The Emergence of Elite International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) Schools in China: A ‘Skyboxification’ Perspective

Moo Sung LEE, Ewan Wright, Allan WALKER

    Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookChapterpeer-review


    Recent years have witnessed a rapid expansion of International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) schools in China’s international schooling sector. This process has been driven by a relaxation in regulations and a perception that the IBDP offers students a validated route to leading higher education institutions globally. However, access to IBDP schools in China remains restricted to a relatively elite sub-population, defined by high socio economic status and non-Chinese nationality. Within this context, this chapter explores how the emergence and growth of IBDP schools in China can be conceptualized from the perspective of “skyboxification”. This refers to a trend where in increasingly market-based societies people from different socio-economic backgrounds live increasingly in physical, cultural, and socio-economic isolation (Sandel, 2012).To this end, four datasets are employed, namely 1) archival data on IBDP school fees across East Asia, 2) archival data on university destinations of IBDP graduates schooled in China, 3) interview data from head teachers, IBDP coordinators, teachers, and students at five elite IBDP schools in China, and 4) survey data on the capacity of students across five countries to be “open-minded”. Implications of the findings for educational equity and civic life in China alongside the value of “skyboxification” as a conceptual tool for educational researchers are discussed
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationElite Schools
    Subtitle of host publicationMultiple Geographies of Privilege
    EditorsAaron Koh, Jane Kenway
    Place of PublicationAbingdon, Oxon
    Number of pages31
    ISBN (Electronic)9781315771335
    ISBN (Print)9781138779419, 9781138779402
    Publication statusPublished - 2016

    Publication series

    NameEducation in Global Context


    Dive into the research topics of 'The Emergence of Elite International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) Schools in China: A ‘Skyboxification’ Perspective'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this