The Dutch organisation for internationalisation in education
Facts: the European Baccalaureate
View background information about the the European Baccalaureate.
European Baccalaureate: the European Baccalaureate is the diploma awarded by European Schools to all successful students. In principle, the certificate gives access to universities in all countries in the European Union (EU).
History: officials from the European Community in 6 different member states took the initiative to found a school for their children. The first European School opened its doors in Luxembourg in 1953. The mission of the European Schools is to provide multilingual and multicultural education for students across pre-school, primary and secondary education.
Responsibility for the European Schools: the governments of the EU member states collectively control the schools. Officially, the European Schools are public and free for children of EU employees and for children of some staff (teachers and administrative staff). For other students, admission criteria and school fees apply. There are currently 13 European Schools in 6 countries.
Rights: the Board of Governors of the European Schools is made up of representatives from all EU member state delegations, as stipulated in a European Statute. The legal basis for the Statute of the European Schools lies in the ‘Convention defining the Statute of the European Schools’. This document states that the diploma – the European Baccalaureate – confers the same rights as the national diploma granting access to university education in each country.
Education: students are generally taught in their native language, or in their first foreign language if there is no language section for their native language (Students Without a Language Section, SWALS). All language sections follow the curriculum of the European School.
Compulsory school age: depends on the host country.
Language of instruction: native language (or first foreign language).
Length of the school year: from September to early July.