Researchers and practitioners convened in Bath last week for the Educator Certificate Conference for the International Baccalaureate (IB) – the international education movement, which this year celebrates its 50th anniversary.

Over three days, attendees shared learnings from the latest in international education, including new research from partners and from the University’s Department of Education, whose Professor Jeff Thompson chaired the conference.

They also heard keynote presentations from Dr Bradley Shrimpton (Head of Research for the IB), Dr Robert Harrison (Head of IB Middle Years Programme Development), Dr Conrad Hughes (Principal at the International School of Geneva) and Bath’s own Catherine Montgomery – Professor of International Higher Education and Academic Director of International Partnerships.

In the half century since its formation, the IB has grown from a single pre-University programme to a continuum of 4 programmes (Primary Years Programme, Middle Years Programme, Diploma Programme, Career-related Programme) covering the whole pre-university age range.

Its growth during this period has seen not only increasing numbers of school students enrolled on its programmes, but also growth of professional development opportunities for IB teachers.

This includes the IB Educator Certificates offered in conjunction with universities worldwide, and an impressive portfolio of research undertaken both by the IB itself and by researchers supported by the IB - again, including many based in universities around the world. For a number of years, the Department of Education has been heavily involved in helping to shape and develop the IB through both teaching practice and research.

Head of the Department of Education, and Professor of International Education Mary Hayden said: “The University of Bath’s links with the International Baccalaureate go back over many years, and it is a particular honour that the IB chose to host its second IB Educator Certificate conference on our campus - following its inaugural Kent State University conference two years ago.

"The coming together of over 100 researchers from universities worldwide with interests in the IB has provided a stimulating and challenging environment for debate and discussion in this fast developing field, and an acknowledgement of the primacy of Bath’s place in it.”