International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO), a nonprofit educational foundation based in Switzerland, offers a Primary Years Programme, a Middle Years Programme and the Diploma Programme for students in the final two years of secondary school.
Founded in the 1960's, the IBO grew out of international school efforts to establish a common curriculum and university entry credential for geographically mobile students. Beyond practical considerations, international educators were also motivated by an idealistic vision: they hoped that a shared academic experience emphasizing critical thinking and exposure to a variety of viewpoints would foster tolerance and inter-cultural understanding among young people. Concentration on the last two years of secondary school sought to build a comprehensive curriculum - leading to a baccalaureate - that could be administered in any country and recognized by universities in every country.
The educational philosophy of the organization is found is its mission statement adopted in 1996:
Through comprehensive and balanced curricula coupled with challenging assessments, the International Baccalaureate Organization aims to assist schools in their endeavors to develop the individual talents of young people and teach them to relate the experience of the classroom to the realities of the world outside. Beyond intellectual rigor and high academic standards, strong emphasis is placed on the ideals of international understanding and responsible citizenship, to the end that IB students may become critical and compassionate thinkers, lifelong learners and informed participants in local and world affairs, conscious of the shared humanity that binds all people together while respecting the variety of cultures and attitudes that makes for the richness of life.