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UWCSEA Forum – Conversations that shape learning and our future

By Communications Department, UWCSEA
26 April 2022
Carma Elliot presenting at the UWCSEA Forum

The future is an uncertain destination for our UWCSEA learners. Our responsibility is to equip all our students with the tools they need to navigate the faster flow, the ever-changing tides and the hidden currents which we know they will encounter when they leave us. – Graham Silverthorne, Former Head of UWCSEA, East Campus

Over two days, Friday, 22 and Saturday, 23 April, UWCSEA hosted more than 2,000 attendees from more than 128 countries for the capstone event of our 50th year, the UWCSEA Forum – Learning to Shape the Future. 

The event was both online and in-person with a series of keynote addresses delivered in the Andrew Bennett Theatre on Dover Campus. All the sessions were recorded and can be viewed here

The Forum was a celebration of the past 50 years of College history and the many contributions made to the success of our holistic model of education. It also looked ahead to reinforce UWCSEA’s commitment to bringing our mission to life through holistic, sustainable education in the next 50 years. 


An inspirational line-up of keynote speakers and internationally recognised thought leaders in education were joined by guest presenters, researchers, expert practitioners, students, alumni and parents. 

Speakers explored the themes of  Peace, SustainabilityInclusion, Innovation and Partnership, and how these will be expressed in the evolution of learning at UWCSEA and how to incorporate research findings into elements of our holistic programme.

On the first day, keynotes speeches were delivered by Howard Gardner, Hobbs Professor of Cognition and Education from Harvard Graduate School of Education; Andreas Schleicher, Director for Education and Skills and Special Advisor on Education Policy to the Secretary-General at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in Paris; Musimbi Kanyoro, Chair of the Board of UWC International; and Board member of CARE International and UN Global Compact. On the second day of the Forum we had the opportunity to engage with Faith Abiodun, Executive Director, UWC International; Forrest Li, Founder and Group CEO of Sea Ltd and Kishore Mahbubani, Distinguished Fellow, Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore.

In addition to the keynotes there were 30 sessions delivered by staff, alumni, students, parents and partners; bringing together members of our community who contribute and are committed to the UWCSEA identity and mission.

Let young people know that they are needed in the world.
–Faith Abiodun, Executive Director,
UWC International

Faith Abiodun presenting at the Forum

Listening to his (Faith) vision for the movement was inspiring and for us, just what we needed to hear as we exit the difficult years where we’ve been so focussed on the pandemic. He speaks to the power and the possibility of the Mission with power and optimism. – Nick Alchin, Head of East CampusThe UWCSEA Forum marked the culmination of the College’s Impact Programme which has run throughout this special year. To acknowledge the commitment to Service, the College also launched a series of White Papers which share the key learnings from and milestones in our Impact Programme. A special edition UWCSEA Podcast series was also launched, giving voices to our Service leaders Frankie Meehan, Rick Hannah and Nisha Farah along with our students and local service partners in Singapore, some of whom we have had relationships with for over 30 years. Our Service Programme has played a vital role in not just the College history, but in bringing their learning to life.

This power of Service was reiterated by Faith at the Forum during his discussion with the student panel, made up of High School students Chloe, Tebogo and Issei from both campuses. He echoed UWC’s commitment to Service and the many ways our students strive towards this. Faith shared his belief that all actions, whether big or small, make an impact as he talked about the acts of Service he experienced during his visit to UWCSEA such as a student taking him on a tour of the green spaces, adding, “If you inspire one person, you’ve made a difference.“ 

Members of the audience also had the opportunity to pose questions to Faith and the student panel about UWC's mission, education and how we can balance serving both our global and local communities. The conversations that followed were inspiring and thought-provoking.

Musimbi Kanyoro at the UWCSEA Forum

It's the stories that humans tell that create a movement.
– Musimbi Kanyoro, Chair of the Board of UWC International

As we consider our mission and take stock of the impact of our 50 year legacy in Singapore, we now embark on the journey toward discovering how we can continue to use our education as a force to contribute to a more peaceful and sustainable future – over the next 50 years and beyond.

Click here to watch, or rewatch, all of the UWCSEA Forum keynote and guest presentations, workshops, practitioner sharing and panel discussions.

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