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United World Colleges


United World Colleges

United World Colleges
United Kingdom, Llantwit Major, Wales
United World College of the Atlantic
(founded 1962)

Canada, Victoria
Lester B. Pearson United World College of the Pacific
(founded 1974)

United World College of South East Asia
(founded 1971, joined UWC 1975)
(founded 2011)

Swaziland, Mbabane
Waterford Kamhlaba United World College of Southern Africa
(founded 1963, joined UWC 1981)

United States, Montezuma, New Mexico
Armand Hammer United World College of the American West
(founded 1982)

Italy, Duino
United World College of the Adriatic
(founded 1982)

Hong Kong, Wu Kai Sha
Li Po Chun United World College of Hong Kong
(founded 1992)

Norway, Flekke
Red Cross Nordic United World College
(founded 1995)

India, Paud
Mahindra United World College of India
(founded 1997)

Costa Rica, Santa Ana
United World College of Costa Rica
(founded 2000, joined UWC 2006)

Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mostar
United World College in Mostar
(founded 2006)

The Netherlands, Maastricht
United World College Maastricht
(founded 1984, joined UWC 2009)

Germany, Freiburg
Robert Bosch United World College
(founded 2014)

Armenia, Dilijan
United World College Dilijan
(founded 2014)

China, Changshu
United World College Changshu China
(founded 2015)
Type School, colleges and short programmes
Established 1960
Founder Kurt Hahn
President Queen Noor of Jordan
Nelson Mandela (former)
Prince Charles (former)
Lord Mountbatten (former)

United World Colleges (or UWC) is an education movement comprising 15 international schools and colleges, national committees in more than 140 countries, and a series of short educational programmes. Students are selected from around the globe based on their merit and potential. UWC schools, colleges and national committees offer scholarship and bursary schemes as well as accepting a number of fee-paying students that varies by college.

The UWC international organisation is a British-based foundation and has 15 schools and colleges in Canada, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Norway, Singapore, Swaziland, the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Armenia, Costa Rica, Bosnia and Herzegovina, China and the Netherlands; national committees in more than 140 countries; a portfolio of short programmes running in numerous countries; a network of more than 50,000 alumni from more than 181 countries;[1] and an international office in London. The mission is to make education a force to unite people, nations and cultures for peace and a sustainable future.[2]

UWC colleges teach the International Baccalaureate, with three schools in Singapore, the Netherlands and Swaziland which, on top of the IB, also teach a pre-16 syllabus to younger students. The now-closed UWC vocational college in Venezuela accepted students at tertiary level and taught a Higher Diploma in Farm Administration. Each UWC typically comprises between 200 and 300 students from about 85 countries.


  • History 1
  • Academics 2
  • Activities 3
  • Admissions 4
  • Notable alumni 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


The first UWC college, the South Wales, United Kingdom, was founded in 1962 with the initiative of Kurt Hahn, a German educationalist who had previously founded Schule Schloss Salem in Germany, Gordonstoun in Scotland, and the Outward Bound movement; the castle was gifted to UWC by Antonin Besse II, the son of Sir Antonin Besse. Kurt Hahn's vision was based on his post-war experience at the NATO Defence College, where he had observed discussion and collaboration between former enemies. He wanted to transmit a spirit of mutual understanding to young people to help them overcome prejudice and antagonism through living and working together.

Hahn envisaged a college educating boys and girls of age 16 to 20. The selection would be based on personal motivation and potential, regardless of any social, economic or cultural factors. A scholarship programme would facilitate recruitment of young people from different economic backgrounds.[3] The project was realised in 1962 with the inauguration of Atlantic College in Wales.

There are currently 15 colleges in the UWC movement. UWC Simón Bolivar was a member of the movement until its closing. The opening date for each college is given for each below:

The current UWC president is Queen Noor of Jordan (1995–present), a role she shared with former South African President Nelson Mandela until his death in December 2013. Former UWC presidents have included Lord Mountbatten (1967-1978) and Prince Charles (1978-1995).[5]

The philosophy of the schools is in accordance with a thought from Nobel Peace Prize laureate Lester B. Pearson: "How can there be peace without people understanding each other; and how can this be if they don't know each other?"


