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En route to DU via IB

Some IB students, used to a research-based education, opt for Delhi University’s theory-based courses, reports Nitin Sreedhar

education Updated: Jun 29, 2011 11:18 IST
Nitin Sreedhar

One of the most sought-after programmes of the International Baccalaureate (IB) is the IB Diploma, following which students gain an edge if they wish to pursue their education from some of the most prestigious universities around the globe. However, for a few IB pass-outs, the idea of going abroad is not so appealing. These students choose to stay back and covet Indian universities instead. Many students from the IB Diploma programme seek admission in Delhi University. But unlike the CBSE crop, their admission process is different because IB results typically come out by July, by which time DU admissions are about to close.

“Students who have come through the ranks of the IB are selected on the basis of their predicted grades. They are admitted on a provisional basis, and it’s made official once the students submit their certificates” says Nirmal Kumar, convenor, admissions, Sri Venkateswara College (SVC).

A few DU aspirants shared their experiences on the move from the IB to DU:
Neeraja Narainasamy, who is about to start her BSc zoology at SVC, says, “I didn’t plan on going abroad, I wanted to be at DU. The transition was not that easy, because although IB was tough it was still like a challenge in an open environment. It was an integrated effort where you got exposure to numerous subjects. It was aimed at making you ‘a jack of all trades’. “

The IB programme is based on year-round research and project submission, unlike the erstwhile CBSE format. It also has a very different evaluation system.

Sarasija Subramaniam, who wants to pursue English and psychology at either Lady Shri Ram (LSR) or Hansraj, says that she sought guidelines from her seniors who are studying at DU. “Moreover, I followed the DU prospectus carefully, as well. And most importantly, the advice of the members of the faculty from school proved beneficial,” she adds.

She also suggested that DU’s provisional admission process should be bettered and made more universal because all the colleges do not recognise it.

“I have very high expectations from DU, as it is a renowned university.”

Niyati Malhotra, who has applied for economics (hons) at LSR, felt that the transition wasn’t very difficult. “I found the transition to be much easier, because IB has equipped us accordingly.” She suggested that the whole admission process for the IB students should be made more conducive to IB students and the IB schedule.

Despite hitting a few hurdles, both Subramaniam and Malhotra are confident they are on the right path. “We opted for DU because it is one of the best universities in Asia.”

Moving into a new system
The IB programmes include an important element of research, which shapes students toward more independent study. As compared to that, DU is bit more inclined towards theory and rote learning. The students also gave an insight on how they would cope after moving from research-based instruction to one based on theoretical learning.

“It will be a bit harder to score as there was more scope to score in research, in topics like essays, long answers etc. As far as DU is concerned, studies are more logic based and knowing everything will be essential now. It will not be that challenging, but a bit harder,” says Narainasamy.

Malhotra believes that she is ready for the change in the pattern of instruction.

“When you enter college, studying is totally different. Moving to college is like moving to a more practical-based curriculum, and IB prepares us that way.

It prepares you for such college patterns. It is not true that there is no research in DU at all; and when you have been through research during the IB, it is for your own benefit,” she said.

Rina Ramdev, who is the head of department for English at SVC, believes that the inclusion of research in the students’ curriculum at IB plays a key role in their development. “The IB programme encourages and enables students to undertake independent research. They are also given a mini-thesis to work on, which is referred to as an ‘Extended Essay’. It has to be original, well-documented and most importantly, well-researched.”

Relaxation for English (Hons)
Students who have done their English from the International Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) or the International Baccalaureate (IB) are given a 5% relaxation in their aggregate percentage only for English (hons) at Sri Venkateswara College, (SVC), Delhi University. The English Department at SVC believes that students who have attended either board have stronger English skills because they are already put through their paces on English literature

What is it all about?
The International Baccalaureate (IB) is an internationally recognised non-profit educational system which basically offers three programmes:

PYP: The Primary Years Programme (Kindergarten to Class 5).
MYP: The Middle Years Programme (Class 6 to Class 10).
DP: The Diploma Programme (Class 11 to Class 12)
The IB syllabus is universally accepted. It focuses more on practical based knowledge. It takes into account the abilities and performances of the students leading to their overall development. Although the IB curriculum is a bit more challenging than the ICSE and CBSE, the abundance of exposure to various subjects and topics, quality of the assignments and the inclusion of research makes up for it.

IB programmes, especially the IB diploma, are quickly becoming a preferred choice for Indian students who want to pursue further studies abroad.

Some universities and colleges even offer scholarships and relaxations in marks to students who have been through IB system