Notre Dame gains International Baccalaureate accreditation in NSW first

Senior Lecturer in the School of Education, Sydney, Liz McKenna,
discusses the potential of the IB course with education students.

2 November 2015

In a landmark move, The University of Notre Dame Australia will become the only university in New South Wales to award undergraduate students with the International Baccalaureate (IB) Certificate in Teaching and Learning from 2016.

Delivered through the University’s School of Education, Sydney, which has been accredited by the International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO), Notre Dame will be one of only six universities internationally to offer this award at undergraduate level.

Notre Dame’s IB accreditation will provide future Notre Dame Primary and Early Childhood graduates with improved graduate employability nationally and internationally. Graduates will be recognised as internationally minded educators in alignment with the University’s graduate attributes of having local and global perspectives.

The undergraduate program would be available to students taking Bachelor of Education (Birth to Twelve Years), Bachelor of Primary Education, and Bachelor of Primary Education (Religious Education) from next year.

The Dean of the School of Education, Professor Marguerite Maher, said the accreditation was a significant achievement for Notre Dame’s Sydney School of Education.

“The International Baccalaureate accreditation recognises the leading contribution that the University makes in the field of initial teacher education and to the vocation of teaching,” Professor Maher said.

“Our fully accredited teaching programs produce passionate, classroom-ready graduates who are valued by prospective employers across early-childhood and primary education.

“Students undertaking the IB will complete professional experience in an IB Primary Years Program (PYP) school in Australia or overseas. Our students complete 30 weeks of professional experience, one of the highest rates in Australia, to become qualified to teach across all sectors of education – Catholic, Government, Independent, and IB schools.

The project has been a number of years in the making, driven by Liz McKenna, Senior Lecturer in the School of Education, Sydney, who herself has travelled the world teaching in IB schools; most recently as the IBPYP coordinator for the highly regarded Southbank International School, London, before settling back in Sydney at Notre Dame.

“A small intake of students is expected in the program’s first year, with numbers to expand annually,” Ms McKenna said.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for our undergraduates to be part of the international world of education focusing on constructivist approaches to teaching and learning and the importance of being internationally minded. This aligns with the university’s philosophy that our degrees are designed to combine development of the whole person with first-class professional preparation.”

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Theresa Kyne: Tel (02) 8204 4141; Mob: 0407 408 177;