The United World College of Southeast Asia (UWCSEA) is a not-for-profit day and boarding school with two campuses in Singapore. UWCSEA has provided a truly international learning experience for K-12 students aged 4-18 years for more than 40 years and today the two campuses are home to nearly 5,390 students from 70 different nationalities.
Thanks to the international nature of UWCSEA students grow up surrounded by friends, classmates and instructors from all over the world. This kind of global environment enables them to grow up as open-minded, cultural and progressive thinkers prepared to learn and contribute on an international level.
The teaching philosophy at UWCSEA is based on five interlinking elements: academics, activities, outdoor education, pastoral care and service. Each aspect of the teaching program is meticulously developed to ensure that students gain experience and knowledge that will help them mature into independent learners and global citizens. Students at UWCSEA are provided with challenges that prompt them to take responsibility for their actions.
The UWCSEA mission to use education as “a force to unite people, nations and cultures for peace and a sustainable future” is evident throughout its academic and student life programs. The school’s stated goal is to “educate individuals to embrace challenges and take responsibility for shaping a better world.”
UWCSEA maintains two campuses in Singapore with a Dover and East location. Dover has a community of 3,000 students and 300 staff. There are separate blocks at Dover for the primary, middle school and high school areas of the school, and additional buildings that serve as drama rooms, canteens, sports halls and boarding houses.
East Campus enrols 2,200 students and has several blocks for academic, arts, music, library and classrooms. There is also a boarding house on campus and a large sports complex and canteen with a pool, halls, dance and fitness studios and a theatre. Each campus offers outdoor education and its own climbing wall, while Dover has high and low ropes courses, astro-turf playing fields, tennis courts, a swimming pool and cricket nets. The colleges have their own climbing and camping gear, kayaks and other supplies.
The UWCSEA boarding experience is culturally rich and “life-defining” in that it positively shapes its students’ futures and becomes their home. Boarding is offered on both campuses for students aged 13-18 years. All students are interviewed prior to placement.
Students enjoy a stimulating and engaging academic experience throughout their time at UWCSEA, thanks to a well-planned academic program structure. The Infant School programme (ages 4-7) provides the youngest students a good start on their learning journey by developing routines, good habits and a love of school. The Junior School (grades 2-5) focuses on literacy, maths, languages, science, social studies, the arts and PE.
In grades 6–8 students follow a dedicated Middle School program with a broad range of subjects including core subjects. The (I)GCSE program is employed for grades 9 and 10, and students who enter the school in Grade 10 take a Foundation IB course. In grades 11 and 12, students follow the IB Diploma program. This academically rigorous program emphasizes a core curriculum that aligns with the mission and values of UWCSEA, and is designed for students of different linguistic, cultural and educational backgrounds.
UWCSEA graduates go on to some of the top universities in the world in the US, UK, and Australia, which opens doors to unparalleled academic and professional opportunities thanks to the knowledge, skills and qualities they are equipped with at UWCSEA.
An extensive activities program is offered to all students from grade 2 onwards. These activities cover sports, arts (drama and music), leadership, clubs and special interests and designed so students will bond with other like-minded students from across age groups and other schools. These activities are offered during lunch or after school in fixed time slots.
The sports options at UWCSEA are numerous and include badminton, swimming, sailing, athletics, cross country and football. UWCSEA also supports a solid music program with an array of ensembles from orchestral music to jazz and rock bands. These are both participatory and auditioned ensembles, so all students have a chance to be part of the music scene.
The drama program at UWCSEA enables students to be involved in all aspects of theatre production from performance to design and technical support. Involvement in productions is open to all students, regardless of their academic focus.
Outdoor education is another area of emphasis at UWCSEA and can include anything from horseback riding to trekking and expeditions. In these activities students are taught to hone their leadership and communication skills and develop physical and emotional resilience.
Service is another tradition at UWCSEA and designed to empower students to become active contributors to their community. Students at all levels are encouraged to perform service either on campus with members of the college community; local service within the Singapore community during day trips; and global service such as a project in a developing country.