United World Colleges

UWC makes education a force to unite people, nations and cultures for peace and a sustainable future.

In 1963, Waterford was one of the first schools in Southern Africa to welcome students irrespective of race, religion or socio-economic background. Waterford Kamhlaba joined the United World Colleges (UWC) movement in 1981, having been the first associate member of UWC since 1978.

UWC is a movement of 16 colleges worldwide. The UWC values that are necessary to achieve this future are:

  • 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

UWC schools, colleges and programmes offer a transformational experience for young people, enabling them to discover the possibility of change through courageous action, personal example and selfless leadership.

Waterford brought to UWC a deep conviction that social justice is essential to a peaceful and sustainable future. Waterford shows that UWC’s mission to make ‘education a force for peace and a sustainable future’ is not simply about the impact of its graduates, but also about creating opportunity for those who otherwise would have little. Waterford also brought to UWC its Honorary International President, the late Dr. Nelson Mandela and Patron, the late Lord Richard Attenborough.

The other schools in the UWC movement are:

UWC Day is a celebration of our rich diversity, which is one of the key values of the UWC community.

UWC depends on the dedication and expertise of a network of volunteers to find and select many of the students. These volunteer groups are called National Committees (NC) which operate in over 145 countries worldwide. In the IB program 25% of WK’s students come through the UWC National Committee system. UWC National Committee students join Waterford for the two-year IB programme. Of the IB student body, about 75% are drawn from Africa, with 25% coming via the national committee structure, operating in more than 150 countries, which selects and supports students of promise who share the UWC ideals. Find more information at www.uwc.org