Wanderlust: Expat Life & Style in Thailand The Relationships Issue - Page 42

Kids & Education

GAINING AN EDGE How the IB Diploma can enhance your child ’ s university application

by ANNALIESE WATKINS

Competition starts early . We

compete with others from childhood , whether it ’ s for the attention of our parents or during playground games .
As we grow older , competition grows fiercer , and we are pitted against our peers for employment or a place at university . In a world where a quality education is now more readily available , securing a place at a top further education institute can often feel cutthroat . It ’ s no longer enough to do well — today ’ s students feel the need to excel .
But despite leaving school with a string of top grades , many intelligent and capable students may be left out in the cold when it comes to their degrees . As an example , the UK ’ s University of Cambridge alone typically receives five applications per place on average , across all subjects . This competition among the world ’ s top universities brings into sharp focus the extent to which all students — even the brightest ones — are forced to take a strategic approach to the university application process .
STANDING OUT FROM THE CROWD
To avoid disappointment and frustration , university-bound students must do all that they can to stand out from fellow applicants . If we know that high grades aren ’ t enough , what can be done to increase the chances of admission ?
For many , the answer is the globally-regarded International Baccalaureate , and , more specifically , the Diploma Program , an educational program founded in Switzerland during the 1960s .
Widely regarded as one of the best ways of securing a place at university , the IB Diploma allows students to delve deep into a broad range of academic subjects , while developing non-academic skills , too . In university-application terms , this means gaining the skills and proven academic capabilities needed to survive in post-secondary institutions , where handholding is discouraged and independent study essential .
The IB Diploma differs significantly from other education frameworks when it comes to 16 to 19-year-old students . IB programs encourage students to grow not just academically , but intellectually , emotionally and ethically as well . As an international program , the IB is not subject to the demands of any one government or system ; it offers great breadth as a qualification . IB students are required to study subjects within each of the disciplines of the sciences , mathematics and humanities , as well as at
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