UWC is committed to ensuring that as many students as possible have the opportunity to experience a UWC education regardless of national, socioeconomic, cultural, racial or religious background.
UWC achieves this through selection based on potential and merit and through the provision of scholarships. To continue this work, UWC relies on donations from alumni and other individuals, trusts, foundations, companies and governments.
The UWC scholarship programme is one of our proudest assets – it makes the UWC movement stand out in the growing world of international education.
Below are four examples of how our scholarship programme is pushing boundaries and breaking down barriers to a world class education for peace.
Increasing scholarships for refugee students
The current global refugee crisis has captured our attention in recent years. The sheer scale of the crisis is overwhelming and it is difficult to know how best to help. UWC as a family of schools and colleges has committed to contribute by greatly increasing our capacity to support students from refugee backgrounds. From 2017 onwards we are aiming to bring in up to 100 refugee students per year on full scholarships. This ambitious goal will require intensive fundraising, increasing support systems at our colleges and developing strategic partnerships to ensure we are able to find candidates for whom UWC is the appropriate next step.
Expanding our reach
UWC currently has students from 154 countries represented through our unique national committee system made up of 3,000 remarkable volunteers. Yet there are still parts of the world where UWC is not currently represented. Steadily we are increasing our footprint in line with our diversity aspirations. This year we are delighted to announce that we will have students from some brand new national committees including Cuba, Taiwan, Liberia and Somalia. They follow in the footsteps of recently established NCs in Somaliland, Niger, Benin and Guyana and we hope to welcome both DRC and Tunisia next year.
Read more: Expanding UWC’s reach – focus on Somaliland
Diversity within countries
In addition to increasing the number of countries represented at UWC, we have a commitment to ensure that we represent the diversity within countries. Young people from different ethnic, racial, political or religious backgrounds often live in close proximity without truly engaging, or in many cases without ever meeting each other. At UWC we want to encourage young people to truly engage with those people who they find the most difficult to approach. This is why we actively seek to attract young people from opposing sides of conflicts, from ethnicities that do not freely mix or whose lives are just truly different despite their shared official nationality.
Several UWC Schools and Colleges are now offering scholarships to students younger than the typical 16-18 year old age group with special preparatory or “pre-IB” programmes. As the UWC education delivery model diversifies and grows to include a wider age range as standard this will be an important growth area for scholarship support. Colleges which offer pre-IB scholarships include UWSEA in Singapore, UWC Mahindra College in India, Waterford Kamhlaba UWC in Swaziland and UWC Changshu China while several others are developing similar initiatives.
Read more: Focus on UWCSEA’s younger scholars programme