Statement on UWC college in Ukraine
Supporting Reconstruction of Education in Democratic Civil Society During and After the War
Vision: United World College Ukraine is a quality IB (International Baccalaureate) school and a centre for service and training in a post-war country where youth from across the globe can acquire excellent education focusing on critical thinking, civil society activism, human rights, democracy, peace and sustainability.
Key Pillars of UWC Ukraine
- A 2-year college with a customised national programme and International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma programme, to allow exchange of best practices from both systems, for two hundred 16-18-year-old students from both Ukraine and 60+ other countries for pre-university education.
- Scholarships for refugees and internally displaced people from refugee-host countries.
- Civil Society Action Centre to support reconstruction of the country via engagement with civil society actors and project-based learning utilizing UWC experience.
- Critical thinking and human rights contents of the IB education, supplemented by media training; support for the Government of Ukraine to embed it in the national school curriculum.
- Conflict Management and War Recovery Summer Short Courses for young people from Ukraine, neighboring countries and beyond to provide immediate response to the physical and psychological impact of the war and new geopolitical realities in Europe, in collaboration with UWC Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
- Work with Ukrainian partners to directly partake in the reconstruction and recovery process
- Locate potential sites and war-destroyed buildings with Ukrainian leadership for UWC Ukraine.
- Start developing endowment fund for UWC Ukraine scholarships during the conflict to be able to start the school immediately after the conflict.
- Start short courses, volunteering and other immediate support programmes.
Experience of United World Colleges
- With over 60-year experience with students from different and often conflicting backgrounds 18 UWCs across the globe work with a mission to “make education a force to unite people, nations and cultures for peace and a sustainable future”. 60,000+ alumni, creating impact across government, civil society and public sector. Former Presidents of the movement include Prince of Wales, Nelson Mandela and HM Queen Noor.
- 20-year experience of a post-war education in UWC Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Independent UWC Ukraine national committee since 2002.
Important elements of UWC Ukraine
- Offer proven quality modern education model and a platform of UWC and IB for Ukrainian youth, educators, and democratic society as a whole.
- Recognise on a global level the Ukrainian civil society example - how to be brave, self-organise, stand up for the rights and freedoms and succeed against the odds.
- Support the development of future compassionate and resilient leaders enabled with skills to manage the war/post-war environment, prevent escalation of conflicts, develop policies and build businesses.
- UWC Ukraine activities will be established on three core principles:
- Challenge - Embrace critical thinking. Support freedom of press. Fight propaganda.
- Freedom - To express yourself. To be different. To exercise your rights.
- Courage - To stand up for your beliefs, rights and freedoms. To resist the bigger power. To act. To serve others. To succeed.
- Ukrainian United World Colleges National Committee
- Foundation Education in Action (Bosnia and Herzegovina) & United World College in Mostar
- Dr. Pilvi Torsti, Finnish UWC graduate, co-founder of UWC Mostar, www.pilvitorsti.com
- Ivan Lorencic, Slovene school head and head of UWC Teacher Training Centre in Bosnia, long term involvement in educational development in former Yugoslav region after the war
- Adriaan de Mol van Otterloo, Dutch UWC graduate, Founder of UWC Mostar Endowment Bridge to the future
Background of the United World Colleges Movement
United World College movement was founded in 1962 when Atlantic College in Wales was opened to bring together young people who had experienced the political conflict of the post WW2 era, offering an educational experience based on shared learning, collaboration and understanding so that the students would act as future leaders and champions of peace.
The success of the movement led to opening of colleges across the world, including USA, Swaziland, and Singapore. The Presidents of the movement have included Prince of Wales, Nelson Mandela and HM Queen Noor. 1983 UWC established school in Italy to have students from both sides of the iron curtain to come together.
20 years ago, the United World Colleges movement set up an initiative to establish a UWC in a post-war Bosnia and Herzegovina. This led to the opening of the United World College in Mostar and a related Teacher Training Centre in 2006 with an emphasis on Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Balkan region, and other conflict areas.
At the core of the UWC Mission, there are now 18 schools worldwide with 10,000 students each year from over 180 countries, with a strong commitment to civic participation and social service through systematic programs in local communities.
UWC was instrumental since 1960s in developing the currently the world-leading international secondary school curriculum, the International Baccalaureate. Today all UWC schools teach the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) for students in the final two years of secondary education. The IBDP is a highly rigorous academic programme, preparing students for the world’s leading universities. It also places a high value on experiential learning, community service and outdoor activities, which complement the high academic standards. Community-Action-Service is a major part of IB education in which students partake in meaningful activities within their immediate vicinity – act local and think global.
Since 1987, the movement has also offered thematic 1-5 week short courses, providing more widely accessible UWC experience to youth globally, focusing on topics like identities, sustainability, social entrepreneurship. UWC alumni live the mission, serving in government and non-profit organisation, promoting arts and culture, contributing to academic research, and running businesses.
AV and PT 2 September 2022