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US scholarship funding flows into Phuket

With the opening of UWC Thailand (UWCT) in August 2016, Phuket be­came home to the globe’s 16th United World College (UWC) – an international collection of schools with a mission to use education as a force to unite people, nations and cul­tures for peace and a sustainable future.

By The Phuket News

Saturday 16 November 2019, 10:00AM

Nestled in the foothills of the northern Phuket mountains, UWCT – formerly Phuket International Acad­emy – has worked tirelessly to bring its mission alive across the island through service activities, community screen­ings, seminars, hosting environmental working groups and uniting more than 70 different nationalities on campus.

To create this microcosm of diver­sity, UWCT brings in Grade 11 and 12 scholarship students from around the world who have shown they are com­mitted to creating positive and lasting change. Funding these Diploma Pro­gramme scholarships means the school must raise between US$2-5 million per year in donations.

To encourage new donors and the entire Phuket community to contribute to UWC’s bold mission, the school was given a million-dollar donation match­ing opportunity by the Davis-UWC Impact Challenge.

On November 15, UWCT proudly an­nounced that it met and surpassed this request, raising more than US$3 mil­lion. As a result, the school will receive an additional US$1 million from the Davis United World College Scholars Program. All funds raised are used to support current and future scholarship students at UWCT.

“We are exceedingly grateful to all of our donors and to the Davis-UWC Impact Challenge for their support. There is no question that their challenge helped further unite our community as we worked together on this goal,” said UWCT Head of School Jason McBride.

The challenge was created by long-time UWC benefactor Shelby Davis in an effort to generate awareness about the UWC movement and spur its sup­porters into action.

Action, rather than words, has been a focus of the US fund manager’s phil­anthropic work, who frequently quotes Sarah Ban Breathnach’s when he says, “The world needs dreamers and the world needs doers. But above all, the world needs dreamers who do.”

JW Marriott Phuket

In order to “do”, Davis and inter­national education leader Phil Geier co-founded the Davis UWC Scholars Program, which Davis funds at a cost of tens of millions of dollars per year, making it the world’s largest, privately funded, international scholarship program. Davis and his family have contributed more than US$75 million to UWCs and currently spend US$40 mil­lion annually on various scholarships.

The program currently supports the undergraduate education of more than 3,100 UWC students in the US from 164 nations through need-based financial support. This includes more than 40 UWCT graduates, with a new cohort set to join the program in May.

The goal of the program is clear: “The Davis UWC Scholars Program and our scholars are committed to building cross-cultural understanding across US campuses and ultimately throughout the world in this century.

“By supporting students from many countries who are energized by the UWC mission of building under­standing in active, personal ways, the program exemplifies how diversity can contribute to a much richer education and to a more internationally oriented undergraduate experience for everyone on campus.

“The stability of our world, and en­suring America’s place in it, demand no less than an initiative this large in scale, innovative in design, and as powerful in impact,” explains the Davis UWC Scholars Program website.

For more information about the Davis UWC Scholars Program, visit

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