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Speaking for myself, as the chief editor of the book, the following: The IBO has unfortunately shown itself to be an organisation not much interested in engaging in dialogue with the educational community. In response to this book, for instance, the IBO tried hard to delay its publication and the publisher was forced to change the website references throughout the book from to, under the argument that would be "trademark infringement". Yes really!

As a mathematician, I have always felt that education should strive to be supremely affordable and to be an open source venture, where interested parties are encouraged to help improve things. Most national education systems are structured in this way. The IBO is, unfortunately, without much international competition, especially at the highschool level (which is - as the cynical amongst us might assume - the reason for its elevated fees for the IBDP).

The IBDP is, in essence, of course just another education system loosely based on the common continental European models, with a lot of Anglo-saxon admin slapped on top. There's no evidence I'm aware of that says that it's better or worse, although there is little doubt in my mind that it is nowhere near the quality level of Northern European education systems, if only for the fact that in these systems, teachers have far greater autonomy, there is far less admin, and the systems are far more tailored to individual improvement. The PYP (the IBO's primary program), however, it has to be said, has a lot going for it, especially its units of enquiry, and, as the cynics might assume, it is very cheap on account of the competition it faces from its competent rival the IPC, the International Primary Curriculum.

I personally hope to see that some day soon, the EB, the European Baccalaureate - a curriculum that is universally recognized around the globe - will free itself of its current shackle that says this curriculum can only be taught at a few select European schools in the EU. The introduction of the EB to the world scene would give rise to real competition in the world of international highschool education, which would increase the quality of both systems, while undoubtedly lower the cost.

Should you still feel the strong urge to email myself or any of the authors, feel free to send me an email:

Marc van Loo

vanloo.marc -at -