UWC – A Global Network

Pearson College UWC is located southwest of Victoria, B.C. and is Canada’s most international school and the country’s only United World College — a movement encompassing 18 global schools dedicated to uniting cultures and countries around the world through education. Pearson is a two-year, pre-university school for students from over 150 countries who live, study and learn together pursuing the International Baccalaureate and an outdoor-oriented experiential education. More than 4,200 students have graduated from the College — its alumni are determined to make a difference in the lives of others and the world.

The College was named in honour of the late Canadian Prime Minister and Canada’s only Nobel Peace Laureate (awarded in 1957), Lester B. Pearson. Prime Minister Pearson initiated the work to found a United World College “of the Pacific” as a way of extending the promotion of peace and understanding in the world.

Pearson is one of 18 UWC schools and colleges worldwide.

Land Acknowledgement

Lester B. Pearson College of the Pacific and United World Colleges (Canada) acknowledges that its community lives, learns and works on the unceded territory of the Sc’ianew First Nation. The Sc’ianew people, although a distinct and independent nation, are part of a larger Indigenous cultural group referred to as Coast Salish on Vancouver Island with a broad area that encompasses Southern Vancouver Island.

The Sc’ianew First Nation (pronounced Che-a-nuh) is located on the shores of Beecher Bay, Southern Vancouver Island, where they have lived for millennia. The word Sc’ianew translates from the Klallum language as “the place of the big fish”, indicating the richness of sea life in the region that has sustained the Sc’ianew people and neighbouring First Nations with food, shelter, medicine, and clothing. The Sc’ianew people are known as “people of the salmon”, which reflects the marine environment where their culture and history developed.

We acknowledge the land upon which Pearson sits as “unceded” territory, which respects the fact the Sc’ianew people never gave up, legally signed away or ceded their lands to Canada or to Pearson College UWC. The land was purchased by the College from the Government of Canada without Sc’ianew consent, which conflicts with the ancestral law of the Sc’ianew People. Sc’ianew law and oral history confirms the Pearson campus and surrounding territory as unceded Sc’ianew territory. Sc’ianew First Nation is actively engaged in treaty negotiations with the Provincial and Federal Governments to reclaim territory from Department of National Defence (DND) lands known as the Mary Hill Property. For more information about the Sc’ianew First Nation please visit beecherbay.ca.

Please visit our Reconciliation page for more information about Pearson’s Indigenous Vision and Reconciliation Action Plan initiatives.

UWC Mission

UWC makes education a force to unite people, nations and cultures for peace and a sustainable future.

UWC Values

International and Intercultural Understanding

UWC is committed to building communities that are free from prejudice and intolerance irrespective of gender, socioeconomic, cultural, racial, religious and national backgrounds.

Celebration of Difference

UWC consciously creates supportive environments where differences are valued and recognized for the strength they bring to communities.

Personal Responsibility and Integrity

Personal responsibility, accountability and integrity are at the heart of the UWC experience. We expect our members, partners and those we work with to behave in a similar way.

Mutual Responsibility and Respect

UWC advocates a collaborative and mutually supportive approach, recognising that respect underpins the smooth functioning of any encounter or team. Those engaging with UWC will find our members dependable and respectful.

Compassion and Service

Our actions and language will communicate our compassion and commitment to our communities. We will work at all levels – personally, locally, regionally, nationally and internationally – to do what we can to make the world a better place.

Respect for the Environment

UWC recognizes our interdependence with the environment and is actively seeking solutions that will contribute to a sustainable future. Our choices and actions will demonstrate this commitment to our communities as well as to a wider audience.

A Sense of Idealism

UWC inspires its members to believe that it is possible to make a difference and will actively seek to work with others who share that belief.

Personal Challenge

UWC is committed to the concept of learning through doing and the value of interactions and experience. By taking the initiative and challenging ourselves, we learn about ourselves and those around us as well as developing a sense of responsibility for others.

Action and Personal Example

UWC believes in the importance of acting on your beliefs and taking a lead role in what you do as well as what you say.

Essential Agreements


We agree to create environments of trust, safety and inclusivity where all members can express a diversity of views supportively at Pearson College UWC.

We will prioritize training to ensure difficult conversations and debates are introduced skilfully and effectively in group situations.

We acknowledge that everyone has strong views, biases and contexts as well as different intersections of privilege. We must all reflect on how we can exercise power and authority, sometimes unconsciously.

Awareness of implicit biases, structural prejudices and micro-aggressions help to create deeper cultures of equity for debate and discussion.
However, we do not want to create a culture of fear where concerns about misspeaking create silence. A UWC education allows us to make mistakes and active dialogue is the best means to elevate awareness.
We must create discussion cultures where we can engage with contentious and often difficult topics. UWC’s mission that requires each of us to become “a force for peace and sustainability”, needs a resilient mindset. By challenging injustice, we should be prepared to experience forms of discomfort in order to engage with deeper political issues.

To honour those amongst us who are naturally introverted or less confident in the dominant language, we must provide opportunities for anonymized feedback during interactions. This can also help to ensure all views and opinions are made explicit.


Students as well as adults must actively seek solutions to problems that are identified. We must not create an “us” and “them” culture on campus.

At Pearson College UWC, we should assume ‘positive intent’ and ‘appreciative enquiry’ when dealing with decision making. If we assume both employees and students are working positively to improve the experience for the community we can resolve issues more effectively.
All of these agreements must be modelled in our various social media groups, our rooms, houses and classrooms. Cultures of gossip, misinformation, exaggeration and over simplification can undermine the UWC culture we wish to maintain.

Educational Principles 

A Community Activity

We live and learn in an intentional community of knowledge and practice.


Learning focuses on compelling acts of the whole person.


Learners are crew and not passengers in the learning process, and develop transferable skills through personal challenge and intelligent risk-taking.


Learning is based on trust, autonomy, responsibility, and the principles of gratitude and reciprocity.


Rooted in the spirit of place of Vancouver Island and the unique Indigenous Coast Sallish context.


Fostering learning across generations, students and teachers.


Aligned with the UWC mission, learners and community members from different backgrounds bring forward diverse ideas and practice inclusion.


Moving learners beyond the comfort threshold and towards their best selves in the service of the world.