What is UWC looking for in applicants?
We look for a diverse group of scholars who are open-minded, passionate, independent and have a desire to make a difference. They must be willing to challenge themselves, be interested in learning about different cultures, and share the UWC values. Grades, although important, are not the most important criterion; nevertheless, the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme is a demanding curriculum, and life at UWC is packed with services and activities, so a strong academic foundation, a mature personality and the ability to cope with a rigorous programme will ensure that students thrive and make the best of their UWC experience.
Why is UWC a scholarship scheme? Who is eligible for scholarships?
It is the UWC philosophy to admit students based on merit, regardless of financial situations. Therefore, the UWC Scholarship Scheme provides scholarships and fee remission to selected students according to their financial need on a means-tested basis. Almost every student who comes to a UWC does so with some scholarship assistance. Students who have financial difficulties should not be discouraged from applying to UWC as successful graduates come from a wide range of backgrounds.
How many students apply each year, and how many do you admit?
Although it varies every year, admission to UWC is selective, and the admission rate is typically below 20%.
What is the selection process?
All applicants fill in an online application, after which they are invited to sit an aptitude test. Based on the results of the aptitude test and personal merit, a short-list of students will be selected to join a Challenge Day at LPCUWC to participate in a variety of group activities. The Challenge Day will result in a final short-list of applicants who are invited to a panel interview. The three stages allow us to really get to know the applicants' academic, social and intellectual abilities as well as their personalities, in order to select those who are best suited for a UWC education.
I am currently studying overseas. Am I required to attend the aptitude test and Challenge Day?
Yes, all applicants who apply through the Hong Kong selection process must attend the aptitude test, Challenge Day and panel interview held in Hong Kong. However, the Selection Panel might be able to make special arrangments for prospective students due to unforseen circumstances - please contact the Admissions Office if you anticipate needing further support.
Can you tell me about the Aptitude Test? How should I prepare?
You cannot study for the test. The test does not examine content learnt in any course. It is equally fair for students from all backgrounds and educational programmes. The aptitude tests include reading comprehension, written expression, math reasoning and abstract reasoning, and are conducted in English.
Can I apply only to LPCUWC?
No, all Hong Kong applicants apply through the UWC Scholarship Scheme to all 17 UWC schools and colleges around the world, including LPCUWC. In the application, students are invited to rank order the colleges according to their preference. However not all UWC schools and colleges offer places to Hong Kong students every year. Please check the latest information at How to Apply.
Does my ranking of college preference in the application affect my chances of getting a UWC offer?
Ranking of college preference does not affect one's chances of getting an offer at a UWC college. The Selection Panel tries the best match a scholar's interests and potential to what each college could offer. However if a certain college is more popular, a student may not get his/her preferred choice but would be offered a place at another college that the Selection Panel sees a better fit.
Is there an age limit for applications?
Yes, several UWC colleges have strict age restrictions (e.g. the minimum attendance age at Pearson College UWC, UWC Maastricht and UWC Atlantic College is 16). Check the websites of individual colleges to find out. However, the Selection Committee will take into account many factors such as the suitability of the applicant withthe scholarship places to find the best match in fit and age.
Are Secondary 5 students eligible to apply to UWCs?
Yes, Secondary 5 students who are Hong Kong permanent ID card holders or dependent visa holders may also apply through Scholarship Entry and the same selection process applies. However, they should note that they will enter as a Year 1 student into the UWC and will need to complete the two-year International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme.
My English standard is not very high, does this matter?
Do not be discouraged from applying to UWC because of a lack of proficiency in English. English is not the mother tongue of the majority of our students. You can choose to use Cantonese, Putonghua or English on Challenge Day (an interactive assessment day) so you will be not be disadvantaged. However, the written aptitude test and the final interview are conducted in English, and 16 of our 17 colleges have English as their teaching language.
What is the staff like at UWC?
The staff at UWC is a highly professional team of committed educators from diverse backgrounds and committed to the UWC values and mission. Because UWC is a pioneer of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme, our colleges attract some of the best and most experienced IB teachers in the world. They are teachers, student advisors and houseparents who are often deeply involved in students' services and activities, and contribute to the extra-curricular programs as supervisors. UWC teachers are just as multi-cultural, passionate and dedicated as the students.
Can you tell me about the dorms?
All students live in shared rooms in residential houses. The arrangements vary from college to college though all deliberately mix the rooms so you are sharing a room with people from different countries and cultural backgrounds, even different continents. Some of the Colleges mix Year 1 and Year 2 students together, and each room usually has four to five students.
What is a typical day in the life of a UWC student?
A UWC student's life is intense and varied, so it is difficult to describe a typical day. At most UWCs, classes run until around 1:30 pm or 2:00 pm. Afternoons are spent on an extensive Creative, Action and Service (CAS) programme, which provides students physical challenges and opportunities for meaningful service. This can range from kayaking in the Bristol Channel, raising awareness for nature conservation in Costa Rica, to learning the gumboot dance from African classmates. In addition to activities and studying, evenings are usually enriched by debates and discussions on cultural differences, social issues, global affairs and more. There is never a dull moment.