Where have Chinese international baccalaureate diploma programme graduates been educated? A study of the IB DP in China

Year: 2012

Author: Lee, Moosung, Li, Jun, Gan, Adrian

Type of paper: Abstract refereed


Over the last decade, the number of IB programs adopted by schools around the world has dramatically increased by almost 400% (IB, 2009; Lee et al., in-press). In recent years China has also evidenced an impressive gain in the number of schools adopting IB programs in general and the DP in particular. Specifically, as of 2011, there were 50 IB schools authorized for the implementation of the DP in China. Of these, 43 schools have been authorized since 2003 (IB, 2012), illustrating the fast growth of IBDP schools in China in recent years. Despite such fast growth (and by implication, popularity) of the IBDP schools in China, empirical studies exploring the impact of Chinese IBDP students' learning outcomes in terms of their university matriculation to foreign universities seems to be almost nonexistent. With this in mind, the primary goal of this proposal is to document the patterns of university destination of IBDP graduates in China over time. To this end, our analysis centers on the following overarching question: Where have Chinese students who previously graduated from the 50 IB schools been educated? Alongside the focus of the main question, we seek answers to more specific questions: Are there any trends in their university destinations in terms of geographical region or university prestige (by ranking)? Are there any significant differences in students' enrolment in foreign universities before or after the 50 IB schools' adoption of the DP (in the case that the 50 IB schools implemented different international programs other than the DP before they adopted the IB)? Does the adoption of the DP contribute to the growth (rate) of DP graduates enrolled in foreign universities? To investigate these questions, we adopt a theoretical framework from research of international student mobility. Specifically, we focus on internal and external forces (Altbach, Reisberg & Rumbley, 2009; Li & Bray, 2007) that influence IB graduates' international flow in terms of university destination. We employ a sequential explanatory design (Creswell, Plano, Gutmann, & Hanson, 2003). As part of the mixed-methods research project, we plan to collect longitudinal data on DP graduates' destinations for university study since the adoption of the DP. A series of quantitative analysis (e.g., descriptive trend analysis, pre/post comparison "before and after" the 50 IB schools' adoption of the DP, and longitudinal analysis using piecewise modeling) will be employed to determine trends and patterns in terms of university matriculation of the 50 schools over time. As first of its kind, this study will evidence the impact of the DP on student preparation for university studies abroad. In addition, the dataset may be employed for broader purposes (e.g., program development or evaluation) within the IB and the community of schools in China or East Asian countries.