The UWC global movement is comprised of 18 schools, including Canada's most international school, Pearson College UWC. Students are selected to attend UWC from over 150 countries. Following merit-based selection, UWC aspires to meet the demonstrated financial need of all students, and we offer more financial aid than other international schools. This helps ensure our schools are diverse in every sense, which is key to fulfilling our mission to make education a force for peace and sustainability in the world.
650 Pearson College Drive, Victoria, British Columbia, V9C 4H7
School Address - View map
650 Pearson College Drive, Victoria, British Columbia, V9C 4H7
Finish high school with students from up to 100 countries in one of 17 unique locations around the world.
Admission is based on promise and potential. Attendance begins a life-long journey to fulfill the UWC mission for a more peaceful and sustainable future.
Pearson College UWC is Canada's most international school. Canada's school for the world.
United World College (UWC) was founded by Kurt Hahn in 1962, inspired by his experience as a German Jew during the war years. He had had a front row seat to all the ways in which societies can fail, often principally, he felt, by being too insular. As an educator, he hoped to play a role in changing that. The goals of the school are as grand as they are affective, including, says David Hawley, past head of UWC Canada, that of “preventing what happened with World War II from ever happening in the future." Hahn hoped to educate people about their place in the world, to appreciate the diversity of the global population through direct experience, and to understand the power of their voices within a multitude of voices. The first school was founded in Wales, the second being Pearson College in 1974 and named to honor Lester Pearson’s leadership. There are now 17 UWC schools dotting the globe, and in all the goal is to bring people from around the world together, including those from cultures and countries that may be in conflict. Students arrive very consciously bringing their experience with them, and they enter a community of like-minded individuals who, like them, are interested in taking a leadership role in their communities, whatever they may posit them to be. The ideal student is one who is able to thrive in an engaging, diverse, challenging academic and social environment.
Central to your child's school experience is the underlying curriculum taught in the classroom. "Curriculum" refers to both what is taught and how it's taught. When considering the different curricula outlined in the next few pages, keep in mind that few schools fall neatly into one category or another. Most schools' curricula comprise a blend of best practices drawn from multiple curriculum types. Having said that, most schools do have a general overall curriculum type. These are identified for each school on OurKids.net.
Curriculum approach at UWCNCC/Pearson College: Progressive, International Baccalaureate
UWCNCC/Pearson College has a Progressive, International Baccalaureate approach to Curriculum (as opposed to Traditional, Liberal Arts, Montessori, Reggio Emilia, Waldorf approach).
[Show: About Progressive, International Baccalaureate?]
Progressive (sometimes called "in- quiry-based") curricula attempt to place children's interests and ideas at the heart of the learning experience. Instead of lessons being driven by predetermined pathways, progressive curricula are often "emergent", with learning activities shaped by students' questions about the world. Instead of starting with academic concepts and then tying it to everyday experience, progressive methods begin with everyday experience and work back to an academic lesson. Teachers provide materials, experiences, tools and resources to help students investigate a topic or issue. Students are encouraged to explore, reflect on their findings, and discuss answers or solutions.
Curriculum at schools on OurKids.net
Progressive - 28%   Traditional - 43%   Liberal arts - 17%   Montessori - 10%   Reggio Emilia - 1%   Waldorf - 1%
UWCNCC/Pearson College has a International Baccalaureate approach to secondary curriculum.
Some private schools offer International Baccalaureate (IB) programming. The "Diploma Programme" is offered to students in the final two years of high school, while the "Primary Years Programme" (ages 3 to 12) and "Middle Years Programme" (ages 11 to 16) serve as preparation for the diploma program.
What UWCNCC/Pearson College says: The education we offer is driven by seven principles inspired by renowned educationalist Kurt Hahn. 1) Education should take place within a diverse college community that reflects the wide range of tensions among and between people. 2) Education requires active promotion of intercultural understanding and the development of genuine concern for others, founded on shared life experiences, and cooperative and collaborative living. 3) Physical fitness and a healthy lifestyle are integral to developing a balanced person. Unhealthy lifestyles limit human potential. 4) Community interaction is at the heart of college/school life. 5) Students should be able to take positive action around issues of sustainability on both an institutional and individual level. 6) Students must have opportunities to practice personal initiative, self-discipline and responsibility, and to manage risk and embrace challenges. 7) Recognition is given to the fact that individuals possess unique talents and abilities. Programmes must exist which help students fulfill their potential.
