United World College of South East Asia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

United World College of South East Asia
Dover: 1207 Dover Road
Singapore 139654
East: 1 Tampines Street 73
Singapore 528704

Established1971; 53 years ago (1971)
College PresidentNick Alchin
Teaching staff578
Student to teacher ratio10.7:1
Education systemUWCSEA designed curriculum, IGCSE, IB Diploma
Campus typeUrban
White, Light blue, teal, and blue
MascotPhoenix (Dover campus)
Dragon (East campus)

The United World College of South East Asia (UWCSEA) is an independent international school in Singapore, and is a member of the United World College (UWC) movement which includes 18 schools worldwide. UWCSEA provides a K–12 education consisting of five interlinking elements: academics, activities, outdoor education, personal and social education, and service. The UWCSEA learning program leads to the IGCSE in Grades 9 and 10 and the IB Diploma in Grades 11 and 12.

The school has two campuses, with around 3,000 students at the Dover Campus and 2,500 at the East Campus in Tampines.[3] Most students participate in the service program, which can involve service to the school community, the Singaporean community, as well as overseas communities.

UWCSEA is different from many of its sister colleges in the UWC movement, most of which are wholly boarding institutions that offer only a two-year International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme for mainly scholarship students of around 16–19 years of age. UWCSEA admits students from the age of four, and the majority of students are children with parents who are expatriates or immigrants in Singapore.

There are more than 300 boarders from 76 countries across both campuses, and there are over 100 students from 47 countries in grades 8-12 who are supported by scholarships. Singapore government policy prevents most citizens from attending international schools within the country, and therefore UWCSEA has the smallest percentage of local students of any UWC. There are 30 nationalities represented in the teaching staff.


The site on which the Dover Campus now stands was previously occupied by St John's School, run by the British Families Education Service for the families of British military personnel. After the British military withdrawal in 1971, the land was repurposed for the creation of a private school. The Singapore International School was officially opened in 1971 by Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew.

It was affiliated with the United World College movement, and formally became a member of the movement in 1975, changing its name to the United World College of South East Asia. Originally a secondary-only school, UWCSEA Dover today has a primary section that takes students as young as four. The total number of students on the Dover Campus (Kindergarten 1 – Grade 12) is now 3,000+. UWCSEA's East Campus opened its doors on 1 September 2008 in a transitional campus in Ang Mo Kio. The East Infant School moved to its permanent home at the Tampines campus in 2010. As of 2021, both campuses have a combined student population of 5,609 students from 100 different countries.[4]

The Dover campus is one of a few remaining structures in Singapore that was constructed with bricks from the old Alexandra Brick Works, located at the current PSA building. This was confirmed by a student in 2013 during the demolition of the old “English” block, where hundreds of bricks stamped with “Alexandra” were found.


The UWCSEA Dover Campus is located at 1207 Dover Road, Singapore 139654 (1°18′10.88″N 103°46′38.68″E / 1.3030222°N 103.7774111°E / 1.3030222; 103.7774111). It is located near Dover MRT station, next to Anglo-Chinese School (Independent), and is a next-door neighbour to the British-based Dover Court International School. The UWCSEA East Campus is located at 1 Tampines Street 73, Singapore 528704 (1°21′33″N 103°55′55″E / 1.359286°N 103.931864°E / 1.359286; 103.931864). The nearest MRT station is Tampines MRT station.

Both campuses have a campus-wide wireless network and a central IT help desk for students. Interactive whiteboards are present in all classrooms. In Primary School, iPad, and MacBook sets are provisioned in classrooms, and in grades 6–12 laptops are individually owned.


Students from K1 to Grade 8 follow a UWCSEA-designed curriculum. Students in Grades 9 and 10 can choose to follow UWCSEA-designed courses, the IGCSE program, or a mix of both, while students entering in Grade 10 follow a Foundation IB (FIB) program.

Grade 11 and 12 students study towards the IB Diploma.


An after-school activities program is offered from Grade 2 onwards, though there some fee-paying activities are available for K1-G1 students. The after-school activities program includes activities covering sports, arts (music, drama, visual art), leadership, clubs, and special interests.

Sports available include athletics, badminton, basketball, climbing, cricket, cross country, football, gymnastics, hockey, netball, rugby, sailing, softball, swimming, tennis, touch and ultimate frisbee. There are also other activities like the Radical Math Club and Model UN. The Model UN program, at UWC East in particular – is the largest in South East Asia, and they organized two MUN conferences last year, with delegates flying in internationally. Other notable programs include SEASAC, an annual competition held for High School Students, Project 0, and the Student Council.

Outdoor education[edit]

The outdoor education program provides students from Grade 1 to Grade 12 with opportunities to develop their independence, teamwork, and resilience.

There is an annual compulsory trip from G1 going all the way to Project Week in Grade 11 where small groups of students head to a destination of their choice.

Personal and social education[edit]

The personal and social education program aims to encourage learning, growth, and social development. Students explore how they are connecting to their learning, friends, family, technology, and the outside world.

The concepts covered are:

  • individual well-being
  • relationships and community (interpersonal) well-being
  • student ability to engage with global issues (global well-being)


Students in all grades participate in service projects. There are three categories of service:

  • College, within the school community. Examples include peer support, ambassadors, student mentors, sports coaching, student and sports councils, and green campus initiatives.
  • Local, within the Singapore community. Students work with groups such as the elderly, the sick, people with learning difficulties and/or physical disabilities, disadvantaged children, and domestic workers.
  • Global, which covers:
    • Global Concerns, a student-run and led program that partners with grassroots organizations outside Singapore. Students, parents, and staff to contribute to, visit, and see first-hand how the projects operate.
    • Initiative for Peace, an action-based program that was founded by a group of students and teachers at UWCSEA in 2001. It offers UWCSEA students the opportunity to promote international understanding and reconciliation in areas of conflict, such as Timor Leste.
    • Gap Year programs.


The UWCSEA Foundation is the fundraising arm of the college. The foundation was established in 2008 and by 2015 had raised $12.4 million. The funds have supported initiatives including scholarships, teacher professional development and curriculum innovation, and environmental and sustainability programs.

Notable alumni[edit]

There are over 25,000 UWCSEA alumni around the world.[5]

Notable alumni include:


The mascots for the United World College of South East Asia are the Dragon and the Phoenix. They represent the Yin and the Yang in Asian mythology. The East (Tampines Campus) is represented by the Dragon, while Dover bears the mascot of the Phoenix.


  1. ^ "UWCSEA Dover Campus – Welcome to UWCSEA Dover". www.uwcsea.edu.sg. Retrieved 8 May 2024.
  2. ^ Accreditation, memberships and registration. Archived 2019-05-26 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "East Campus". UWCSEA | International school in Singapore. Retrieved 8 October 2019.
  4. ^ "Students". www.uwcsea.edu.sg. Retrieved 18 June 2021.
  5. ^ "Alumni". UWCSEA. 1 September 2023. Retrieved 9 December 2023. 25,075 contactable alumni in 144 countries
  6. ^ Jarvis, Tim (1 November 2023). "Tim Jarvis AM: 2024 Australian of the Year for South Australia". FIFTY+SA (Interview). Interviewed by Holland, Kate. Retrieved 9 December 2023.

External links[edit]