Best IB schools in Dubai: These six UAE schools make it onto a list of the top 100 global IB schools
Looking for the best IB schools in Dubai? A new table released by Education Advisers LTD ranks schools across the world by International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IB DP) average score, and six of Dubai’s schools make it into the global top 100 best IB schools.
A few caveats to note before we go into the listings: this list is not an official one produced by the IB, which does not believe in ranking schools in this way.
It’s also worth paying attention to the cohort size of each school, the number of students who do not sit for the Diploma at all (for example sitting courses) – and also the numbers of students who sit for Career-related Programme (one we rate very highly and equivalent to the Diploma). In many ways, without this information, the following table is less meaningful than it could be. Whilst we have included the cohort size in our description of the UAE-based schools, it is not included in the table that follows of all the top 100 IB schools across the world – you can see the full list including cohort size for every school here. As well as not including adjustments for the above, the following tables do not take into account the impacts of academic selection on those who sit for the Diploma, or those schools which, creditably, offer multiple academic pathway options for students beyond the Diploma.
Taking into account the above, for example, we believe that JESS Dubai, should in a truly meaningful table, rate much more highly, as a genuinely inclusive school with an absolutely extraordinary, and outstanding, commitment to delivering a whole child education for its students. It is absolutely not a school driven by examination results, or one that measures its overall success in terms of examination results – the picture is much bigger and more creditable than this. JESS is a multi-award winning recipient at the Top Schools Awards over many years for good reason. It delivers results, yes, but it also delivers on rounded, highly accomplished, kind, well adjusted and happy young men and women with ambition to do something meaningful with their lives. There is no one JESS child, but different young people, each celebrated for their own unique gifts – many of which have absolutely nothing to do with exam results.
We have picked JESS as an example, but we could have chosen many admirable qualities of all the UAE schools referenced in the table following.
Most importantly then, academic rankings like these do not give any real picture of the quality of an education provided by a school beyond exam results. An academically selective school, that runs like a hothouse, with very limited course options for students – and one that restricts other parts of what of what we consider to be a high quality education around the whole child, can achieve high rankings rankings in tables – but at what cost? Few parents would choose the extreme examples of schools run in this way. There are examples of schools, in the UK, that actually force children to leave their schools so as not to impact their place on league tables. There are schools that perform well in examination results, but churn out what are better described as machines, not people. This is not true of schools in the UAE, but it is why league tables, like this must, we think, always be treated with caution. They are only a part, if a relatively important part, of what makes a truly outstanding school.
This is why we always say, when asked “which is the best school” that there is no such thing as a best school for all children. It depends on numerous factors – and these include some factors that absolutely can only be decided on visiting a school and seeing whether your child feels at home and happy. Make sure you dig down into our reviews of each school to get the full picture of what it could be like for your child to be a student there – but no review can replace a school visit, or experience over time. There are many examples of where even the very brightest children will do far worse at an academically selective school, for example, than an academically inclusive one, this because they will have an opportunity to sparkle at a school where they are not outshone by other equally able children. So too, some children are gifted in the Performing Arts – there are some schools that specialise in exactly these areas. No tables like this can help here at all.
The UAE’s top achieving IB schools
So, with the many cautions out of the way, a very impressive six UAE schools make it onto the list of the world’s top 100 IB schools.
With 3,550 IB DP schools in total across the world, the top 100 schools represents an elite 3% of all IB DP schools globally.
There are 48 IB DP schools in the UAE all together, and the fact that six of these schools (equivalent to 12.5% of all UAE IB DP schools) make it into the global top 100 IB schools, puts the UAE in sixth place in terms of the percentage of total country schools that make it into the ranking. That is a quite extraordinary achievement.
Leading the way for the UAE in the top 100 global IB DP schools is the co-educational North London Collegiate School Dubai, which comes in joint 31st place globally with an average IB DP score of 40.0, achieved by a relatively small cohort of 24+ students.
Next up is Nord Anglia International School Dubai, which comes joint 42nd place in the world with an average IB DP score of 39.4, from a cohort of 56+ students.
The third most high-ranking UAE-based school in the table is JESS Dubai Arabian Ranches, which comes in at joint 50th place globally, with an average IB DP score of 39.0, from a comparatively large cohort of 92+ students.
Then come GEMS World Academy and Deira International School, which tie at 77th place alongside 18 other schools across the world, all of which hit an average IB DP score of 38.0. DIS’s score was reached by a cohort of 60+ students, whereas GEMS World Academy has 92+ students.
And the sixth school to make it into the global top 100 IB schools is GEMS Wellington International School, which comes 99th place globally, with a cohort of 100+ students.
