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Systems Transformation Pathway

We have reimagined what an education that prepares UWC graduates for a future on a climate-changed planet looks like, and we launched in August 2023.

A select group of pioneering students were chosen from our 2023 -2024 cohort of students to take part in the most ambitious educational endeavour at the college since it opened its doors 60 years ago. Together, and in partnership with the International Baccalaureate, we can once again transform international education.

The Systems Transformation Pathway is fundamentally action-oriented, it replaces written exams and classroom-based learning with relevant, ambitious, necessary work in complex and authentic real-world contexts.

This course equips students to go beyond treating symptoms to advance transformative change at a systems level. To be effective at this, students will benefit from understanding and apprenticing themselves to systems in a specific impact area - food, biodiversity, energy, or migration.

Within these areas students will practise taking good action alongside peers from an incredibly diverse UWC cohort, experts and leaders amongst our influential alumni community and partner organisations, and communities leading change on the ground.

Our ground-breaking partnership with the International Baccalaureate allows our pioneers to take this course in place of two Standard Level subjects and graduate with a full IB Diploma and all the benefits of a globally recognised credential.

What will students learn?

In this course students will:

  • Focus on understanding and addressing the fundamentally linked root causes of socioecological crises;
  • Deconstruct and intervene into the powerful narratives that shape attitudes and behaviours;
  • Collaborate across differences and disciplines to understand global forces and local complexities;
  • Practise unsettling unjust status quos and taking good action to effect lasting and meaningful change where needed.

The course is made of the following components:

The course will follow this sequence over the two years:

How will we select students?

Selection of the Systems Transformation Pathway pioneers will begin over the summer and be will be finalised upon arrival at the college in August. Every student amongst our incoming 2023/24 cohort is eligible to apply.