Principles

Our schools and colleges offer life defining experiences for young people. What students learn is guided by seven principles which represent our commitment to educating the whole person.

We help students discover the possibility of change. They learn that they can help to change the world through their courageous action, personal example and selfless leadership. We support young people to reach their intellectual, moral, aesthetic, emotional, social, spiritual and physical potential.

All of our schools and colleges share the UWC mission and values. But each operates differently and has a distinct identity based on local resources and opportunities. 

The education we offer is driven by seven principles inspired by renowned educationalist Kurt Hahn. They are underpinned by the pursuit of peace and justice, our founding aim. The principles reflect Hahn’s thoughts, experience gained from our 50-year history and current educational thinking. 

  1. Education should take place within a diverse college community. Students should be selected from regions and social groups that reflect the wide range of tensions among and between people.
  2. Education requires active promotion of intercultural understanding and the development of genuine concern for others, founded on shared life experiences, and cooperative and collaborative living. This includes talking about and engaging with global issues in the pursuit of peace.
  3. Physical fitness and a healthy lifestyle are integral to developing a balanced person. Unhealthy lifestyles limit human potential.
  4. Community interaction is at the heart of college/school life. This requires the full and active participation of all members of the school or college.
  5. Students should be able to take positive action around issues of sustainability on both an institutional and individual level.
  6. Students must have opportunities to practice personal initiative, self-discipline and responsibility, and to manage risk and embrace challenges. Where appropriate, these opportunities need to be supported by a reassuring adult presence.
  7. Recognition is given to the fact that individuals possess unique talents and abilities. Programmes should exist in each school/college which help students fulfil their potential.

Find out more about the curriculum you, or your child, would be taught at our schools and colleges.

One of the most striking things about UWC is the mindset – everything is possible and one person can make a difference.

Jill Longson, UWC Atlantic College