UWC schools and colleges offer two years of pre-university education (with the exception of the now closed Simón Bolívar United World College of Agriculture in Venezuela which offered an agricultural diploma), the United World College of South East Asia in Singapore which offers kindergarten through grade 12 on its two campuses, and the United World College Maastricht, which offers pre-school through grade 12. After graduation an UWC alumni are holders of the International Baccalaureate Diploma, a high school diploma recognised worldwide. The International Baccalaureate has its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, while its Examinations Office is in Cardiff, United Kingdom, in part due to the influence of nearby United World College of the Atlantic in its early development.

The three working languages of the International Baccalaureate are English, French and Spanish. Eleven of the twelve UWC schools and colleges use English as the main language of teaching and communication. UWC of the Adriatic in Italy require that all students study Italian respectively in order to facilitate their relationship with the local populations. The teaching in the Simón Bolívar United World College of Agriculture in Venezuela was in Spanish, with English language classes. That college was attended by slightly older students and offered a diploma in agricultural administration.

UWC students are eligible, after graduation, to participate in the Shelby Davis Scholarship programme, which funds undergraduate study (based on need) for UWC students at 91 universities in the United States.[6]


The CAS (Creativity, Action, Service) programme – one of the requirements of the IB Diploma – is a part of UWC system. CAS and the IB programme have their roots at the United World College of the Atlantic. During the creation of the IB programme, the academic and social lives of students at Atlantic College were taken as examples.

Special activities at UWC schools and colleges include the Coral Monitoring Service at Li Po Chun United World College and the student-run kitchen garden at United World College of the Atlantic. At Mahindra United World College of India students fight fires in order to protect the school's local biodiversity reserve. At the United World College in Mostar the CAS Program contributes to the restoration of the divided post-conflict Mostar society. At the Armand Hammer United World College of the American West students can take part in the Bartos Institute for Constructive Engagement of Conflict, Wilderness First Aid certification course or engage in Southwest Studies exploring New Mexico’s local treasures. At Pearson College UWC students help manage the Race Rocks Marine Protected Area, bake bread and kayak.


Entry into a UWC school or college is based on a students' commitment to UWC values and how suited they are to champion UWC's mission. Many UWC students are awarded full or partial scholarships through the national committee system, while others are supported directly by the school or college to which they are admitted. UWC national committees are located in roughly 140 countries; some are run completely by volunteers, while others have permanent staff.

Applicants for UWC scholarships are generally selected by national committees. They have a slightly varying selection system, but are unified by the UWC mission and values and recognized by the UWC international office, and by extension, by the colleges themselves. In Egypt, for example, the places are offered on the basis of a system of national competitions and specialized interviews, whereas in India, Portugal, Brazil, Argentina, the United Kingdom, Spain, Germany and Italy shortlisted applicants attend a two-day residential selection with an interview, games and debates. In other countries, such as Hong Kong and Colombia, applicants are invited to attend a day-camp named "Challenge Day" where they engage in activities such as debate, learning a new language, and group games. Shortlisted applicants then attend a final interview before gaining admission.

