UWC makes education a force to unite people, nations and cultures for peace and a sustainable future (UWC mission statement)
United World Colleges (UWC) is unique. It is the only global educational movement that brings together students from all over the world – selected on personal merit, irrespective of race, religion, politics and the ability to pay – with the explicit aim of fostering peace and international understanding.
UWC was founded in 1962 and originated in the ideas of German educationalist Kurt Hahn. Hahn believed that much could be done to overcome hostility and conflict if young people from different nations, races and religions could be brought together to learn from each other.
Today there are twelve United World Colleges, each with its own distinctive character, but sharing a common mission and values. In the turbulent world of the twenty-first century, these values are as relevant today as they were in 1962 – perhaps more so.
Students and staff from many different nationalities and a wide variety of backgrounds form vibrant and enthusiastic communities as they live and work together. High academic standards, a strong emphasis on community service and a wide range of cultural and outdoor activities are all part of the challenge and excitement of a UWC education.
UWC is represented by volunteer National Committees in 124 countries. It is a unique system which enables students to be selected from within their own communities and cultures. The National Committees are responsible for selecting students for entry to UWC Colleges and for other UWC programmes such as UWC Short Courses. Many also raise funds to supplement scholarships or to run their own programmes and courses.
National Committee volunteers include UWC graduates, educationalists, community leaders and other interested supporters. It is only thanks to their commitment and hard work that more than 1,200 new students can be selected for UWC each year.
Students are selected for UWC on the basis of merit, regardless of their background. To make this possible, funds are raised from graduates, friends, foundations, business, non-governmental organisations and governments..