“UWC makes education a force to unite people, nations and cultures for peace and a sustainable future.” UWC Mission statement
During the Cold War, the German pedagogue Kurt Hahn and Air Marshal Sir Lawrence Darvall developed the idea for an international school, which the London Times hailed as the “most exciting experiment in education since the Second World War”.
Hahn´s conviction: People have to get to know each other to live together in peace. Hahn´s use of his experimental outdoor educational concept as platform for international understanding was especially interesting and up-to-date in the aftermath of two World Wars and the threat of the Cold War.
At UWC Atlantic College, the first UWC, a group of selected students between the age of 16 and 19 and from many nations and cultures came together in 1962. Within the two years of residential school, they completed an academic program together, volunteered in services to the community and embedded international understanding and the celebration of differences actively in their every-day live.
Today, there are 16 United World Colleges, typically with around 200 students each – every year, 1500 students graduate from a UWC. The movement is represented in 150 countries and more than 50.000 students from more than 180 different countries have studied at UWC schools, colleges and programs. UWC depends on the dedication and expertise of national networks. These networks, called national committees, are non-governmental organizations working mainly with UWC-alumni volunteers. They choose students based on their personality, talent and potential to thrive at a UWC – and independent of the financial possibilities of their parents. This selection and comprehensive scholarship program gives UWC its unique character: We bring together a true diversity of students, from various nations, cultures and socio-economic backgrounds.
UWC is an international educational movement – small in contrast to the global scale, yet of great importance for anyone ever exposed to it, especially students. At the same time UWC has and continues to provide an example in its host-countries for governments, schools and educational organizations.
UWC aims at enabling youth to respond to the challenges of a globalized world. We want to produce alumni who, through their own action and personal example, can become leaders in their communities to making a positive difference in the world. For this, students have to encounter and understand the principles of sustainable development such as generational and gender equality, social tolerance, poverty reduction, environmental protection, preservation of natural resources and the creation of open, free, just and peaceful societies. Students experience these themes through active, social learning. In community services, students partake in meaningful and important activities within their immediate vicinity and deal with these relevant concepts.
Living and learning at a UWC is shaped by the following values:
- International and intercultural understanding
- Celebration of difference
- Personal responsibility and integrity
- Mutual responsibility and respect
- Compassion and service
- Respect for the environment
- A sense of idealism
- Personal challenge
- Action and personal example
Students at UWC Robert Bosch will learn that change is possible – through the open and honest dialogue, courageous action and a sense of community that they will experience and within which they will learn. They will develop a deep understanding for the parameters of a sustainable lifestyle, and explore how technology can support the responsible utilization of finite natural resources.