Notable alumni

Politics and government


  1. ^ Graduate Profiles on
  2. ^ [4]
  3. ^ David Sutcliffe (1983), Roy Denning, ed., "The First Twenty Years of the United World Colleges" (in German), The Story of St. Donat's Castle and Atlatic College (Cambridge: D. Brown in conjunction with Stewart Williams): pp. 85–118,   S. 88
  4. ^ "The Canadian Encyclopedia – Lester B. Pearson College of the Pacific" (in German). Retrieved 2010-06-02. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Participating institutions to the Shelby Davis Scholarship program". 
  7. ^ "The Royal House - The Prince of Orange - Education". Retrieved 15 July 2012. 
  8. ^ "Douglas Alexander: Electoral history and profile". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 2011-01-31. 
  9. ^ "Folketinget (the danish parliament) – Lene Espersen". Retrieved 2011-04-10. 
  10. ^ "BBC news: MEP Eluned Morgan will step down". BBC News. 14 October 2008. Retrieved 2010-06-13. 
  11. ^ "HOUSE OF LORDS - Official Report" (PDF). Parliamentary Debates (HANSARD). 2011-01-26. Retrieved 2011-01-31. 
  12. ^ "South African Government Information – Profile Information". Retrieved 2010-06-03. 
  13. ^ "Biography of L.W.S.A.L.B. van der Laan" (in Dutch). Parliamentary Documentation Centre. Retrieved 22 July 2012. 
  14. ^ "Members of the Bureau: Biography" (PDF). ELDR. Retrieved 22 July 2012. 
  15. ^ "HELSINGIN SANOMAT INTERNATIONAL EDITION - PEOPLE" (in German). 23 January 2009. Retrieved 2010-06-13. 
  16. ^ "Robert Milton" (PDF). Alumni Profile. UWCSEA. Retrieved 22 July 2012. 
  17. ^ "NNDB - Jorma Ollila" (in German). Retrieved 2010-06-13. 
  18. ^ "Nokia - Jorma Ollila" (in German). Retrieved 2010-06-13. 
  19. ^ "Peter Sands". Alumni Profiles. United World Colleges. Retrieved 22 July 2012. 
  20. ^ "Sally El Hosaini". Alumni Profiles. UWC Atlantic College. Retrieved 22 July 2012. 
  21. ^ "Anne Enright" (in German). 
  22. ^ "Karen Mok - Bio" (in German). Retrieved 2010-06-08. 
  23. ^ Miro, Victoria. "Wangechi Mutu - biography" (PDF). Retrieved 21 July 2012. 
  24. ^ [5]
  25. ^ "Manchester United Supporters' Trust - Founder". Retrieved 22 July 2012. 
  26. ^ "Sir Howard Newby". Alumni Profiles. UWC Atlantic College. Retrieved 22 July 2012. 
  27. ^ "Prof Federico Varese". Retrieved 24 September 2014. 
  28. ^ "University Staff Directory: Professor Ghil'ad Zuckermann" (in German). The University of Adelaide. Retrieved 2011-03-24. 
  29. ^ "The Greek Royal Family - Prince Pavlos". Retrieved 15 July 2012. 
  30. ^ Carlin, John (3 January 1993). "A child of her time". London: The Independent. Retrieved 22 July 2012. 
  31. ^ "Astronaut Bio: Akihiko Hoshide". NASA. Retrieved 22 July 2012. 
  32. ^ "Canadian Space Agency - Biografie" (in German). Retrieved 2010-06-12. 
  33. ^ "NASA - Astronauts Bio" (in German). Retrieved 2010-06-12. 
  34. ^ Mihic, Andrea (2 May 2008). "Another win for Mayumi Raheem at swimming". United Words. Retrieved 22 July 2012. 
  35. ^ 10TH SAF GAMES - 2006 COLOMBO (SRI LANKA) - SWIMMING medal tally
  36. ^ "Saba Douglas-Hamilton – Bio" (in German). Retrieved 2010-06-13. 
  37. ^ Knox, Malcolm (2010-11-13). "A head for the hard sell". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 22 July 2012. 
  38. ^ "The Diocese of Cork, Cloyne and Ross - The Bishop". Retrieved 22 July 2012. 
  39. ^ "Kim Han-sol interviewed by Elisabeth Rehn (1/2)". YouTube. Retrieved 19 October 2012. 

External links

  • UWC Official website
  • UWC student magazine
  • List of National Committees
  • [6]Беларусы ў найдаражэйшых каледжах ЗША // 2009.08.06 (Be)]
  • Community of postulants to the UWC
  • Panoramas from RCN UWC
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