About the National Committee
In spring 1994 Uładzimir Kołas was elected as a chairman of the UWC Belarus National Committee. Meeting of board members, during which Mr. Kołas was elected, was initiated by the head of the Skarina Center, professor Adam Maldzis. His Polish colleague, Chairman of UWC Poland National Committee Paul Czartoryski, suggested creating a similar committee in Belarus.
At that time, the United World Colleges movement consisted of 8 colleges all around the world. Each College had an enrollment of about 200 students from 100-110 countries. Every student was considered primarily as a representative of his own country and was suggested to be able to tell about the history and culture of its people, making young international community interested in his homeland. This was particularly important for Belarus, which was at the start of asserting itself as a separate and independent state. At the first UWC Belarusian Committee board meeting its members decided that an absolute advantage in the selection will have those teenagers who, in addition to the excellent general and academic knowledge, have a good knowledge of the Belarusian language and know the history and culture of Belarus. Such condition not only was an important prerequisite for a proper presentation of Belarus in an international community but also encouraged the interest of the Belarusian youth in their own national identity.
Alona Novik (UWC Adriatic ’96) became the first representative of Belarus in United World Colleges movement. The first Belarusian student was remembered not only with excellent reviews from her teachers and school management board, but also the fact that upon her diploma examination, Alona showed an amazing result and became a top 5% student among all International Baccalaureate graduates in the world that year. Since then Belarus and the Belarusian National Committee evoked curiosity from international UWC community and when UWC Colleges all around the world became home for many more exceptional students from Belarus, this curiosity grew into respect.
During over 25 years of existence, Belarusian National Committee was represented by students studying in thirteen colleges all around the world out of seventeen existing. Now our alumni network includes about seventy UWC graduates who study in the best universities of the world and become pianists, violinists, sculptors, philosophers, artists, actors, singers, scientists, doctors, architects, businessmen, teachers, IT developers. An excellent international education and unique international experience acquired by these talented young people are still welcomed and needed in Belarus.