UWC Dilijan college

In August 2014, UWC Dilijan College – an international boarding school for students aged 13-19 – opened its doors to the first students. The idea to create one of the largest educational projects in Armenia and the post-Soviet space emerged in 2006, while construction began in the spring of 2012. The school is the joint project of the philanthropists Ruben Vardanyan and Veronika Zonabend and their partners – individuals and organizations – and is implemented by the IDeA Foundation.

The visionaries of the idea visited 20 boarding schools across the world, analyzing and incorporating best practices from construction of new schools in Asia and the Middle East.

The opening of a world-class international boarding school in Dilijan is a chance for Armenia to get onto the world educational map and contribute to international education by providing young people with the opportunity to receive an education meeting the world's highest academic standards.

UWC Dilijan College is a full member of the educational network United World Colleges and is approved as an International Baccalaureate World School (IB Diploma). Having earned this diploma, alumni of UWC Dilijan College will have the possibility to enroll in any university in the world, including the most preeminent and prestigious universities in Europe and the U.S.

The mission of the UWC movement, founded in 1962, is to make education a force to unite people, nations and cultures for peace and a sustainable future. As of today, the UWC system has 16 schools and colleges located in five parts of the world. UWC Dilijan College is the first international college of the UWC system in the post-Soviet space.

Already in its first year, the school accepted students from the U.S., Great Britain, Canada, Latin America, Western and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa, as well as Armenia and Russia. The current academic staff comprises 25 teachers representing 10 nationalities, many of whom have previous experience of teaching in other UWC colleges.

The international school in Dilijan is an anchor project which will give impetus to changing the region’s life for the better, attracting young, creative and socially active people from different countries, and will foster stronger ties between Armenia and the world through education.

Key Facts

  • International coeducational boarding school. The first 96 students from 48 countries commenced studies in August 2014.
  • large-scale philanthropic initiative:
  • a not-for-profit international school belonging to charitable trusts created with the goal of supporting educational projects;
  • needs-blind admissions policy.
  • Full member of UWC, authorized by the International Baccalaureate Organization to offer the IB Diploma Programme (from age 16) and (from 2017) the Cambridge IGCSE (international secondary school qualification; from age 13).
  • International academic staff; first Head of School – John Puddefoot, the former Founding Head of Aga Khan Academy in Hyderabad (India) and Deputy Head of Eton College (Great Britain). Denise Davidson will be the head of the UWC Dilijan for 2016-2017 academic year.
  • Curriculum taught in English; wide selection of foreign languages to study, as well as intensive mother-tongue support and literary studies. Classes in Armenian language and culture for students from other countries. Programmes fostering students’ introduction to the local community life and study of the local ecosystem. Classes and games in indoor and outdoor facilities, wide selection of winter and summer sporting activities.
  • School campus situated on over 88 hectares of land within Dilijan National Park. GBA of school buildings equals 30 thou sq.m. Besides the main academic and administrative building, the campus includes cafeteria facilities, indoors sports complex with swimming pool and sporting facilities, boarding houses and a performing arts centre, slated for completion in 2019.

UWC Dilijan College operates as a full member of the international network and as an independent educational institution. Detailed information about the College is available on its official website