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UWCSEA Annual report 2016/2017: Message from Anna Lord, Chair, UWCSEA Board of Governors

Anna Lord, Chair, UWCSEA Board of Governors
14 March 2018

I am pleased to introduce the UWCSEA Annual Report, which provides information on the UWCSEA learning programme and operations for the 2016/2017 school year. Click the image below to access an online flipbook of the magazine.

The UWCSEA Annual Report provides information on the UWCSEA learning programme and operations for the 2016/2017 school year.

The UWCSEA Annual Report provides information on the UWCSEA learning programme and operations for the 2016/2017 school year.


The 2016/2017 school year was an extremely successful one for the College, as we reported the highest IB Diploma results in our history and remained full and in demand in a highly competitive market. It was also a significant year for the Board of Governors as Charles Ormiston retired as Chair after six years of leadership. It was a privilege to be elected as his successor. As a member of the Board for the last five years, I have been honoured to work with an exceptional group of volunteers, who give generously of their time and talent to support the strategic direction and long-term sustainability of the College.

UWCSEA is unique in being both a member of the UWC movement, a global network of 17 schools and colleges with an idealistic mission, and the largest international school in Singapore, with all the market-driven considerations that implies.

As a member of the UWC movement, a delegation from UWCSEA attended the UWC Congress in Trieste, Italy in October 2016, to discuss the long-term future of the movement and how it remains relevant in a difficult and unknown future. The Congress included the launch of the UWC Refugee Initiative, an ambitious programme that is responding to the dramatic escalation in the number of young displaced people fleeing conflict, persecution or environmental disaster, by raising money to provide UWC scholarships for 100 refugee students every year for the next five years. The UWCSEA community responded generously as always and two students are now studying at UWC Mostar and UWC Dilijan as a result of donations. Also thanks to the generosity of donors, UWCSEA was able to fund a four-year movement-wide study of the impact of the UWC education by researchers from Harvard Graduate School of Education, led by Professor Howard Gardner. At the same time, 3.5% of school fees are given towards the UWCSEA scholarship programme. All these contributions, as well as ongoing work with our sister schools and colleges, moved UWCSEA closer to the heart of the UWC movement during 2016/2017.

In Singapore, our focus was on our responsibility to the long-term sustainability of the College. Strong governance is critical in supporting this, and during the 2016/2017 year the Governance Committee articulated and expanded governance procedures and processes, including restructuring the Board committees, revising the Governor selection and induction process, establishing both Whistleblowing and Conflict of Interest policies and hiring a new Board Secretary. The Board also worked closely with management to review the financial structure of the College and decide on a model that will ensure future students can benefit from the same quality education on offer today.

2016/2017 saw significant development in the area of child safeguarding, with the establishment of a safeguarding policy and accompanying practices and training that will ensure this critical area is an ongoing focus for the College. Time was also spent establishing a risk register and debating the related issues of diversity and inclusion. Together with colleagues from Singapore American School, the Board received further training on corporate governance, and Governors and members of the senior leadership teams began a process of preparing for a new strategic plan for the College.

Governors are rarely involved in the day to day life of the school and it can sometimes seem that the Board is removed from the reality of students, parents and the College community. Discussions and decisions by the Board always have the needs of current and future students at their heart, and we are continually reminded of what a privilege it is to be accountable not solely to the bottom line but to this remarkable community of students, staff and parents and to the mission that unites us.

I’d like to thank the College leadership, staff, parents, students, alumni and friends who together contribute so much to our success. Thank you for another great year at UWCSEA.