A Proven Concept

The concept behind the UWC schools is over 50 years old and was originally formulated by 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. These young people should be old enough to be rooted in their own culture yet still open to new ideas. Personal suitability should be the only yardstick for selection.


Supported by generous donations and sponsors, the first UWC – UWC Atlantic College – was opened in 1962 in the medieval castle of St. Donats in Wales. UWC Atlantic College was then followed by UWC Waterford Kamhlaba in Swaziland in 1963 and UWC Lester B. Pearson in Canada in 1974. The most recent of the colleges opened in Tanzania in 2019.