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)

Thailand, Phuket
UWC Thailand
(founded 2008, joined UWC 2016)
Type School, colleges and short programmes
Established 1960
Founder Kurt Hahn
President Queen Noor of Jordan(Current)
Nelson Mandela (Former)
Prince Charles (Former)
Lord Mountbatten (Former)
Website http://www.uwc.org/

United World Colleges (or UWC) is an educational organisation with which schools, shorter educational programmes, national committees in more than 140 countries are affiliated. 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.

Based in the United Kingdom, the UWC organisation has 16 schools and colleges in Canada, India, Italy, Norway, Singapore, Swaziland, the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Armenia, Costa Rica, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Thailand, China (mainland and Hong Kong) 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.

Most UWC colleges offer the International Baccalaureate Organisation exclusively, and as such only offer two-year programmes. Four schools in Thailand, Singapore, the Netherlands and Swaziland 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.


The first UWC college, the United World College of the Atlantic, located in a 12th-century castle set on 90 hectares of grounds in the Vale of Glamorgan in Wales, United Kingdom, was founded in 1962 by Kurt Hahn, a German educationalist who had previously founded Schule Schloss Salem in Germany, Gordonstoun in Scotland, and the Outward Bound movement.

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.[2] The project was realised in 1962 with the inauguration of Atlantic College in Wales.

There are currently 15 UWCs in operation. 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).[4]


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.[5]


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.


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


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