After years of hard work the international diploma programme IB is now an interesting opportunity for young people in the south-western part of Denmark.
For years an international diploma programme has been requested in Esbjerg – a so called International Baccalaureate (IB), and now it is a reality. The new post-secondary education programme increases the educational opportunities for many expat families in the city, but also Danish parents who wish to give their children a global future.
At the private school Esbjerg International School Principal Timothy Veale has a positive view on the possibilities of the programme:
‘The need for this programme in Esbjerg is substantial. At the international school we only offer classes up to 9th grade and thereafter our students previously had to go to Kolding. This has caused many international families to leave Esbjerg’.
The new diploma programme is not just an opportunity for many young people in Esbjerg also the area’s various companies are delighted. At Esbjerg Gymnasium & HF there are many positive words about the cooperation between companies, local politicians and educational institutions which have resulted in the approval of the diploma programme.
‘Around 20 of Esbjerg’s energy and offshore companies expressed their joint support for the programme. They, of course, see possibilities in attracting more international employees because we can offer an IB to their teenagers’ Principal of Esbjerg Gymnasium & HF Erling Petersson explains.
Timothy Veale, who is a native Canadian, sees the education as an asset for Esbjerg’s international brand.
‘With an IB we can compete against some of the other international energy-cities. I have lived in Esbjerg for 6 years and have visited Denmark for more than 16 years and it has occurred to me that Esbjerg is much more globally oriented than e.g. the larger cities in Eastern Jutland. I think it shows that Esbjerg municipality really has an interest in the future and well-being of the city’s international citizens. Among other things the IB is proof of that’.
A BIG STEP FOR ESBJERG
On a national scale there are more than 200 Danish gymnasiums and only 13 approved IB schools so the new international diploma programme is a prestigious and essential part of Esbjerg’s strategy for growth towards 2020. With the rapid growth in the energy and offshore sector Esbjerg has evolved into an international city with the need of both Danish and international employees.
‘The IB makes it possible to attend school in Esbjerg with a global orientation. We know from a number of potential newcomers that without the IB or Esbjerg International School they would work in Esbjerg, but live elsewhere with full circle educational options for their children. Now we have all options here. Erling Petersson points out.
The administration of Esbjerg Gymnasium & HF is looking forward to start up the 2-year IB in the summer of 2016. The interest for the programme is considerable in the Esbjerg area. Already in August 2015 around 30 students started the 1-year preparatory course Pre-IB to improve their language skills.
‘We do not yet know the exact number of students admitted but we hope that around 35-40 young people will join the programme in 2016. When our IB programme is fully up and running with all classes we will have around 120 students – that is pretty good’ the proud Principal concludes.