarly high for IB diploma and A level students. Lastly, diploma students were significantly more likely to be engaged in further study after leaving higher education while A level students were significantly more likely to join the workforce after graduating.
Research summary (PDF, 933 KB)