We are looking for candidates who, at the moment of application, are in their 4th or 5th year of secondary school (third or second to last year of secondary school). Generally, you should not have too many difficulties at school, you are committed to your fellow men, you have wide interests, you want to contribute to the social climate at school and later on to society as a whole. In other words - it is important to UWC that you have thought about what you can give back to human kind and not only about what opportunities are in it for you.
If you are already in your second to last year of secondary school you will spend an extra year in secondary school as you have to take both years at UWC.
To be able to apply through the Belgian National Committee, the candidate needs to fulfil the conditions of both age and residency/citizenship as described below.
Candidates are ideally between 16 and 18 years old and in the 4th (grade 10) or 5th year (grade 11) of Secondary School. They should turn at least 16 before January 1st in their first year at college.
Before you start at a UWC you will have to have successfully passed your 4th year at a Belgian secondary school or any equivalent thereof.
Residency and citizenship
Candidates with the Belgian nationality
Candidates with the Belgian nationality and who live in Belgium are eligible to apply.
Belgian nationals who are residents outside of Belgium are eligible to apply, on the condition that the candidate
- has a demonstrable, ongoing connection with Belgium;
- is native or equivalent fluent in one of the national languages.
Candidates with a non-Belgian nationality
Non-Belgian nationals are eligible if:
- they have lived in Belgium permanently for at least five years;
- they have studied at a local Belgian school (i.e. subsidized by either the ‘Vlaamse Gemeenschap’ or ‘la Fédération Wallonie Bruxelles’) for at least 3 years, preceding their application;
- they have a refugee status. In that case they do not need to satisfy these criteria and are welcome to apply if they fulfill the age conditions.
A candidate who meets these criteria will not be permitted to submit a parallel application via another national committee or directly to the different colleges.
If selected, eligible candidates will be entailed to scholarship support from the Belgian National Committee according to its policy.
Some colleges accept direct applications from students for the two year IB Diploma. This 'International Quotum' procedure is only for those students who cannot follow the national selection process because their country does not have a UWC national committee or because they are not eligible for another reason. Note that UWC Belgium has an agreement with all UWC colleges that if someone from Belgium or with the Belgian nationality applies, the college will always contact the Belgian National Committee.
Selection process for direct applicants ('International Quota' or IQ procedure):
- Candidates who want to apply for an IB at UWC and who are not eligible for the Belgian selection, can receive a confirmation of their non-eligibility and the consent to apply through the Internatioanl Quota procedure from the national committee.
- Candidates with a Belgian nationality, who reside outside the EU and cannot attend the interviews must explain why. These candidates can request the Belgian National Committee to consider endorsing their exceptional case. After deliberation the national committee can produce a letter confirming that the candidate may follow the International Quota procedure allowing them to apply directly to a UWC College.
- A candidate who is eligible to apply through the Belgian committee but who has missed the deadline and selection process is not eligible to apply directly to a college (according to International Office rules of 2010) and therefore won't receive a consent from the national committee.
- Candidates who are eligible to apply through other national committees based on their dual nationality are entitled to do so. However, no more than one application will be considered. Submitting parallel applications to several national committees or colleges is not permitted.
In all exceptional cases, the Belgian National Committee preserves the right to treat those cases where some exceptional elements warrant another conclusion than the one derived from a narrow reading of the criteria.