What on earth is UWC?

UWC Atlantic

A lot of people reading this will probably have little or no understanding of what UWC is, so I’ve taken it upon myself to publish a page totally dedicated to the history, aims and locations of UWCs worldwide. Aren’t you lucky!

The United World College movement started in 1962, with the opening of Atlantic College in Wales, which is about a 40 minute drive away from where I live. The movement was founded by Kurt Hahn, a German educationalist, who based his educational philosophy on the collaboration and discussion he’d seen between former enemies at the NATO Defence College. His idea was to teach young people (whom he believed had an innate moral clarity but were corrupted by our society as they grew older) to overcome prejudice by living and working together.

UWC Adratic

Hahn pictured a college that educated a wide variety of people from different socio-economic groups and cultures, aged 16 to 20, with a scholarship program to ensure that recruitment of every economic background was achieved. All applicants undergo rigorous selection process, and are selected on potential on motivation- but academics also play a certain part!

All of the schools teach the IB, which is an incredibly challenging educational experience, aiming to inspire them to create a sustainable and peaceful future, whilst promoting crucial values, such as intercultural understanding, celebration of difference, mutual respect and respect for the environment. Everyone undertakes a CAS element, which stands for Creative-Action-Service, meaning that you have to undertake a creative component, an active component and a service component. This CAS element embodies several more values of the UWC mission, such as personal challenge, compassion and service, and a sense of idealism.


There are UWC’s all over the world, and there are currently 14 active. Here they are in chronological order:

United World College of the Atlantic – 1962,

United World College of South East Asia (Singapore) – 1971

Lester B. Pearson United World College of the Pacific (Victoria, Canada) – 1974

Waterford Kamhlaba United World College of Southern Africa (Mbabane, Swaziland) 1981,

Armand Hammer United World College of the American West (Montezuma, New Mexico, USA) – 1982,

United World College of the Adriatic (Duino, Italy) – 1982,

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,

Two new colleges are scheduled to opened in September, 2014:
Robert Bosch United World College (Freiburg, Germany), 2014,
United World College Dilijan (Dilijan, Armenia), 2014.

UWC’s worldwide


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s