United World Colleges
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; and an international office in London.
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.
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 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. 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:
- United World College of the Atlantic (Llantwit Major, United Kingdom) – 1962,
- Lester B. Pearson United World College of the Pacific (Victoria, Canada) – 1974,
- United World College of South East Asia (Singapore) – 1971, full member of UWC in 1975, East Campus established 2008
- Waterford Kamhlaba United World College of Southern Africa (Mbabane, Swaziland) – 1963, joined UWC in 1981,
- Armand Hammer United World College of the American West (Montezuma, New Mexico, USA) – 1982,
- United World College of the Adriatic (Duino, Italy) – 1982,
- Simón Bolívar United World College of Agriculture (Ciudad Bolívar, Venezuela) – 1986, joined UWC in 1987, closed as of 2012,
- Li Po Chun United World College of Hong Kong (Wu Kai Sha, Hong Kong) – 1992,
- Red Cross Nordic United World College (Flekke, Norway) – 1995,
- Mahindra United World College of India (Village Khubavali, India) – 1997,
- United World College Costa Rica (Santa Ana, Costa Rica) – 2000, joined UWC in 2006,
- United World College in Mostar (Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina), 2006,
- United World College Maastricht (Maastricht, Netherlands), 1984, joined UWC in 2009,
- Robert Bosch United World College (Freiburg, Germany), 2014,
- United World College Dilijan (Dilijan, Armenia), 2014.
- United World College Changshu China (Changshu, China), 2015.
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).
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?"
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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.
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.
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, all of which have a slightly different 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 Portugal, Brazil, Argentina, the United Kingdom, Spain, Germany and Italy shortlisted applicants attend a two-day residential 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.
- Politics and government
- King Willem-Alexander: King of The Netherlands.
- Ian Khama: President of Botswana. April 2008-
- Douglas Alexander: British Member of Parliament and Shadow Foreign Secretary. From 2007 until 2010 he was Secretary of State for International Development in Gordon Brown's cabinet
- Lene Feltman Espersen: former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Denmark
- Eluned Morgan: Welsh politician, member of the House of Lords and former member of the European Parliament
- Lindiwe Sisulu: Minister of Defence and Military Veterans in South Africa
- Lousewies van der Laan: Dutch politician, Vice President of the European Liberal Democrats, Chief of Staff to the President of the International Criminal Court
- David Cunliffe: New Zealand Member of Parliament, Leader of the Opposition
- Chrystia Freeland: Canadian journalist and member of the Canadian parliament
- Pentti Kouri: Finnish economist and venture capitalist
- Robert Milton: Chairman, President and CEO of ACE Aviation Holdings Inc. and Chairman of Air Canada
- Jorma Ollila: former chairman and CEO of Nokia Corporation
- Peter Sands: CEO of Standard Chartered
- Sally El Hosaini (1976– ), Film-maker, Screen International’s UK Stars of Tomorrow 2009, winner of the 2012 World Cinema Cinematography Award: Dramatic at the Sundance Film Festival.
- Anne Enright: Irish author, 2007 winner of the Man Booker Prize
- Karen Mok: Hong-Kong singer, actress and songwriter, three-time Golden Melody Award-winner
- Wangechi Mutu: Kenyan artist and 2010 Deutsche Bank Artist of the Year
- Eric Khoo: film director from Singapore.
- Richard E. Grant: actor, famous from Withnail and I.
- Alison Donnell: English Professor and Head of School of Literature and Languages at University of Reading.
- Jonathan Michie: Director of the Department for Continuing Education and President of Kellogg College, University of Oxford
- Howard Newby: Vice-Chancellor of the University of Liverpool
- Federico Varese: Professor of Criminology, Oxford University and Senior Research Fellow, Nuffield College, Oxford
- Ghil'ad Zuckermann: Chair of Linguistics and Endangered Languages at the University of Adelaide, Distinguished Visiting Professor at Shanghai International Studies University and Visiting Scientist at the Weizmann Institute of Science
- Pavlos, Crown Prince of Greece
- Zenani Mandela-Dlamini
- Akihiko Hoshide: Japanese astronaut
- Julie Payette: Canadian astronaut (1982)
- Mayumi Raheem: Sri Lankan swimmer, three times gold medal winner at the 2006 South Asian Games
- Saba Douglas-Hamilton: conservationist and TV presenter
- Todd Sampson: CEO of Leo Burnett, Sydney, co-creator of the Earth Hour initiative
- Paul Colton: Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross, Ireland
- Kim Han-sol: Grandson of Kim Jong-il
- Graduate Profiles on uwc.org
- 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, ISBN 0-905928-26-1 S. 88
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- UWC Official website
- UWC student magazine
- List of National Committees
- Беларусы ў найдаражэйшых каледжах ЗША // 2009.08.06 (Be)
- Community of postulants to the UWC
- Panoramas from RCN UWC
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