‘Education in times of Turmoil’ was the title for the symposium hosted for students and staff in celebration of UWC Day and Peace One Day on September 21st. The Ambassadors to Norway from all the other Nordic countries were in the panel for the event. There was a focus on how a whole generation in war-torn areas are now at the risk of missing out on education entirely. The Nordic countries are providers of substantial funding for schooling in conflict regions as part of their foreign aid.

‘It is essential that we contribute with what we can for this work’, was a message from the ambassadors.

“Education is a long term investment towards creating resilient communities and democratic societies”, says Development Director Arne Osland. “The ambassadors tell me that they will leave our campus with much joy from having met our students and staff – and are hopeful about the impact that these young people will have on their respective home communities.”

In the evening of UWC Day, Axel Wernhoff (Swedish Ambassador to Norway and formerly Swedish Consul General based in Jerusalem) gave the RCN Nelson Mandela Annual Humanitarian Pillar Lecture – on the title “Can the Middle East be Fixed?”

We hold this annual lecture, in celebration of UWC’s former Honorary President. Mandela’s life was an inspiration for the UWC movement and its values of peace and sustainability – and indeed he was, in many ways, the embodiment of our mission statement – perceptively and memorably reminding us all that ‘education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world’.

For Rektor Richard Lamont’s  welcome address to the Ambassadors and introduction to the lecture, please click here. This was followed by two student performances – a Scandinavian folk song and a Bollywood dance.

Ambassador Axel Wernhoff delivered a highly stimulating and thought-provoking lecture which, in turn, initiated a series of perceptive and thoughtful questions from students in the audience.

For some photos from the day, click here.