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Call for Applications for UWC International Council

10 April 2020

UWC International Council



Call for Applications for UWC International Council

Role: Member of UWC International Council 
Type: Voluntary Position 
Starting Date: November 2020 (participation in Council meeting in 7-15 November 2020 (tbc))
Term Duration: Usually three years, renewable up to a maximum of three terms
Deadline for Application: 1 April 2020

About UWC 

UWC makes education a force to unite people, nations and cultures for peace and a sustainable future. To fulfill its mission, UWC has 18 schools and colleges worldwide, alongside 150 mostly volunteer-run national committees who select UWC students. Additionally, members of the UWC community run short summer programmes and locally-based initiatives. The UWC community consist of over 50.000 alumni, alongside current and former staff, donors, friends and partners. 

UWC International is the umbrella organisation across the UWC movement and its executive arm, the UWC International Office, is based in London and in Berlin. UWC International unites stakeholders from across the UWC movement and engages closely with the UWC community. UWC International is working collaboratively with all UWC stakeholders to achieve the goals set by the “UWC Strategy: 2018 and Beyond”.

The UWC International Council 

The UWC International Council (“Council”) is the broadest representative body of UWC International with up to 80 members representing different constituencies of the UWC movement as well as partners of UWC. The UWC Council plays a vital role in holding UWC International accountable and bringing the perspectives of the wider movement into UWC International’s governance. 

The UWC Council elects the UWC International Board and discusses issues of strategic, developmental and philosophical significance and advises the Board on ethos, strategy and major issues of UWC International. Council members sit on a number of committees preparing decisions of the Board and of the Council and exercising authority within the UWC movement. In legal terms, members of both the Council and the Board are also the members of The United World Colleges (International) - the UK company and registered charity constituting UWC International. The Council usually meets in-person once a year (usually in October or November). On this occasion, Council members also interact with UWC International Board members and the UWC school/college community where the meeting takes place. 

UWC International is seeking to fill a small number of vacancies on the UWC Council. The vacancies will have effect from November 2020. Appointments will be made for initial terms of three years and are renewable for up to two further terms. 

Membership in the Council and Vacancy 

The UWC Council includes Heads and Chairs of the UWC schools and colleges (except those serving on the UWC International Board), national committee representatives, as well as alumni and other members of the wider UWC community. 

Volunteering in UWC’s governance structures 

Individuals who become involved with UWC International do so for many different reasons and in a wide variety of ways. However, all share in common a belief in the aims and ideals of UWC and in particular the mission of making education a force to unite people, nations and cultures for peace and a sustainable future. 

Members of the Council who are not appointed ex-officio act in a volunteer capacity. They are part of a large group of individuals across the world supporting the UWC movement as volunteers, whether it be in one of the UWC national committees, on the board of UWC schools or colleges or within the UWC International governance structure. 

UWC International is committed to ensuring diverse representation in its governance structures. It therefore in particular encourages nominations from candidates representing groups currently underrepresented in UWC International’s governance bodies. Council members are expected to attend the annual in-person meeting and support the work of UWC International throughout the year by serving in working groups, task forces or committees. Usually, UWC International is not in a position to cover the costs of Council members’ travel to and attendance at meetings. However, whether an applicant can cover their travel and other costs associated with participation in the Council meeting will not be a deciding factor in the selection process and  Council members can expect cost reimbursement where this is necessary and appropriate. 

Requirements for Council membership

  • Belief in UWC’s mission and the willingness to engage with issues of relevance to the UWC movement.
  • Commitment to the work of UWC International in furthering UWC’s mission and values.
  • Valuing own knowledge but always willing to learn and to remain open to alternative views and perspectives.
  • Ability to contribute to discussions in a way that is constructive and adds value to the discussion. 
  • Awareness of and respect for UWC’s values and principles and in particular the celebration of diversity, cultural and political awareness, and sensitivity, as well as generosity and selflessness in pursuit of UWC goals.
  • Discretion, tact, and where appropriate awareness of the need for confidentiality.
  • An ability to think clearly and logically but also creatively.
  • Appreciation of the role of governance and of a relatively small professional office and staff, both in general terms in the nonprofit/charitable sector and in particular in the context of the UWC organisation. 
  • Appreciation of the volunteer role and ideally practical experience acting in governance roles in the non-profit/charitable sector, ideally but not necessarily within the context of UWC.
  • Experience (personal and/or professional) and commitment that will earn respect among colleagues within the governing bodies, elsewhere within the UWC organisation and more widely. 
  • Willingness and ability to participate in and travel to the annual Council meeting and to remain actively engaged in the work of UWC International throughout the year.
  • Willingness to prepare for meetings by reading all provided documents, and to contribute to meetings constructively and responsibly.
  • Willingness to respond in a timely manner to mailings and other requests in between meetings. 
  • Willingness to participate actively in discussions within UWC International and take shared responsibility for decisions and policies. 
  • To be prepared to act as an ambassador and advocate for UWC, speaking about the organisation, raising its profile in appropriate circles and seeking to identify new supporters. 

Application Process 

Individuals interested in being considered for nomination should send a letter of motivation (max 2 pages), a CV (max 2 pages) and the name of two referees who could comment about the individual’s professional background and volunteer & governance experience by 1 April 2020 to The letter should set out why the candidate wishes to volunteer for UWC International, how the candidate would like to contribute to the work of the Council and UWC in general, and which specific skills and experience the candidate would contribute to the work of the Council. 

The Nomination and Governance Committee of the Board will review all submitted applications and is in charge of the appointment.