The term ‘international school’ encompasses a broad array of institutions offering a range of different programmes. However, the differences between these programmes have scarcely been explored in the existing literature. This article focuses on three popular international high school programmes (Advanced Levels, Advanced Placement, and International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme) by drawing upon in-depth interviews with international school counsellors, teachers, parents, and students in Shenzhen, China. We employed the Bourdieusian concepts of ‘promised capitals’ and the ‘global field of higher education’ to delineate differences amongst these international programmes. We argue that each international programme promises the accumulation of distinct combinations of capitals associated with different global circuits of mobility for higher education. At the same time, we also suggest that the extent to which the promised capitals are conferred is complicated by the ‘localisation’ of schools: this impacted the delivery of promises related to embodied cultural and social capital forms. Copyright © 2022 The Author(s).
CitationWright, E., & Mulvey, B. (2022). The promised capitals of international high school programmes and the global field of higher education: The case of Shenzhen, China. Journal of Research in International Education, 21(2), 87-104. doi: 10.1177/14752409221122070
- International schools
- Higher education