The International Baccalaureate (IB) has become a powerful educational brand by developing a reputation for combining progressive approaches with academic rigour. This can be identified by the growing number of schools adopting IB programmes globally and especially in the IB Asia-Pacific region. As part of this trend, the IB Middle Years Programme (MYP), aimed at students between 11 and 16 years old, has expanded significantly in recent years. However, in Asia-Pacific, the MYP remains less popular relative to the IB’s Primary Years Programme and pre-university Diploma Programme (DP). This article compares the motivations of IB MYP and DP Coordinators for choosing the MYP in Asia-Pacific with their counterparts in other parts of the world. To achieve this, 175 IB Coordinators across 54 countries were surveyed. Findings revealed that IB pedagogy, holistic approach, philosophy and global citizenship were the most popular reasons to offer the MYP. Yet, IB Coordinators in Asia-Pacific put relatively greater weight on marketing, the MYP Certificate and external validation of school-based assessments. This article argues that this emphasis may stem from a high concentration of schools operating in the private international schooling sector and discusses the potential for the MYP to continue to expand across the Asia-Pacific region.
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