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Coronavirus (Covid-19) Update

23 March 2020

As a global organization with schools, short courses and national committees around the world, the UWC movement is heavily affected by the outbreak and global spread of the Covid-19 virus. We have been taking measures to safeguard the health and well being of our community against the outbreak since late January and continue to do so each day.

To our knowledge, there is no confirmed case of Covid-19 among current students or staff members at any UWC school. Accordingly, all measures taken remain precautionary and comply with national health authority and government guidelines. They are put in place to ensure the safety of the UWC communities, which remains our number one priority. 

With the increasing spread of the virus, we are continuously adapting our responses to new situations and are ensuring that we are prepared for various scenarios caused by possible infections, increased travel restrictions and lockdowns. 

All UWC schools have been taking action depending on their location, context and advice from local authorities, while acknowledging that the situation is in constant evolution.

Where UWC schools are closed, students are continuing their education from home through an online learning and teaching system that ensures the continuity of the academic programme. We are immensely grateful to all teachers and staff members, as well as our students, who are embracing this new way of learning despite the challenges it entails. 

On 23 March 2020, the International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO) announced that the May 2020 examinations will no longer take place. Further details about the IB Diplomas, how they will be awarded to the 2020 graduating class and other updates are regularly released by the IBO on their dedicated page
In the meantime, UWC will continue to liaise closely with the IBO on next steps, trusting that they will establish a fair and effective Diploma awarding process. We also hope that the IBO will be adopting a sensible and sensitive approach to ensure that students’ future opportunities are not compromised in any way. In the meantime, all UWC university councillors are working hard to ensure that all UWC students in their second year of IBDP who want to continue their higher education at university next year will be able to do so.

Information on the consequences of the Covid-19 outbreak for upcoming UWC short courses and summer camps will be made available as soon as final decisions have been taken. 

We currently expect admissions for the academic year 2020 to proceed as planned. 

During the coming weeks and months, we will all need to learn to adapt to a new reality. The last weeks have shown the strength of the UWC movement as it faces adversity and difficulties. We are immensely proud of all our current students, staff members and volunteers who have been dealing with a challenging and unprecedented situation in an exemplary manner. 

We are also grateful to all the hundreds of volunteers, host families, partners and donors who stand by our side with unwavering support during these challenging times. 

We will continue to do our very best to ensure that the UWC community stays united during these difficult times and that our students are supported to continue living the UWC mission of making education a force to unite people, nations and cultures for peace and a sustainable future, wherever in the world they are. 

That’s also where UWC Unlocked comes in, the UWC wide initiative with the mission to unlock the enormous capability we have as a global organisation of change-makers during these unprecedented times. This initiative was launched with a series of online talks and presentations offered by UWCers for UWCers - UWC Unlocked Talks - exploring a range of topics to help stimulate our minds, fuel connection and spark new ideas.