The purpose of this paper is to explore how elite International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) schools in China function as a channel for international student mobility to leading universities around the world.
To achieve this, the authors conducted a mixed-methods study combining quantitative analysis of 1,622 students’ university destinations and qualitative analysis of interview data from five high performing and high tuition fee IBDP schools in China.
Results indicate that the IBDP in China can be conducive to a form of “elite international student mobility” for some students with 30 percent of participants attending one of the top 50 ranked universities globally. As an explanation, interview data points to the strong reputation of the program, the provision of structured opportunities for students to demonstrate “additional skills,” and the abundant resources of elite schools.
The authors provide a critical discussion about the implications of the IBDP’s function for “elite international student mobility” in connection with social contexts surrounding these international International Baccalaureate schools in China. In so doing, the discussion tackles two issues from a critical perspective: the role elite international schools in accelerating educational inequalities and challenges to authentic learning experience when elite schools play the “university admissions game.”
The authors appreciate the financial support and data supplied by the IB for this research project. Additionally, special thanks must go to the 14 participating schools for providing valuable in-house data and students, teachers and administrators from the five case schools. Finally, the views expressed in this paper are the sole responsibility of the research team.
Lee, M. and Wright, E. (2016), "Moving from elite international schools to the world’s elite universities: A critical perspective", International Journal of Comparative Education and Development, Vol. 18 No. 2, pp. 120-136. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCED-01-2016-0002Download as .RIS
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