Skip to content ↓

What is UWC?

United World Colleges (UWC) is a global movement that makes education a force to unite people, nations and cultures for peace and a sustainable future. 

At UWC, we inspire young people to put their talents and energy into social change, no matter which future path they choose. We select promising, passionate students from all over the world, and give them the knowledge, skills and confidence to make a difference.

So how do you teach someone to build a better world?

  • We are a truly global movement. Today, UWC is made up of 18 schools and colleges on four continents. The majority of them focus on the 16-19 age group, with some also catering to younger students. Each school has its own unique location and character and is dedicated to nurturing young people’s energy and idealism into empathy, responsibility and lifelong action.
  • We are deliberately diverse. UWC national committees in over 150 countries and territories are able to reach and select young people from different backgrounds, cultures and experiences. Students at every school make friends from all over the world, and gain a deeper understanding of different ways of thinking.
  • We are selective, but not exclusive. UWC seeks compassionate, idealistic students who are driven to make the world better. We believe that money should not be a barrier to a good education. More than 80% of students selected by UWC national committees receive full or partial financial assistance, funded by our generous supporters. Our Refugee Initiative has also been funding full scholarships to displaced young people from conflict hotspots for many years. Outside formal education, we also offer shorter educational programmes on subjects such as leadership, equality and sustainability, giving more people access to a UWC education.
  • We value service, as well as knowledge. At our schools, students aged 16-19 study the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP), a world-respected curriculum that UWC played a key role in developing. The IBDP provides students with the knowledge and skills to reach universities across the world, including the best ones. It also encourages them to consider how they can actively support their community, and build initiatives that teach leadership, teamwork, creativity and self-confidence.
  • We build a community of role models. The UWC alumni network is almost 60,000 strong, and our alumni can be found in every corner of the world. Each graduate follows a different path, based on their interests and talents. But each carries the UWC ethos with them, making large and small changes through courageous action, personal example and selfless leadership.