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UWC Educational Model and Principles


There is more in us than we know if we could be made to see it; perhaps, for the rest of our lives we will be unwilling to settle for less.”

Kurt Hahn, Founder of UWC

What makes UWC different?

We believe that education should help young people discover that change is possible, and that they can make it happen.

As a UWC student, you’ll learn how you can inspire change through courageous action, selfless leadership, and careful listening. You’ll take part in experiences and community activities, so that you’re prepared to build with confidence and lead with compassion in later life. 

So how do we achieve this?

We’ve built our educational model on a set of principles that aim to help you reach your potential - academically, morally, socially and emotionally. Our schools each have their own distinct identity, but they’re united by these common values:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Physical fitness and a healthy lifestyle are integral to developing a balanced person and to expanding our potential. Unhealthy lifestyles limit human potential.
  4. Community interaction is at the heart of school life. This requires the full and active participation of all members of the school or college.
  5. Students should be able to take positive action around issues of sustainability on both an institutional and individual level.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

We’ve built our approach and curriculum on these principles, and have inspired thousands to find the skills and confidence to spark change.

After UWC, you’ll be able to progress to your chosen university, or to the calling that suits you. 

You’ll leave here with a strong academic foundation. But also a stronger understanding of yourself, the world around you, and the power to help others.

It’s an education, built differently.