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Photo of Jens Waltermann

Dear members of the UWC community,
Dear friends,

After six years, this is my last newsletter as UWC International’s Executive Director. And while I will miss working with all of you and helping to steer this wonderful organisation to make education a force for good, I could hardly be happier. That is because I leave in deep gratitude and there is much to be grateful for.

First of all, the people of UWC. All of you. You students, who remind us every day (if and when we have the privilege of interacting directly with you) why we do what we do at UWC. We are a student-centric organisation and we should always remember that. You alumni, who carry UWC in your hearts and minds and who are out in the world making a difference – wherever you are, one action at a time. In families, communities and governments, in companies and NGOs, in science, education and beyond. You volunteers, in national committees (more than 3,000 of you every year!), in Boards, Councils and Committees, in parents' groups and partner organisations. And you, our donors! Without our volunteers and donors UWC would be just another group of good mission-aligned international schools and we could not maintain the diversity (socio-economic and otherwise) that drives the UWC experience and makes it unique. We must be – and be recognised to be – schools for the motivated and the talented, no matter whether they come from the global elite, a refugee camp or orphanage, a single mum in academia or a blue-collar working family. 

And all of you Heads, teachers and staff members in our schools working tirelessly to create and maintain the holding environment and the educational programming that enables the UWC magic, 24/7, many of you without any pause to speak of since the Corona pandemic hit us in early 2020. You inspire our students every day through your work and your example. And last, but not least, you my colleagues at the UWC International Office, a great team that stands together in service of the UWC mission. You all apply yourselves far beyond the call of duty and I will be forever grateful for having had the privilege of working with you. With great confidence I pass my role in leading the UWC International Office into your safe hands, Hannah and the UWCIO team!

I am grateful that through all of our work together, we were able to grow UWC from 12 schools to 18 since 2014 -  adding new UWC schools that have been inspirational and that have raised the bar. Being part of the founding team of UWC Robert Bosch College as a volunteer was what inspired me to join UWC International in the first place and we now have seven schools in Asia, six in Europe, two in Africa and three in the Americas, thereby overcoming the predominance in numbers of European UWCs. We must seek to grow further, not just in the number of our schools. The UWC movement and mission thrive on a growth mindset and there is too much “zero-sum” thinking in our world already.  

So on the point of growth, it is with the greatest gratitude that I can make the most wonderful announcement: in conversations over the last few weeks, the Davis philanthropies have agreed to double the Dare to Dream program from USD 5 million to USD 10 million, funding an additional 100 scholarships per year for our students from the most disadvantaged backgrounds. I cannot even begin to thank Shelby Davis and Phil Geier enough for their incredible trust and their commitment to supporting highly deserving students in the greatest need. The funding comes as a matching challenge, so prepare for action in taking Dare to Dream to the next level!

Thank you all for everything that you do for UWC – and for everything that we have been able to do together in the last 6 years!

In gratitude and with my best wishes, 

Jens Waltermann
Executive Director, UWC International 
(Pearson College UWC, 1983-1985)

Philanthropist Shelby Davis Doubles Annual Dare to Dream Pledge from USD 5 Million to USD 10 Million Through Global Match-Funding Initiative in Run-up to 60th Anniversary of UWC Movement 

USD 10 million visualWe are delighted to share that United World Colleges (UWC) International Patron and global philanthropist, Shelby Davis, is doubling his support to the Davis-UWC Dare to Dream Scholarship Program for highly talented students in need, who are selected in over 155 countries to attend one of 18 UWC schools around the globe. 

The goal is to challenge the UWC community and global philanthropists to match 100 additional scholarships pledged by Davis on top of the 100 Davis-UWC Dare to Dream scholarships that Davis has been funding annually for the past three years to reach a total of up to 300 Dare to Dream scholarships per year. 

Every UWC student and graduate I have met knows that the force of a UWC education has helped them become global citizens who want to bridge all sorts of differences -  such as between countries, races, religions and outlooks - which can lead toward a better future for all of us. A goal like this takes continuous leadership, time, effort and resources to help a divided world come closer together for the good of humanity. Providing support to the UWC movement is a concrete way to nurture hope as we DARE TO DREAM of a more peaceful and prosperous world. I am doubling my commitment to $10,000,000 and will be doing that every year, and I ask for your support as we work together to achieve our global goals” says Shelby M.C. Davis.

Since the Dare to Dream Program was first launched in 2018, Shelby Davis has donated USD 5 million annually to UWC, providing 100 two-year scholarships worth USD 50,000 to students who, in Shelby Davis’ words, would “not even dare to dream of a world-class education like that offered by UWC.” 

Under the new “Dare to Dream 2”-program, Shelby Davis is pledging a further USD 5 million annually as a match-fund for each scholarship raised by the UWC schools, national committees and UWC International’s newly constituted International Philanthropy Committee. This program is due to launch shortly. To allow UWC schools and colleges and national committees to build up fundraising momentum for future student intakes there will be no initial matching requirement for the additional scholarships provided by Shelby Davis for the 2021 student intake. The matching requirement will kick in from the 2022 student intake onwards and detailed conditions of the program will be distributed in due course.

In the build up towards UWC’s 60th anniversary in 2022, we cannot thank Shelby enough for daring us to dream even bigger with this matching grant. It builds upon his previous UWC support and on his belief in our UWC students’ capacity to make a difference. 300 additional scholarships will mean 300 opportunities for a better future as we change the world - one student at a time. We are deeply grateful to Shelby Davis and Phil Geier for their continued generosity and trust in UWC” comments Jens Waltermann, Executive Director of UWC International. 

Dare to Dream Scholarship Infographic

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