The first UWC College, UWC Atlantic College, opened in 1962. Today there are 17 UWC Schools and Colleges. UWC is represented in more than 150 countries.

UWC was founded in 1962 with the vision of bringing together young people whose experience was of the political conflict of the Cold War era. By offering an educational experience based on shared learning, collaboration and understanding it was intended that the students would act as champions of peace.


UWC Atlantic College opens in South Wales and was hailed by The Times as "the most exciting experiment in education since the Second World War."

1967 - Lord Mountbatten becomes President of the organisation and the movement became 'United World Colleges'.

1971 - The Singapore International School was officially opened as an associate member of UWC.

1970s - Increasing numbers of national committees established to promote UWC within their own countries and to select students for the colleges and schools.

1974 - Pearson College UWC opens. Lester B Pearson, former Canadian Prime Minister and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate had been the inspiration behind the founding of the college.

1978 - HRH The Prince of Wales becomes president of UWC.

1975 - The Singapore International School becomes a full member of the UWC movement and was officially renamed UWC South East Asia.

1981 - Waterford Kamhlaba School in Swaziland, founded in 1963 as a multi-racial school in opposition to South Africa's apartheid policies, became Waterford Kamhlaba UWC of Southern Africa.

1982 - UWC-USA in New Mexico, USA and UWC Adriatic, near Trieste in Italy both open.

1988 - HRH the Prince of Wales and agronomist Dr Luis Marcano Coello play a key role in the establishment of a College in Venezuela, Simón Bolívar UWC of Agriculture.

1990s - Development of UWC short courses as a means of providing further opportunities for young people to share the UWC experience.

1992 - Li Po Chun UWC of Hong Kong opens.

1995 - HM Queen Noor of Jordan and Nelson Mandela become joint presidents. UWC Red Cross Nordic in Norway opens, a joint venture with the Red Cross/Red Crescent organisation and the eight Nordic governments.

1997 - UWC Mahindra College in Pune, India, opens.

1999 - Nelson Mandela becomes honorary president of UWC.

2006 - UWC Costa Rica, formerly the Costa Rica SOS Hermann Gmeiner International College joins UWC and UWC in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina opens.

2009 - UWC Maastricht joins UWC, merging two existing international schools, International School Maastricht, and the International Primary School Joppenhof.

2012 - Simón Bolívar UWC of Agriculture closes following actions taken by the Venezuelan government which resulted in the college becoming a public university. More information on Simón Bolívar UWC.

2014 - UWC Dilijan in Armenia and UWC Robert Bosch College in Germany join the movement opening their doors to their first students in August 2014.

2015 - UWC Changshu China opened in 2015.

2016 - UWC Thailand joined the UWC movement.

2017 - UWC ISAK Japan officially joined the family.