Young people who make a big difference to Swindon community urged to apply for a scholarship that could change their life

St Donat's Castle, home of UWC Atlantic College

Young people in Swindon and across the UK who make a real difference to their local community are being urged to apply for a scholarship to study at one of the most innovative and prestigious schools in the world.

UWC Atlantic College, which has the mission of making “education a force for peace in the world”, has provided a transformative education to young people from across the world for over fifty years at St. Donat’s Castle in south Wales – and now there’s a big opportunity for pupils starting Year 11 in the UK in September to study alongside 350 students from 90 countries on a fully-paid scholarship.

The first ever UWC Atlantic College Lord Mountbatten Award will be given to a young person from an underprivileged background in the UK who makes an outstanding contribution to their community.  Examples could include volunteering time to local sustainability projects, working with disadvantaged members of the community, or helping to raise awareness of global issues and acting to address them within their own community.

Alumni of the college include James Bromley (Class of 2013), who has recently benefited from a scholarship to study at New York University Shanghai and recently interned at the World Bank in Washington DC. James said: “I learnt about Atlantic College through a teacher at North Liverpool Academy and my two years there proved to be transformative. My experience at the college opened my eyes to the wider world and instilled in me a passion to make our world a more peaceful place to live in.”

This year’s graduates include Kainat Riaz and Shazia Ramzan, friends of Malala Yousafzai who were with the Nobel Prize laureate when she was injured by the Taliban in Pakistan in 2012. The pair now actively support her international fight for girls’ rights to education.

A number of UWC Atlantic College graduates go on the make a difference through careers in politics and the not-for-profit sector. This includes Welsh Assembly Member, Eluned Morgan (Class of 1985) who came to the college from the Ely estate in Cardiff and became the youngest ever Member of the European Parliament at the time of her election in 1994. In 2011, Eluned was raised to the peerage and sits in the House of Lords as Baroness Morgan of Ely.

Marg Mayne (Class of 1981) grew up just outside Belfast and went on to become the Chief Executive of VSO, the leading international development charity that works through volunteers.

In April this year, a new scholarship named after another college alumni, King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, was awarded to a student from The Hague who, alongside studies, volunteers time to a local non-profit food co-operative which promotes and provides locally and sustainably sourced food at affordable prices.

The college was founded in 1962 by Kurt Hahn, a renowned German educationalist. As a Jew who had seen the persecution of World War II first-hand, Hahn’s vision was developed by his post-war experience at the NATO Defence College, where he had observed discussion and collaboration between former enemies. He wanted to transmit a spirit of mutual understanding to young people, helping them overcome prejudice and antagonism through living together.

Hahn envisaged a college educating boys and girls from different origins. The selection would be based on personal motivation and potential, regardless of any social, economic or cultural factors thanks to a robust scholarship programme. It was a vision he shared with British naval officer and statesman, Lord Mountbatten. An uncle of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, and second cousin once removed of Elizabeth II, Mountbatten became the longest serving professional head of the British Armed Forces to date.

Like Hahn, Lord Mountbatten realised that after the devastation of the Second World War the world needed to encourage the next, young generation all over the world to learn how to live at peace with one another. A distinguished young Naval Commander of that war, he recognised potential of Kurt Hahn’s tactic to create Atlantic College and realise their shared mission.

In 1967 the college developed into a movement, known as United World Colleges and Lord Mountbatten became the organisation’s President. The new scholarship marks his outstanding contribution and looks for a new student to carry on his legacy.

UWC Atlantic College Principal, Peter T Howe, said: “It is our privilege to name this scholarship in honour of Lord Mountbatten, who was one of the key architects of our educational mission in the early years, a mission which lives on today.

“The right candidate isn’t just strong academically, but thinks globally and acts locally in their community. The scholarship enables us to give the most deserving students the opportunity to experience, and go on to share, all the rewards provided by a truly transformative international education.

“We’d encourage all students who dream of making a positive difference to the world they inhabit to explore how being part of our College of nations can help them achieve their goals. The Lord Mountbatten Scholarship Award is your chance to make them a reality.”     

During their two years at the college’s campus on the picturesque Welsh Coastline, the winning student will live alongside peers from across the globe while studying the International Baccalaureate (IB), which the college helped to create in the late 1960s.

The college’s approach to learning is based around three simple principles- innovation, opportunity and outreach- which it strongly believes makes education a force for good in the world.

The approach to learning is designed to encourage values of leadership and nurture in the students which they then put into action in transformative leadership roles back in their own community or the wider world.

Within this framework, students are given authentic responsibility to make their own decisions and actions, following in the spirit of the educational revolution our founder Kurt Hahn started over 50 years ago, safe in an environment with the reassuring presence of adults.

Applications should be made via  by Sunday October 15th 2017.