Skip to content ↓

For Parents and Guardians

The UWC Great Britain application is primarily driven by the applicant themselves, 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

How do I find out more about UWC?

If you would like to know more about UWC, we recommend looking at this website, following us on social media, checking out 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.

As you can see there are many sources of information about UWC and this can sometimes feel confusing. One important aspect to keep in mind is that each country’s National Committee runs a slightly different selection process to reflect educational differences between our countries. Please refer primarily to this website or to our social media pages for information about the UWC Great Britain selection process.

As gathering in large numbers for Open Days is not permitted at present, our promotions team has been running a series of “Zoom in on UWC” events. These events return every year in preparation for each Selections cycle.

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 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 programme for potential parents run alongside the assessments to learn more about UWC, the schools and colleges and the process in general. Further details will be provided if your child is shortlisted for assessment.

Does my child have to be academically gifted to apply? 

The simple answer is no - we do not make conditional offers. However, the IB diploma is a challenging qualification, even for high academic achievers, and so we do request an academic reference and predicted or achieved GCSE grades. This is to ensure that your child would be able to have a fulfilling United World College experience given the challenge of the IB which is only part of life at UWC. At UWC the co-curriculum is given equal weight with the academic curriculum and therefore motivation and ability to work independently are more important for success in the IB than a string of grade 9s. If we have concerns about any candidate's ability to succeed in the IB based on their reference or predicted grades, we will discuss the individual's situation with them and their academic referee 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 selection process which is ‘needs blind’. This means that even if you submit a financial assessment form, the assessment team will not see this information.

During the selection process for British students, we assess each family’s financial need and  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 by contacting
Whilst we appreciate that 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 been assessed in person, we are happy to provide feedback on their application.
If your child has been successful in their assessment, 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 has 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 been assessed in person.

What supervision is given at UWCs? 

UWC students live in boarding houses which are supervised by house parents. 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 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 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? 

UWC students are registered with local medical practices. There are sick bays on campus and a nurse is always available for discussions about any health issues including sexual health. The colleges where off-campus provision is more limited (for example due to geography) tend to have stronger on-campus support for student health and wellbeing. As well as support from the college, students and parents are always able contact the National Committee‘s Health and Wellbeing Task Force ( if anything requires further support or intervention.

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

Past students reassure parents that, in this area especially, the student support network is so strong and they all live so closely together that any problem in this area is soon recognised. Students will also have a house parent or house mentor, a member of college staff who is responsible for pastoral care, who takes a close interest in their students. All UWCs have strong 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 a student’s friends are always a great source of support to them.
All students are also about to contact the UWC Great Britain Health and Wellbeing Task Force if they would like support. Each student has a primary contact within this Task Force who works to support them through their two years. The Task Force works to support students and schools/colleges through a thorough knowledge of both UWC GB 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.

What is our Child Protection Policy? 

Please see our Health and Wellbeing page for details.