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For Parents and Guardians

The UWC Great Britain application is primarily driven by the applicant themself, however we understand that parents may want to know more about the process so below are the frequently asked questions that we tend to receive during the process. 

If you have questions or concerns that are not addressed below, please contact us on applications@uwcgb.org.

How do I find out more about UWC?

If you would like to know more about UWC, we recommend looking at this website, our Facebook page, the UWC International website, and the websites of the individual colleges. You may also find the UWC International briefing on the State of UWC to be useful.

If you are interested in attending an Open Day, you can find details of any open days planned on Facebook and this website.

There are many sources of information about UWC however as each country runs a slightly different selection process, to reflect the educational differences between countries, please refer primarily to this website or our Facebook page for information about the UWC Great Britain selection process.

What is my role in my child’s application? 

During the Application Form stage, we request that parents declare that they are in support of the application. If you have any additional information (such as special circumstances or relevant medical history) then you must declare this so that we can ensure the UWC schools and colleges are able to support your child.

While parents should be free to read to over their child’s application form we ask that they play no role in writing it unless necessary for medical reasons. We also encourage parents to attend the day of their child’s Assessment Day, when UWC Great Britain run a programme for potential parents of students to learn more about the process. Further details about this will be provided to you if your child is shortlisted for an Assessment Day. 

Does my child have to be academically gifted to apply? 

No - We do not make conditional offers. However, the IB diploma is a challenging qualification even for high performers, and thus we do request an academic reference and predicted or achieved GCSE grades to ensure that your child would be able to have a fulfilling United World College experience given the challenge of the IB. Motivation and ability to work independently are more important for success in the IB than a string of A* grades. If we are concerned about your child's ability to succeed in the IB based on their reference or predicted grades, we will contact you to discuss your situation in more detail. 

How does funding a place at a UWC operate for British students? 

The National Committee assesses students for places on the basis of merit and their assessed potential to thrive at a UWC. Nominations are based on a selections process which is ‘needs blind’ - even if you submit a financial assessment form, the selections team will not see this information.

During the selection process for British students, Atlantic College works in partnership with UWC Great Britain to assess a family’s financial need and to award financial support where possible.  The funds available for this support are provided by the colleges and are thanks to the generosity of donors – foundations, private individuals and alumni – and vary from year to year.  Bursaries are allocated on a needs basis and in the rank order of the candidates nominated through the selection process.  The level of support is calculated through a means testing procedure.  Not all applicants will be eligible for scholarship funding and so the majority of successful applicants will be asked to make a contribution towards the costs of their place or pay full fees. The amount of funding support available will always be specified at the same time as a place is offered. 

The full fees for each college can be found on our page regarding Fees and Scholarships or by contacting applications@uwcgb.org.  

Whilst we appreciate that the cost can often be a major consideration, we would not like anyone to be deterred from applying for financial reasons. We would urge parents/guardians to explore and discuss all funding options if their child is offered a place. 

How will we find out the outcome of the application?

Once a decision has been made on your child's application, we will notify the candidate. If an applicant has attended an assessment day, we are happy to provide feedback on their application.

If your child has passed the assessment day, you will also receive a notification which will contain details of the college to which the candidate is receiving an offer with further information and next steps. Assuming you accept the offer, UWC Great Britain will then nominate the candidate to the school or college who will take a final decision on acceptance. This is generally a formality, however a place has not been fully confirmed until the school or college had accepted a candidate. Both the school or college and UWC Great Britain will then provide a welcome pack and support the candidate and family to enrol.

If your child is unsuccessful, we will notify them of this as soon as we are able. In some cases, we may suggest that the candidate would be well suited to re-apply the following year or to attend a UWC short course. We are always happy to provide feedback on applications if a candidate has attended an assessment day.

What supervision is given at UWCs? 

Students have to check in each evening and are not allowed to leave the campus after that time. They can go out during the day if they have free periods or at the weekend. Most UWCs will have a sign in and out system in place for when students leave campus. 

How strict are the school rules? 

While there are some variations between UWCs, based on local cultural norms, all UWCs adhere to a common Code of Conduct, which forbids drugs, tobacco (on campus smoking is always forbidden), alcohol on school property, sexual activity in any public area including student rooms, ‘hazing’, bullying, harassment, assault and stealing. Furthermore, all colleges are required to have clear expectations with regard to attendance, academic integrity, respect for curfew and alcohol off campus. 

What happens about doctors or if my child is ill? 

Normally, students are registered with a local medical practice so they will need to have their present GP’s details so they can transfer. If they need to see a doctor when they come home they can register as a temporary patient. There are sick bays on campus and a nurse is always available. Any health or sexual health issues can be easily discussed. Many countries, such as Hong Kong and USA, have excellent health care provision. Other colleges where such off-campus provision is more limited tend to have stronger on-campus support for student health and welfare. Students and parents can always contact the National Committee Welfare Team (Welfare@uwcgb.org) if issues require support or intervention by the National Committee. 

How will I know if my son/daughter is eating properly or is suffering from stress related problems? 

Past students can reassure parents that, in this area especially, the student support network is so strong and they all live so closely that any problem in this area is soon recognised. In most UWCs, students will also have a 'Houseparent', which is a member of staff who is responsible for the pastoral care. All UWCs have a provision for medical support as appropriate. 

What sort of support is given with their studies? 

Each student has a personal tutor who they see on a regular basis (or at any time they need help). This is to discuss any concerns they may have with their work and to monitor progress. UWCs have a family-like structure in place where second and first year students meet regularly with a tutor for both social and pastoral opportunities. All UWCs encourage a great sense of community and student’s friends are always a great source of support to them. 

All students are also about to contact the UWC Great Britain Welfare Team if they would like support. Each student has a primary contact within the Welfare team who works to support them through their two years - the Welfare team works to support students and schools/colleges through a thorough knowledge of both UWC Great Britain students as well as strong relationships with the schools/colleges. 

What feedback do I get about my child’s progress? 


Reports are sent out regularly; a typical pattern might be for parents to receive three full reports during the two year period (the first at the end of the 1st semester, the second at the end of May and the third after the trial exams in March, prior to the IB Diploma.) The college staff, either the tutor in the first instance or the Director of Studies, are very approachable if there are any concerns outside of these reports. 

What is our Child Protection Policy? 

Please see our Welfare page for details.