This year sees the opening of the 18th United World College (UWC), in Moshi, Tanzania, since the beginning of the movement in 1962.
The philosophy behind the movement, to bring young people from all over the world together to increase understanding of each other's cultures and reduce prejudice and racial and ethnic hatred, sprang out of the post-WWII period.
The first institution, UWC Atlantic College in Wales, UK, was founded with public and private funds, used for buildings and scholarships.
The UWC's principles are based on the educational approaches of the German, Kurt Hahn, who believed that education should not be only academic, but include social commitment and community service, as well as the development of artistic and sports skills, to enable young people aged 16 to 20 to become young leaders and take on responsibility in society, based on knowledge, respect, and tolerance.
Hahn, who also founded the adventure-based Outward Bound movement, believed that adolescents possess an innate decency and moral sense, but get corrupted by society as they age. He believed that education could prevent this corruption, if students were given opportunities for personal leadership and saw the results of their own actions. This is one reason for the focus on outdoor adventure in his philosophy.
The movement soon caught on and Atlantic College was followed by the establishment of new colleges all over the world, including in Canada, Singapore, Swaziland, Costa Rica, the US, Hong Kong...