This weekend sees the last of the autumn university visits – with Professor Doreen Stabinsky, from the College of the Atlantic, visiting to meet prospective students and to deliver a presentation on global environmental politics (she is currently in Sweden, serving as the first-ever Zennström Visiting Professor in Climate Change Leadership at Uppsala University). The University Office has posted a new record of university visitors (both in person and via webinars) for the autumn season – 40 representatives from Europe, Canada and USA

Last weekend Mark, our Senior University Counsellor, hosted Marielle Van Der Meer (The Netherlands – and Minerva Schools’ Managing Director for Europe). Please find below some reflections by Marielle on her visit to RCN for the first time:

‘A few days ago I had the privilege to finally visit UWC Red Cross Nordic in Norway – one of the most remote UWCs – a cluster of colourful wooden houses set on the shores of a secluded fjord, with a backdrop of mountains, forests and waterfalls. It had taken me 14 hours and a tram, a train, a bus, two planes, another bus, a boat and yet another bus to get here.

It was somehow meaningful at a personal level that whilst news reached me of cruel, shocking and pointless acts of violence in Beirut and Paris with many innocent people losing their lives, I was finding myself in this beautiful bubble of united cultures, ideals, beliefs and ideas. 200 kids from 95 nationalities living together, sharing moments of joy, anxiety, sadness; intent to solve misunderstandings, to find similarities rather than disparities and to be advocates and examples of a world where humanity and respect prevail over personal, cultural, religious and ideological differences…

…I’d like to believe that even though rockets are exploding, guns are being fired, hatred is fuelled, lives are lost, and 1000s of displaced human beings are traversing this continent looking for sanctuary and kindness, there still is infinitely more beauty and goodness in the world than there is tragedy and sadness – and that it is the promise, the power, and the responsibility of education to create space for dialogue and understanding, to build bridges, to give voices, and to enable solutions to conflict.’

A timely reminder from Marielle as to the core purpose behind our UWC educational model and mission to make education a force to unite people, nations and cultures for peace and a sustainable future.