No one is going from these international schools to the top schools. No one can do that without deserving it. But in many countries, the US especially, it's a business and they welcome students who can come, spend time in language courses and foundation levels before getting what they wanted. Students at these kind of schools international have the money to do that and at both ends, no one is really that bothered if they have the knowledge or not.
Very true Dazzer these places are a refuge for people who don't fit in elsewhere. The weird kids, the stupid kids, the lazy kids who are all on their last chance at getting into a university of any kind - and the go getting western centric students who have this down as plan to get abroad. Not much in the middle, plus the common factor across all the student base will be their parents are wealthy enough to support it.
Whatever people think and however people view back home with their rose tinted glasses or believe about Confusian vs Socratic learning styles, the Chinese system is in good shape and rates higher than western systems in a lot of aspects. If you're coming there thinking you're helping a system failing in giving a large amount of people an education you couldn't be further from the truth as results show nothing but improvement in education sectors. Where problems have arrived is when these "western schools" with Australian/American curriculum are pushed to people as the highest standard they could achieve and marketed to people as the missing link of their education. Instead, what they are getting is far less than the state education offers - a private company hastily set up to maximize profits, staffed by people grabbing high wages, from gullible parents on a flimsy curriculum that's not worth the paper it's written on
The only real work is done in university or high school placement where the company relies on the greed of the foreign institution to snap up Chinese students wholesale and put them, not into degree education but perhaps an extended language course or a cultural course, at high expense. Of course learn foreign curriculum to gain a place at a foreign university is what's told, but the reality is somewhat different. The troubles of what happens above is not down to the Chinese education system, it's down to the Chinese acceptance of foreign curriculum as being above and beyond, when in fact what is offered is not worthy of the name. Now, the education authority is catching on. In a lot of places, like Jiangsu, there programmes no longer get into schools. While in Yunnan the certificates to run international programs are no longer issued.