Sex and health education approach at UWCNCC/Pearson College: Not British Columbia curriculum
UWCNCC/Pearson College has a Not British Columbia curriculum approach to Sex and health education (as opposed to Follows provincial curriculum approach).
[Show: About Not British Columbia curriculum?]
The sex education curriculum does NOT follow the provincial one taught in public schools - either in terms of structure, pacing, focus, and/or tone.
Sex and health education at schools on OurKids.net
Does not follow prrovincial curriculum - 46%   Follows provincial curriculum - 54%
Approach to sex and health education: Mostly value-neutral
UWCNCC/Pearson College has a approach Mostly value-neutral (as opposed to Fairly value-based approach).
[Show: About Mostly value-neutral?]
By and large, students are taught about sex free of any particular moral or ethical standpoint. The school doesn't impose any particular values or value systems (such as social, political, or ideological values) on students when teaching sex and related issues.
What UWCNCC/Pearson College says: We help students discover the possibility of change. They learn that they can help to change the world through their courageous action, personal example and selfless leadership. We support young people to reach their intellectual, moral, aesthetic, emotional, social, spiritual and physical potential. All of our schools and colleges share the UWC mission and values. But each operates differently and has a distinct identity based on local resources and opportunities.
This refers to the rate at which students move through the curriculum (e.g., topics, textbook material, skills, etc.). Curriculum pace is often defined in comparison to provincial standards.
Curriculum Pace approach at UWCNCC/Pearson College: Standard-enriched
UWCNCC/Pearson College has a Standard-enriched approach to Curriculum Pace (as opposed to Accelerated, Student-paced approach).
[Show: About Standard-enriched?]
Broadly-speaking, the main curriculum -- like that of most schools -- paces the provincially-outlined one. This pace is steady and set by the teachers and school. The curriculum might still be enriched in various ways: covering topics more in-depth and with more vigor than the provincial one, or covering a broader selection of topics.
What UWCNCC/Pearson College says: This information is not currently available.
Flexible pacing style
Flexible pacing style
Multi-age classrooms as standard
Ability-grouping (in-class) as common
Frequent use of cyber-learning (at-their-own-pace)
Regular guided independent study opportunities
What UWCNCC/Pearson College says about flexible pacing: We are recognised internationally for our distinctive model of education which helps students flourish – physically, intellectually, emotionally and ethically. UWC schools and colleges provide a holistic education for young people guided by a distinguished curriculum: Colleges offer the two-year, pre-university International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme
Through the collective mindset of teachers, administrators, students, and parents, each school develops and maintains its own academic culture. This generally relates to the norms and expectations created around academic performance. Many parents look to private schools because they want a specific type of culture. Some want a rigorous environment that will elevate their child to new heights. Others want a nurturing environment that will help their child develop a passion for learning.
Academic Culture approach at UWCNCC/Pearson College: Rigorous
UWCNCC/Pearson College has a Rigorous approach to Academic Culture (as opposed to Supportive approach).
[Show: About Rigorous?]
A school with a “rigorous” academic culture places a high value on academic performance, and expects their students to do the same. This does not mean the school is uncaring, unsupportive, or non-responsive -- far from it. A school can have a rigorous academic culture and still provide excellent individual support. It does mean, however, the school places a particular emphasis on performance -- seeking the best students and challenging them to the fullest extent -- relative to a normal baseline. High expectations and standards – and a challenging yet rewarding curriculum – are the common themes here. Keep in mind this classification is more relevant for the older grades: few Kindergarten classrooms, for example, would be called “rigorous”.
Academic Culture at schools on OurKids.net
Rigorous - 51%   Supportive - 49%
What UWCNCC/Pearson College says: The academic programme for 16 to 19 year-olds at UWC schools is based on the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme. Our students benefit from this challenging and balanced academic qualification which is recognized by the world’s leading universities. Our distinctive model of education has deliberate diversity of the student body at its heart.
Schools have specific goals regarding how they want their educate and develop their students. This is part of a school's overall philosophy or vision, which is contained in its mission statement. While they tend have several developmental aims, schools tend to priortize certain aims, such as intellectual, social, spiritual, emotional, or physical development.
