UWC United World Colleges


What is UWC?

UWC (United World Colleges) is a global education movement that makes education a force to unite people, nations and cultures for peace and a sustainable future.

Central to the ethos of UWC is the belief that education can bring together young people from all backgrounds on the basis of their shared humanity, to engage with the possibility of social change through courageous action, personal example and selfless leadership. To achieve this, UWC schools and colleges all over the world deliver a challenging and transformational educational experience to a deliberately diverse group of young people, inspiring them to become agents of positive change in line with UWC’s core values:

  • International and intercultural understanding
  • Celebration of difference
  • Personal responsibility and integrity
  • Mutual responsibility and respect
  • Compassion and service
  • Respect for the environment
  • A sense of idealism
  • Personal challenge
  • Action and personal example

Today, UWC has 17 schools and colleges on 4 continents, all of which teach the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma as their formal curriculum, a qualification that UWC played a major part in developing, while also emphasizing the importance of experiential learning, community service, and outdoor activities.

UWC also runs shorter educational programmes - conducted at its campuses and beyond - increasing the number of people who can have access to a UWC educational experience.

UWC fosters a lifelong commitment to social responsibility and, to date, it has inspired a worldwide network of more than 60,000 alumni who believe it is possible to take action and make a difference locally, nationally and internationally.

UWC History & Founding Ideas

In the turbulent world of the 21st century, UWC’s aims and objectives are as relevant today as they were in 1962 – perhaps even more so.

UWC was founded in 1962 when Atlantic College in South Wales, UK admitted its first students. At a time when the Cold War was at its height, the aim was to bring together young people from different nations to act as champions of peace through an education based on shared learning, collaboration, and understanding.

UWC’s educational concept was based on the ideas of German educationalist Kurt Hahn, one of the founding fathers of the UWC movement. Hahn believed that school should be a preparation for life, not just for university, and that education should help students to develop resilience and the ability to cope with failure as well as with success.

Hahn was a pioneer in education, some of his earlier initiatives having included Salem School in Germany and Outward Bound. Then, in 1958, while attending a conference at the NATO Staff College, he was inspired by the cooperation he witnessed between former adversaries from World War II. He thought that if we could educate young people from around the world together, we could prevent future conflicts. From this belief in the power of education to change the world, the UWC movement was born, with a mission to make education a force to unite people, nations and cultures for peace and a sustainable future.

Since then UWC has been firmly committed to providing students with a challenging and transformational educational experience to inspire them to become agents of positive change and to create a more peaceful and sustainable future.

This school offers programs in:
  • English

View Preparatory Programs »


This school also offers:

Preparatory Programs

International Baccalaureate (IB)

Campus September 2018 USA Montezuma Canada Victoria Costa Rica San José Swaziland Mbabane Japan Nagano China Jiangsu Hong Kong Singapore Thailand Phuket India Pune Armenia Dilijan Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosnia and Herzegovina Online Italy Trieste Germany Freiburg Netherlands Maastricht United Kingdom Barry Norway Flekke + 28 more

The IB Organisation (IBO) was founded in 1968. From the beginning, the IBO relied on UWC’s input and collaboration in light of UWC’s experience of providing progressive, intercultural education with an emphasis on experiential learning. The ties between both organisations remain closed today as the IBO celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2018. [+]

UWC is a global education organisation that educates over nine thousand students from more than 155 countries each year. Almost four thousand of these students complete the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP), the most recognised global pre-university programme for students aged 16-19.

While the IBDP curriculum is at the core of academic life at each UWC school and college, UWC education goes above and beyond the requirements set by the IB programme. With a deliberately diverse student and staff body at each UWC school and college - with members from many different national, socio-economic, cultural, linguistic, political and educational backgrounds - UWC recognises that the curriculum has to allow for as many interpretations and perceptions as there are students in the programme, so that the students feel able to represent their own history and perspective authentically. The formal IBDP curriculum is therefore complemented by sessions on global issues and other activities fostering critical thinking and courageous engagement with the challenges faced by today’s world.... [-]


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