DILIJAN — Having managed to keep the campus in operation safely during the pandemic and students in face-to-face classes, UWC Dilijan reached the end of the academic year with a cohort of 117 graduates from 60 countries and 318 offers from international universities.
When the pandemic hit in 2020 and the college had to send students home (accommodating 36 of those, who could not return to their families, on the campus), UWC Dilijan concentrated on putting systems in place to make its campus an exemplar of the COVID-19 good practice and started intensive communication with parents via town halls and online events. The college enrolled 225 students from 80 countries and by the third week of September 2020 started face-to-face classes. When on 27 September the hostilities on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border turned into a war over Artsakh, a new challenge was to keep students, staff and parents reassured that the situation would not affect UWC Dilijan and to show solidarity with Armenian students and staff whose lives were directly impacted by the war.
Now, a year later, while the students, staff and some parents gathered at the school for the Graduation Ceremony of the Class of 2021, it was virtual for the external community. The UWCD students and staff showed resilience, parents demonstrated trust in the college and the board and all the supporters expressed their unwavering support.
Admission of the 2021/23 cohort of students went with increased interest in the school globally and in Armenia. This year the UWC National Committee of Armenia received 281 applications from Armenia and Artsakh for 20 places. Most of them will attend UWC Dilijan with four places at UWC schools in Germany, Italy and Tanzania.
Out of 117 students of the class of 2021, 101 have been admitted to universities, 10 are taking a gap year and 6 students are awaiting university offers. The number of university acceptances this year is 318, while the total number of universities is 121.
Top universities this year:
– USA: Harvard University, Princeton University, Stanford University, University of Pennsylvania, Brown University, Cornell University, University of Chicago, Duke University, Northwestern University, University of California Berkeley, Amherst College, Pomona College, Carleton College, Middlebury College, Davidson College
– Canada: McGill University, University of British Columbia, University of Toronto, University of Waterloo
– UK: Imperial College London, University College London, King’s College London, University of Edinburgh, University of St. Andrews
– The Netherlands: Utrecht University, University of Amsterdam, Leiden University, Maastricht University
– France: SciencesPo
– China: NYU Shanghai, Duke Kunshan University
– Singapore: Yale-NUS
– UAE: NYU Abu Dhabi
Geographically, 67% of universities that accepted UWC Dilijan students are located in the USA, 8% in the UK. Among other top countries are Canada (8%), Netherlands (6%), Spain (2%), Belgium (1%), Germany (1%).
Many UWC graduates become Davis Scholars, attending one of the 99 partner institutions in the USA via the Shelby Davis scholarship programme. This year UWC Dilijan has 70 Shelby Davis Scholars.
“Internationally, UWC Dilijan is lauded for having the campus open throughout the pandemic, the war in Artsakh and political instability in Armenia. We have been the only UWC among 18 worldwide with an almost uninterrupted academic process this year. It is truly a major achievement for a young international school in Armenia, and it is a credit to UWC Dilijan and Armenia, our wonderful host country, who have the trust of our community,” says Gabriel Ernesto Abad Fernández, Head of College.
“Our vision is for UWC Dilijan to make an impact, primarily, on our young people so that they, like us, can pursue their dreams and reach their potential in a creative and supportive environment. Our ambition is for the school to be a force – through the power of education – in enhancing global efforts to achieve a more peaceful, equitable and sustainable world that we can pass on to our children. It is taking a new meaning in a world that has become more fractured due to the confluence of unprecedented circumstances,” says Veronika Zonabend, the Chair of the Board and co-founder of UWC Dilijan.