Primary Developmental Priority: Social
The goal is to cultivate "socially aware and active citizens, motivated to change the world (or their community) for the better."
Secondary Developmental Priority: Balanced
"Equal emphasis is placed on a balance of priorities: intellectual, emotional, social and physical cultivation."
What UWCNCC/Pearson College says: UWC makes education a force to unite people, nations and cultures for peace and a sustainable future. UWC schools, colleges and programmes deliver a challenging and transformational educational experience to a diverse cross section of students, inspiring them to create a more peaceful and sustainable future. UWC believes that to achieve peace and a sustainable future, the values it promotes are crucial; International and intercultural understanding. Celebration of difference. Personal responsibility and integrity. Mutual responsibility and respect. Compassion and service. Respect for the environment. A sense of idealism. Personal challenge. Action and personal example.
Schools offer a wide range of approaches and services to support students with special needs. This may include individualized learning, one-on-one support, small classes, resource rooms, and learning aids. These supports may be provided in a number of different environments such as a dedicated special needs school or class, an integrated class, a withdrawal class, or a regular class with resource support or in-class adaptations.
Learning strategy and study counselling; habit formation
Extra support and minor accommodations for children experiencing subclinical difficulties
This is a learning disability that can limit a child's ability to read and learn. It can have a variety of traits. A few of the main ones are impaired phonological awareness and decoding, problems with orthographic coding, and auditory short-term memory impairment.
Auditory Processing Disorder (APD)
This is a sound differentiation disorder involving problems with reading, comprehension, and language.
This is a kind of specific learning disability in math. Kids with this math disorder have problems with calculation. They may also have problems with math-related concepts such as time and money.
This is a kind of specific learning disability in writing. It involves problems with handwriting, spelling, and organizing ideas.
Language Processing Disorder
This is characterized by having extreme difficulty understanding what is heard and expressing what one wants to say. These disorders affect the area of the brain that controls language processing.
Nonverbal Learning Disorders (NLD)
These involve difficulties interpreting non-verbal cues, such as facial expressions and body language. They're usually characterized by a significant discrepancy between higher verbal skills and weaker motor, visual-spatial, and social skills.
Visual Perceptual/Visual Motor Deficit
A characteristic seen in people with learning disabilities such as Dysgraphia or Non-verbal LD. It can result in missing subtle differences in shapes or printed letters, losing place frequently, struggles with cutting, holding pencil too tightly, or poor eye/hand coordination.
Refers to a range of conditions that involve challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, and speech and nonverbal communication. They also involve unique strengths and differences. For instance, there are persons with both low- and high-functioning autism (some claim the latter is identical to Asperger's syndrome).
On the autism spectrum, Asperger's is considered quite mild in terms of symptoms. While traits can vary widely, many kids with Asperger's struggle with social skills. They also sometimes fixate on certain subjects and engage in repetitive behaviour.
his is associated with impairment of cognitive ability and physical growth, and a particular set of facial characteristics.
This is a condition characterized by significant limitations in intellectual functioning (e.g., reasoning, learning, and problem solving). Intellectual disabilities are also known as general learning disabilities (and used to be referred to as a kind of mental retardation).
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is an umbrella term used to describe the range of effects that can occur in an individual whose mother consumed alcohol during pregnancy. These may include growth deficits, facial anomalies, and damage to the central nervous system, which can lead to cognitive, behavioural, and other problems.
roubled teens tend to have problems that are intense, persistent, and can lead to quite unpredictable behaviour. This can lead to behavioural and emotional issues, such as drug and alcohol abuse, criminal behaviour, eating disorders, depression, and anxiety.
This is a mental health disorder also called "major depression." It involves persistent feelings of sadness, loss, and anger. According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms are usually severe enough to cause noticeable problems in relationships with others or in daily activities, such as school, work, or one's social life.
This is a mood disorder involving intense, relentless feelings of distress and fear. They can also have excessive and persistent worry about everyday situations, and repeated episodes of intense anxiety or terror.
This involves persistent thoughts about ending one's life.
Drug and alcohol abuse
This involves the excessive use of drug and/or alcohol, which interferes with daily functioning.
Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)
This is a disruptive behavioural disorder which normally involves angry outbursts, often directed at people of authority. This behaviour must last continuously for six months or more and significantly interfere with daily functioning.
This is a condition of the central nervous system. It affects the brain, optic nerves, and spinal cord. Symptoms can include fatigue, loss of motor control, memory loss, depression, and cognitive difficulties.
his refers to a group of permanent movement disorders that appear in early childhood. CP is caused by abnormal development or damage to the parts of the brain that control movement, balance, and posture.
Muscular dystrophy is a neuromuscular disorder which weakens the body's muscles. Causes, symptoms, age of onset, and prognosis vary between individuals.
This is a condition present at birth due to the incomplete formation of the spine and spinal cord. It can lead to a number of physical challenges, including paralysis or weakness in the legs, bowel and bladder incontinence, hydrocephalus (too much fluid in the brain), and deformities of the spine.
Dyspraxia (Developmental Coordination Disorder)
This is a Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD). Also known as "sensory integration disorder," it affects fine and/or gross motor coordination in children and adults. It may also affect speech.
Visual impairment is a decreased ability or inability to see that can't be fixed in usual ways, such as with glasses. Some people are completely blind, while others have what's called "legal blindness."
Hearing impairment, also known as "hearing loss," is a partial or total inability to hear. The degree of hearing impairment varies between people. It can range from complete hearing loss (or deafness) to partial hearing loss (meaning the ears can pick up some sounds).
Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is an inherited genetic condition, which affects the body's respiratory, digestive, and reproductive systems. It affects young children and adults.
Accommodating a wide range of physical conditions and disabilities.
Schools support students with gifted or advanced learning abilities in a several ways. Whether they offer a full-time gifted program or part-time support, they normally provide some form of accelerated learning (delivering content at a faster pace) or enrichment (covering content more broadly or deeply). Many schools also offer a wide range of in-class adaptations to support advanced learners, such as guided independent studies, project-based learning, and career exploration.
Dedicated gifted programs:
Full-time gifted program (parallel to rest of school)
Part-time gifted program (pull-out; parallel to rest of class)
Curriculum delivery: Enrichment (The main focus is on enrichment. This means that while students may work at a marginally quicker pace than public school peers, the primary aim is to study subject in broader and deeper ways.)
While academics remain the priority for most private schools, many also place a strong focus on a well-rounded education and encourage participation in extracurricular activities such as sports, music, arts, or clubs. Involvement in extracurriculars helps stimulate students in their studies, makes them more motivated to learn, and can make school more enjoyable and fulfilling. Extracurricular activities can also provide students with a much-needed break from the stresses of academics, while helping them to develop skills and allowing them to take part in valuable social situations.
This can depend on a number of factors, including the type of school, living arrangements, what’s included in tuition, school location, resources, and facilities. Many private schools in Canada have tuition that ranges between $6,000 and $12,000 a year. While some schools, such as schools which provide room and board, can be more expensive, many of these schools provide ways to defray the costs of tuition. For instance, they may offer merit-based scholarships or needs-based financial aid (often referred to as “bursaries” or “subsidies”).
What UWCNCC/Pearson College says about their tuition: Over 75% of UWC students from Canada attend on full or partial scholarship.
Following selection, scholarships are awarded based on financial need to ensure deliberate diversity. Family contributions towards tuition, large or small, are appreciated and help keep the UWC movement strong. See what Canadians typically contribute at www.ca.uwc.org in the "How to Apply" section.
Need-based financial aid
Grade range that need-based aid is offered:
Percentage of grade-eligible students receiving financial aid
Canadian students interested in attending any of the UWC schools follow the same application process as those who wish to attend Pearson College.We prefer applicants to be in Grade 11 when they apply. For entry in 2018, this means being in Grade 11 as of September 2017. Applicants should be 16 or 17 years old as of September 2018. Selection is based on merit, financial assistance is available based on need. Up-to-full scholarships are available for students to attend 17 UWC schools around the world.
Private schools come in all shapes and sizes. Some larger schools have enrolment numbers in the thousands, while some smaller schools have only a few dozen students. Boarding schools tend to be on the larger side, while alternative schools, such as Montessori, Reggio Emilia, and Waldorf, are normally smaller. Besides the overall size of school, there are other important facts you’ll want to know about a school’s enrolment. For instance, here you can learn about a school’s enrolment for separate streams (if they have them), such as day and boarding, its average class size, and its average enrolment per grade.
