Graduates of Nova Scotia's International Baccalaureate Diploma Program achieved strong academic results this year, according to examination marks released by the Department of Education, today, Nov. 2.
Students enrolled in the provincial IB program outperformed students in North America and the world in 22 of 28 subject areas, including Mathematics, English, Biology, Physics, Economics, Music, and History.
Three hundred and twelve students, representing the province's largest graduating class from the IB program, received diplomas from the Geneva-based International Baccalaureate Organization this year.
"The strong performance of our students represents a significant achievement, especially when you consider Nova Scotia is one of the only jurisdictions in the world that has open admissions to the IB Diploma Program," said Education Minister Marilyn More.
Most other jurisdictions require students to meet strict entrance requirements before they are accepted into the program.
"I want to congratulate students and their teachers for their hard work and their commitment to what is arguably one of the world's most respected pre-university diploma programs," said Ms. More.
The number of Nova Scotia students who passed the program surpassed the international pass rate with 82 percent of students receiving their diploma in 2009, compared with the international pass rate of 80 percent and 73 per cent for North America.
"The performance of Nova Scotia students on IB exams was outstanding," said Paul Campbell, head of Outreach Services for the IB Americas office in New York. "Everyone deserves a cheer. The Department of Education, the school boards, but most of all the teachers and students, who have demonstrated that Nova Scotia students are ready and able to meet world-class standards"
Brendan Riley, who graduated from the Dr. John Hugh Gillis Regional High School's IB program in Antigonish with one of the highest scores in the province, said the program challenged him to be his best.
"I really had to work hard, yet at the same time it was very satisfying because I felt I was meeting an international standard," he said. "I was very happy to know that in a public school in Antigonish, in rural Nova Scotia, we have access to the same high quality educational opportunities you can get in big cities around the world."
Nova Scotia schools offering IB were also able to claim one of the highest number of diploma graduates per school with 26, compared with the world average of almost 20. The province's IB students also were also offered university scholarships worth more than $5.6 million this past year.
Nova Scotia's head of IB, John Messenger, said it is a good showing for a province that has grown from two IB schools to 13 in just two years.
"The results, while impressive provincially, showed that there are several subject areas and matters related to program delivery that need be improved.
"Now that we have two years under our belt with our expanded IB program, we have a good handle on where we are doing well as well as areas where we didn't quite hit the mark. We know what we have to do to improve."
Results can be viewed on the Department of Education website at