A proven concept

The idea of the UWC schools came into existence over 50 years ago and originates from the educator Kurt Hahn. At the UWCs, he wanted to bring together young people from all over the world to promote international understanding and peace during the Cold War. The aim was that the young people should be old enough to be rooted in their own culture, but still open to new ideas. The selection should also only encompass the candidate’s personal fit and ability.


Promoted by generous donations and sponsors, UWC Atlantic College was opened in 1962 in a medieval castle of St. Donats in Wales, the first UWC in the world. UWC Atlantic College was then followed by UWC Singapore in 1971 and UWC Lester B. Pearson in Canada in 1974. The most recent of the currently 17 colleges will be opened in Japan in 2017.