Gr. 12 to Gr. 12
Average class size
6 to 16
% of international students (total enrolment)
Number of different nationalities within student population
Private schools in Canada have admissions policies. All schools have some required application materials, though these vary between schools. These may include letters of application, application fees, essays, and exams (such as the SSAT). Many schools also require interviews with prospective students, either with their parents, on their own, or both. Schools also have different standards and priorities when evaluating student applications, different acceptance rates (which may vary between grade levels), and target different kinds of students. To improve your child’s chances of acceptance, you should find out everything you can about a school’s admissions policies and how they assess applicants.
12 - 12
SSAT (out of province)
12 - 12
Boarding students: November 15, 2017 Offer mid-year entry:
We prefer applicants to be in Grade 11 when they apply. For entry in 2018, this means being in Grade 11 as of September 2017. Applicants should be 16 or 17 years old as of September 2018.
Canadian students interested in attending UWC follow the same application process as those who wish to attend Pearson College.
Students are required to submit an online application which includes a short essay. Shortlisted applicants attend an interview and in some regions, an interactive selection camp.
As our academic program follows the challenging International Baccalaureate, successful applicants should feel comfortable in an academic environment.
Low student-teacher ratios (typically 10-1) allow for a close-knit, supportive, collaborative learning environment.
Acceptance Rate: 25%
This is the percentage of applicants typically accepted into the school. So if 50 students are admitted out of 100 applicants, the school has an overall acceptance rate of 50%.
Student Entry Points
This shows approximately how many openings there are likely to be in each grade in a typical year, as well as the estimated acceptance rate for each grade level.
Boarding Acceptance (Acceptance rate)
50 - 60 (25%)
Type of student UWCNCC/Pearson College is looking for:
The UWC program is intense and transformative. To give you a brief idea of the types of students we are looking for, descriptive words include: determined, curious, fearless, ambitious, open, bright, collaborative, disciplined, creative, indefatigable, generous, kind.
Where graduates of a school do their post-secondary studies can be an important factor in choosing a private school. Do you want your child to go to a Canadian university, an Ivy league school in the US, or some other institute? Regardless of your inclinations, take a look at a school’s university placement record, and the services they offer to support university applications and decisions.
Average graduating class size
Students accepted into post-secondary studies upon graduation
Percentage of students who attend post-secondary institutions outside of Canada
Students who attended a Ivy+ school
Number of students in the past 5 years that that attended one of Harvard, Yale, Princeton, University of Pennsylvania, Dartmouth, Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Stanford, University of Chicago, Oxford or Cambridge (UK)
20% - Liberal Arts and Sciences 20% - Engineering and Applied Sciences 10% - Business/Commerce 5% - Fine and Performing Arts 20% - Applied Health Sciences 5% - Applied Professional Studies (Post-grad certificate / diploma) 20% - Other
Aggregate of All Schools’ Post-Secondary Studies:
24% - Liberal Arts and Sciences 25% - Engineering and Applied Sciences 25% - Business/Commerce 4% - Fine and Performing Arts 13% - Applied Health Sciences 2% - Applied Professional Studies (Post-grad certificate / diploma) 7% - Other
Services Offered to Students
What UWCNCC/Pearson College says:
UWC students are also frequently admitted to cutting edge programming and new institutions such as Quest University and Minerva Schools at KGI.
Nmesoma Umenwofor-Nnweze was one of 15 young leaders named to the Prime Minister's Youth Council in 2016.
From astronauts to CEOs, our more than 60,000 alumni are something we are very proud of. UWC is making a global impact like no other because the UWC movement is about more than just our students’ time at their school, college or programme.
My UWC journey started as a student at Pearson College in 1983. I can genuinely say, that experience laid the foundation for everything that followed. I chaired the German National Committee from 2008 and from 2010 onwards, I worked with our partners, the Bosch Foundation, on building UWC Robert Bosch College. I think it is fair to say that I have seen the UWC movement from different angles.
As Executive Director, I look to the future with optimism. UWC – already a leader in the field of transformational education – can have an even greater impact in the years to come and we can all play a part in this success.