Frequently Asked Questions
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- What is UWC?
- Who studies at UWC?
- What are UWC alumni doing?
- What makes UWC different from other International Schools?
- What is UWC's educational model?
What is UWC?
UWC (United World Colleges) is a global education movement with the mission to make education a force to unite people, nations and cultures for peace and a sustainable future.
UWC comprises a network of 18 schools and colleges on four continents and a system of volunteer-run national selection committees in more than 150 countries. Most schools focus on the 16-19 age group, with some also catering to younger students. Additionally, UWC offers short courses, which are shorter UWC educational experiences.
UWC offers a challenging educational experience to a deliberately diverse group of students who come from over 150 different countries, and from a wide range of cultural, socio-economic, religious and educational backgrounds. By living and learning together, our students make friends from all over the world, and gain a deeper understanding of different ways of thinking.
UWC places a high value on experiential learning, community service and outdoor activities, which complement high academic standards delivered through the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) and lower years programmes.
Since its foundation in 1962, UWC has inspired a global network of almost 60,000 alumni who can be found in every corner of the world. Each graduate follows a different path, based on their interests and talents. But each carries the UWC ethos with them, making large and small changes through courageous action, personal example and selfless leadership.
Who studies at UWC?
Today, over 11,000 students from more than 150 countries are studying on one of the 18 UWC campuses around the world. Over 80% of UWC students selected through the UWC national committee system receive a full or partial scholarship based on need.
This means that anybody can apply to UWC. We are looking for students who want to become changemakers for a better world - independent of whether they are able to contribute financially to their studies.
What are UWC alumni doing?
Since the founding of the first UWC school in 1962, UWC has inspired a network of almost 60,000 alumni worldwide, who remain committed to the UWC mission and to contributing to a more sustainable and peaceful world.
The success of our alumni is not merely measured in terms of academic achievements or job titles, but also through their dedication to service and their communities: a key principle of the UWC experience.
If you want to read about some of the ways in which our alumni impact the world, have a look at our UWC Impact Stories.
What makes UWC different from other International Schools?
Our values, our admission process, our student body and the UWC mission make us different.
UWC aims to empower young people to respond to the challenges and complexities of today’s world. We want to educate individuals who, through their own action and personal example, can make a positive difference in their communities.
We provide this education to students who are compassionate, idealistic and driven, independent of their socio-economic means. This is enabled through our comprehensive scholarship system, funded by our generous donors. It means that a UWC education will bring together students who may otherwise have never met - from smalltown USA to rural Argentina, from refugee camps in Kenya to Chinese metropolises.
UWC’s mission is to make education a force for peace and sustainability. Studying at a UWC school or college is therefore just the beginning of a lifelong commitment to UWC’s values and its mission.
What is UWC's educational model?
We’ve built our educational model on a set of principles that aim to help students reach their potential - academically, morally, socially and emotionally.
Our schools each have their own distinct identity, but they’re united by these common values:
- Education should take place within a diverse college community. Students should be selected from regions and social groups that reflect the wide range of tensions among and between people.
- Education requires active promotion of intercultural understanding and the development of genuine concern for others, founded on shared life experiences, and cooperative and collaborative living. This includes talking about and engaging with global issues in the pursuit of peace.
- Physical fitness and a healthy lifestyle are integral to developing a balanced person and to expanding our potential. Unhealthy lifestyles limit human potential.
- Community interaction is at the heart of school life. This requires the full and active participation of all members of the school or college.
- Students should be able to take positive action around issues of sustainability on both an institutional and individual level.
- Students must have opportunities to practice personal initiative, self-discipline and responsibility, and to manage risk and embrace challenges. Where appropriate, these opportunities need to be supported by a reassuring adult presence.
- Recognition is given to the fact that individuals possess unique talents and abilities. Programmes should exist in each school/college which help students fulfil their potential.
Learn more about UWC Educational Model and Principles here.