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Best IB schools in Dubai: These six UAE schools make it onto a list of the top 100 global IB schools

Best IB schools in Dubai: These six UAE schools make it onto a list of the top 100 global IB schools

by Tabitha BardaMarch 21, 2022

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
37 39.4 MLC Sydney Australia
= 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 Newington College Australia
= 39.0 JESS Dubai Arabian Ranches United Arab Emirates
= 39.0 Haileybury United Kingdom
= 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
= 38.6 Aiglon College Switzerland
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.

© 2022. All rights reserved.

About The Author
Tabitha Barda
Tabitha Barda is the Senior Editor of Oxbridge educated and an award winning journalist in the UAE for more than a decade, Tabitha is one of the region's shining lights in all that is education in the emirates. A mum herself, she is passionate about helping parents - and finding the stories in education that deserve telling. She is responsible for the busy 24x7 News Desk, our Advisory Boards and Specialist Panels - and Parents United's WHICHPlaydates - a regular meeting place for UAE parents to discuss the issues that matter to them, make friends and network with others. You can often find Tabitha too on Parents United - our Facebook community board, discussing the latest schools and education issues with our parent community in the UAE - and beyond.

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