Global Top 100 IB Schools
|Ranking Number||Average IB DP points||Name||Country|
|1||43.3||St Paul’s Co-educational College||Hong Kong|
|2||43.0||Diocesan Boys’ School||Hong Kong|
|=||43.0||Letovo School||Russian Federation|
|=||43.0||Godolphin & Latymer School||United Kingdom|
|5||42.8||King’s College School – Wimbledon||United Kingdom|
|6||42.7||Cheltenham Ladies’ College||United Kingdom|
|7||42.3||K. International School Tokyo||Japan|
|8||42.0||Singapore Sports School||Singapore|
|=||42.0||German Swiss International School||Hong Kong|
|10||41.8||Anglo Chinese School||Singapore|
|11||41.6||G.T. (Ellen Yeung) College||Hong Kong|
|=||41.6||Whitgift School||United Kingdom|
|13||41.4||NPS International School||Singapore|
|14||41.3||Ardingly College||United Kingdom|
|=||41.3||Sevenoaks School||United Kingdom|
|16||41.2||Wellington College||United Kingdom|
|17||41.0||Porg International School||Czech Republic|
|=||41.0||St Joseph’s Institution||Singapore|
|=||41.0||Dhirubhai Ambani International School||India|
|20||40.7||Tanglin Trust School||Singapore|
|21||40.6||Po Leung Kuk Choi Kai Yau||Hong Kong|
|22||40.4||Singapore International School (Hong Kong)||Hong Kong|
|=||40.4||HKCCCU Logos Academy||Hong Kong|
|24||40.3||Bombay International School||India|
|=||40.3||Brentwood School||United Kingdom|
|=||40.3||King Edward’s School – Birmingham||United Kingdom|
|=||40.3||Abbey School – Reading||United Kingdom|
|28||40.2||The ISF Academy||Hong Kong|
|29||40.1||Bromsgrove School||United Kingdom|
|30||40.0||The British School of Brussels||Belgium|
|=||40.0||Desheng School (International)||China|
|=||40.0||North London Collegiate School Dubai||United Arab Emirates|
|33||39.7||The International School of Monaco||Monaco|
|=||39.7||Dulwich College Singapore||Singapore|
|35||39.6||Sha Tin College (ESF group)||Hong Kong|
|=||39.6||West Island School (ESF group)||Hong Kong|
|=||39.4||Dulwich College Beijing||China|
|=||39.4||Canadian International School of Hong Kong||Hong Kong|
|=||39.4||Fettes College||United Kingdom|
|=||39.4||Nord Anglia International School Dubai||United Arab Emirates|
|=||39.4||South Island School (ESF group)||Hong Kong|
|43||39.3||UWCSEA Dover Campus||Singapore|
|44||39.2||The International School Bangalore||India|
|=||39.2||Shanghai Singapore International School||China|
|=||39.2||UWCSEA East Campus||Singapore|
|47||39.1||Dulwich College Shanghai Pudong||China|
|=||39.1||Frankfurt International School||Germany|
|49||39.0||North London Collegiate School Jeju||Korea, Republic of|
|=||39.0||Ecole Jeannine Manuel – Paris||France|
|=||39.0||St Clare’s||United Kingdom|
|=||39.0||Lancers International School||India|
|=||39.0||Westbourne School||United Kingdom|
|=||39.0||The British School of Milan||Italy|
|=||39.0||JESS Dubai Arabian Ranches||United Arab Emirates|
|=||39.0||Malvern College||United Kingdom|
|59||38.9||St Stephen’s College||Hong Kong|
|=||38.9||Suzhou Singapore International School||China|
|61||38.8||Renaissance College (ESF group)||Hong Kong|
|62||38.7||School of the Arts Singapore||Singapore|
|=||38.7||ESF (group of schools)||Hong Kong|
|=||38.7||Carmel School – Elsa High School Campus||Hong Kong|
|65||38.6||Agora Lledo International School||Spain|
|67||38.5||Global Indian International School (GIIS) SMART Campus||Singapore|
|=||38.5||King George V School (ESF group)||Hong Kong|
|69||38.4||International School of Tianjin||China|
|=||38.4||British International School Shanghai, Puxi||China|
|71||38.3||Island School (ESF group)||Hong Kong|
|=||38.3||Heritage Xperiential Learning School||India|
|73||38.1||Wellington College International Shanghai||China|
|=||38.1||St Catherine’s British School||Greece|
|=||38.1||Marymount International School||United Kingdom|
|76||38.0||Nexus International School Malaysia||Malaysia|
|=||38.0||Nanjing International School||China|
|=||38.0||Munich International School||Germany|
|=||38.0||Bryanston School||United Kingdom|
|=||38.0||International School of Aberdeen||United Kingdom|
|=||38.0||Charterhouse School||United Kingdom|
|=||38.0||International School of Penang (Uplands)||Malaysia|
|=||38.0||ACS Hillingdon International School||United Kingdom|
|=||38.0||ISR International School of the Rhein||Germany|
|=||38.0||Zurich International School||Switzerland|
|=||38.0||Fairview International School||Malaysia|
|=||38.0||Deira International School||United Arab Emirates|
|=||38.0||St Louis School – Milan||Italy|
|=||38.0||St Joseph’s Institution International||Singapore|
|=||38.0||GEMS World Academy||United Arab Emirates|
|=||38.0||Scottish High International School Gurgaon||India|
|=||38.0||International School of Lausanne||Switzerland|
|=||38.0||American School in Paris||France|
|=||38.0||College du Leman International School||Switzerland|
|=||38.0||Branksome Hall Asia||Korea, Republic of|
|96||37.9||Canadian International School Singapore||Singapore|
|97||37.8||Dwight School London||United Kingdom|
|=||37.8||French International School of Hong Kong||Hong Kong|
|99||37.7||GEMS Wellington International School||United Arab Emirates|
|=||37.7||Bradfield College||United Kingdom|
Notes for parents
Read an interesting discussion of the IB by Matthew Farthing, Principal of Nord Anglia International School Dubai.
For more details on the the success of JESS at the Top Schools Awards, including winning our top Award in 2017-18, click here.
For more on the International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme, read our article by Mariona Coderch Lopéz, IB Career-related Programme Lead, GEMS International School – Al Khail.
For why we think that IB schools need to look beyond the Diploma, click here.
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