Guides for students applying to university

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Every year, thousands of IB students apply to over 5,000 universities worldwide. To facilitate the application process, the IB offers country-specific guides for students applying to university.

Country-specific guides for students

Many IB students apply for university in a country other than where they completed their secondary school studies. The Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education in the European Region, more commonly referred to as the "Lisbon Recognition Convention", is an international agreement that facilitates the recognition of qualifications and promotes academic mobility among signatory countries. This Convention requires that each signatory country must recognize foreign qualifications unless it can show that there are substantial differences between the foreign qualification for which recognition is sought and the corresponding qualification of the host country.

The Convention committee adopted a recommendation on International Qualifications, which include IB qualifications per the European Recognition Manual for Higher Education Institutions. For IB graduates, this means that they can apply and that their IB qualification will be considered for admission to higher education institutions in signatory countries other than their own. Access the list of more than 50 countries.

Application requirements vary by country, the guides below provide brief introductions to the higher education systems in each country, as well as information to support your or your student’s applications.

Please Note: Some of the information in the guides below, particularly relating to external content, such as the university data, may not be current. Please check the individual university websites for further details.

Guide for international students applying to Australia (PDF, 3.7 MB)

Guide for international students applying to Canada (PDF, 3.7 MB)

Guide for international students applying to Hong Kong (PDF, 1.1 MB)

  • Free country-specific PD for university and career counsellors

    With student mobility rates increasing and more students searching for opportunities to study abroad, keeping up with admissions requirements around the world can be challenging. Created for both new and experienced UCCs, these new self-paced online professional development (PD) modules will provide the information you need to support students applying to universities around the world.