General information

IBO – Education for Life

The International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) was officially founded in 1968 and is a non-profit educational foundation offering international education. The organization currently works with over 4500 schools in more than 140 countries and offers challenging programmes to more than 1,000,000 students aged 3 to 19 years.

The IBO website,

The IBO offers four challenging programmes: Primary Years Programme (PYP) for pupils aged 3 to 12, Middle Years Programme (MYP) for students aged 11 to 16 and two programmes for students aged 16-19: Diploma Programme (DP) and Career-related Programme (CP).

The educational philosophy of the IBO is found in its mission statement:

"The International Baccalaureate® aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.

To this end the organization works with schools, governments and international organizations to develop challenging programmes of international education and rigorous assessment.

These programmes encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right."

The IBO offers diverse services to its member schools. The organization is a recognized leader in curriculum development and various assessment techniques, teachers training courses and various educational opportunities for teachers. Emphasis is laid on interconnected computer networks and other educational services.

Hamrahlid College (MH) is an upper secondary state school governed by the Upper Secondary School Act pf 1996 and administered by the Ministry of Education. It is situated in Reykjavík, the capital of Iceland, not far from the city centre with relatively easy access by public transport. 

The school offers two academic pre-university programmes for 16 to 20-year-olds: the Icelandic three - four year academic programme of study which concludes with the matriculation examination (“stúdentspróf”) and the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma. Currently, about 1200 students follow the Icelandic programme, which in this case is a unit credit system where each subject is divided into a number of defined courses which last for one semester, and about 80 students follow the IB programme which is taught in English. Most graduates from MH continue their studies at universities or colleges of higher education in Iceland or abroad. MH has been known for its open and friendly atmosphere and the students tend to be open minded and even rebellious in a constructive sort of way.

Most IB students are either Icelanders who have returned back home after several years abroad, or foreigners with residence permit in Iceland. Some of the students are simply Icelandic students who come straight from primary school but aim to work or study in an international atmosphere in the future. Students who have completed 10th or 11th grade at a foreign or international school, or the first year of the Icelandic gymnasium, with excellent academic results and proficiency in the English language may be admitted directly to the two-year IB Diploma course. Applicants from grade 9 or 10 in foreign or Icelandic schools must start with a one-year preparatory course, the pre-IB which is also taught in English.


IB diploma graduates have been accepted by numerous leading universities world wide. These include respectable institutions in Europe and the United States, e.g. Oxford, Cambridge, Sorbonne, Yale and Harvard, as well as universities in Latin America, Asia and around the Pacific Ocean. Thus IB DP graduates are welcome at prestigious universities around the world. Further information concerning university recognition can be found on the IBO web site.


Last updated: 13.01.2022