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June 17, 2019

Harvard’s UWC Impact Study

2019-06-17T09:13:21+00:00June 17th, 2019|

Over 50 years after the founding of the first UWC college in 1962, the UWC movement continues to educate young people with its mission to “make education a force to unite people, nations and cultures for peace and a sustainable future”. An education based on the UWC educational model is believed to empower young people to become changemakers for a better future and enable each of them to have a positive impact on the world.

But is this true? Researchers from The Good Project of Project Zero at the Harvard Graduate School of Education want to know, so have launched the most important study in the history of the UWC movement: Harvard’s UWC Impact Study.

The study, being conducted over four years, seeks to determine whether (and if so, how) UWC school and college graduates become forces for a more peaceful and sustainable future. The study’s findings will enable the UWC movement to improve its educational programme with a view to strengthening the UWC mission, and are expected to be of interest to the wider educational field as well.

The study consists of two strands. The first is a longitudinal study of two cohorts of students (beginning in 2018 and 2019 [2019 and 2020 for Waterford Kamhlaba UWC of Southern Africa]), from their entry into the first year of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme through their UWC graduation.

The second strand concerns UWC school and college alums (who studied at UWC for their last two years of secondary/high school), who are being asked to contribute to the study by participating in an online survey and/or interview in order to help the researchers understand how a UWC education impacts UWC graduates’ lives, and whether it affects the impact UWC alums are having on society or their communities.

If you studied at a UWC school or college for your last two years of secondary school, take part today! By dedicating about 30-40 minutes to the survey, you will play an invaluable part in the most important study ever to be conducted about our UWC movement. You will be part of the answer to the question: does UWC really make education a force to unite people, nations and cultures for peace and a sustainable future?

You will also have the chance to sign up for an interview with the researchers, which will provide the study with even more valuable insights into your individual UWC experience.

Project Zero at the Harvard Graduate School of Education is conducting the Impact Study with absolute independence and your response will remain completely anonymous.

Make your voice heard. Be part of a truly global, inclusive, cross-generational reflection on the impact of a UWC education. Take the survey today. We are counting on you to help us improve UWCevery voice matters!

For more information about Harvard’s UWC Impact Study and the alum survey, including its methodology, click here. Questions? Contact communications@uwcio.uwc.org.


Howard Gardner, the Principal Investigator, says this:

“My colleagues and I at Harvard Project Zero are delighted to be carrying out an extensive study of the educational program of the United World Colleges. The purpose of the study is to investigate the effectiveness of the UWC curriculum as well as the broader overall mission of the UWC movement.

Our study involves an extensive and longitudinal survey of current students on the campuses, as well as site visits to all campuses during which we conduct selective interviews of students, faculty, and administrators. We are also interviewing and surveying UWC alumni about their experiences while attending UWC and their principal activities in the years thereafter. A unique feature of the study is a parallel examination of the effectiveness of the educational programs of selective secondary schools that are comparable in various ways to UWC schools.

We believe that this study is unprecedented in its depth and breadth and will be useful both to the UWC movement and to all those who seek to provide high-quality education to students at the secondary level.

News Archive

Svanøy Field Trip 2019

2019-06-04T07:57:14+00:00June 4th, 2019|

Last Friday 45 Biology students sailed on the boat “West Sea” for a three-day field trip on the island of Svanøy. They were accompanied by teacher Jelena, Rektor Guðmundur & family and support staff. The trip was almost cancelled due to the forecast of heavy rain but luckily, at the last moment, the weather gods changed their mind and kindly even offered some sunshine.

The island of Svanøy is special not only for its stunning beauty – but also as one of the top educational centres for deer farming worldwide.
(See our hosts website here).

As always, the purpose of the trip was “for the right brain” to appreciate the beauty of the island (The Pearl of Sunnfjord) and “for the left brain” to study ecology “in-situ”. The students engaged in measuring oceanographic factors, collecting and observing plankton and discovering sea shore creatures and their interaction with the habitat. They also engaged in discussion on the sustainability of a small island and were exposed to a reality-check about plastics. During the “dugnad”, clearing up two beaches, they discovered that plastic waste reaches, without discrimination, even this remote Nordic island.

We are cordially thankful for being so warmly welcomed to this amazing island – and given free use of the facilities of the “Svanøy Foundation” for all the years we’ve been taking our students. The leader Johan Trygve Solheim, hops all over the world providing education courses on this noble way of exploiting animals for meat (and other products) while enabling them to live happy, healthy and dignified lives in their natural ecosystem. Trygve enthusiastically shared his amazing knowledge and experiences about anything and everything to do with deer, answering hundreds of questions. He even roared! Most exciting of all – he enabled the very first close encounter with non-caged wild animals to most of our students.

A big ‘Thank you’ roar to you, Trygve!

See here for an album of photos from the trip.

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Tsering (RCN ’17-’19)

2019-06-10T10:00:02+00:00June 4th, 2019|

Tsering Tashi is in his second and final year at UWC Red Cross Nordic. He came to know about this College four years ago, when he was in 8th grade. A video documentary he watched about students who have attended the College inspired him. So he started studying hard in order to get good grades – a criterion for winning a scholarship.

Tsering says UWC Red Cross Nordic impacts his life and his attitude in various ways, ranging from recognition of his identity to becoming an independent learner. He is a third-generation Tibetan refugee living in India, and he became aware that his status is different from many others. “When we were introduced to the other students, their citizenship and the country where they came from is the same. But my case is different. I am a Tibetan without a country. I came from India but am not Indian. It intrigues me now in different ways than before. I became more conscious about my identity and the situation I am in.”

This realization makes him more open to learn about other cultures and accepting differences. “I believe UWC Red Cross Nordic is an ideal environment to learn how to adjust to a different place and assimilate with different people and a variety of cultures. I have become a responsible Tibetan because when I share my culture with others I must do it properly and I want to learn from others too.”

For Tsering, accepting others’ opinions is the difficult part of assimilation with diversity. He acknowledges that he used to have strong opinions about his religion and culture, and he was using it as the basis for his judgement of the right and wrong doings of others. But this has changed. “I know UWC education has had a huge impact on me. I have become less biased now. I can understand the other person’s perspective even though it doesn’t represent mine. Also, I became more rational rather than emotional and will no longer try to impose my ideas on others or show them that their ideas are wrong. Here I have learnt that there is no such thing as a black and white picture, it is more about accepting people as they are. For example, I meet people who are nice to me personally, but are doing things that might be considered as wrong in my culture. Learning this, I got more comfortable in socializing with people from different backgrounds.”

Tsering has set his goal to be a neuroscientist. This ambition and his personal principle of being a lifelong and active learner gives him the energy every morning to get out of his bed and start the day with enthusiasm. He sees a good combination of his passions, his principles and accessing education at UWC Red Cross Nordic. “The IB curriculum has helped me to be an independent learner. I had never written any paper on any subject before I came here, now I am building my capacity on that. The IB curriculum is intense with lots of work to do and UWC with all of its diversity is also demanding but this is what makes UWC so rigorous. It makes you a person who does not shy away from challenges.”

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May 27, 2019

UWCRCN Graduation 2019

2019-05-27T14:51:49+00:00May 27th, 2019|

Congratulations to the graduating class of 2019.

We echo the words of the main speaker of the day
Abid Raja, from the Norwegian Parliament: “There are more than enough issues for you to get involved with out there. You’ve got what it takes to tackle them!”
See facebook albums from the day:

News Archive