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Project Based Diploma: An Overview

23rd Dec 2014 by admin - , (0) Comment
Project Based Diploma
Project Based Diploma – Concept, History and Vision
The United World Colleges began as an educational experiment in which young people would be challenged and given a chance to show what more there was inside them. The first iteration of this challenge took shape in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IB). The IB has served the movement well for many years.

However, as the world evolves faster than it ever has, we need to continue to challenge our students. The Project Based Diploma is based on years of educational theory which speak to improvements in engagement, expression, and understanding . The PBD gives our students at UWC Mahindra College a chance to engage with personally significant work, express themselves in meaningful ways, which will result in better understanding of the material with which they will work.

Young people are more than ever being asked to do more and to take responsibility for doing more. The PBD gives our students a chance to work with real-world issues, not just concepts. This will prepare them for the roles which they will (be asked to) take on in the next phase of their lives.

Our students need the PBD because they need a more authentic challenge to help them prepare for a more complicated world than the one which we faced when we were their age.

The UWC Mahindra College has been exploring and experimenting with a new educational challenge for our students for many years. The idea to design this around project based-learning took shape around 2010. Since then, the school has been developing different models, with the hope of balancing some critical elements. These are a) making the programme academically rigorous so as to prepare students for further education, b) giving students enough time to work on the project, c) providing students with enough support to be successful, d) working with partners to have the program recognised and accredited, and e) documenting the program so as to make it possible to replicate in other contexts.

After studying four versions of the PBD, the decision was made to organise the programme around the structure that we will implement in September 2015.

We have had success in the recognition of the value of the project. One of our recent graduates was accepted into a very prestigious university based on the strength of the UWC Mahindra Project which she chose to add to her programme at UWC Mahindra College. In conversations with other universities, which usually receive many of our students, we are very encouraged that other admissions departments also see the value of this way of learning and the pedagogy that supports it.

Having a full-time faculty dedicated to the coordination of the PBD is essential to ensuring that students are provided with enough support to be successful. As a school, we thought that the one area in which we could improve was providing more constant support for the students. The team leader will be able to coordinate all the help that the students will require during this exercise

The Team Leader will:

  1. Design high school leaving certificate
  2. Organise Independent research
  3. Secure recognition for new curriculum
  4. Structure and establish the Project Based Diploma including essential elements.
  5. Cambridge Pre U. Cost / benefit analysis (not financial)

 – Cary Reid

UWC Atlantic Alumnus (Class of ’99)

About Cary – Team Leader (Project Based Diploma)


Cary Omar Delano Reid attended UWC Atlantic College from 1997 to 99 and is also a former member of the UWC Jamaica National Committee. Born in Kingston, Jamaica, Cary has a BSc in International Relations and Political Science from the University of the West Indies, Jamaica and an MA in Peace and Conflict Studies from the European Peace University, Austria.
Cary has been an educator for several years.  He was as a Lecturer and Head of International Studies and International Exchange Department at the Ebino Kogen International College and Mary Hardin Baylor University in Japan. Prior to that, he taught English and was also responsible for curriculum design & coordinating the International Exchange programme at Takaharu Town Board of Education in  Japan. For a brief period, he joined University of the West Indies, Mona, Kingston in Jamaica as a Tutor and Assistant Lecturer. Recently, he worked as an International Protection Officer in South Sudan.
Currently, Cary is the team leader responsible for developing and implementing the Project Based Diploma at UWC Mahindra College. At the college, he also facilitates the PNC (Peoples, Nations and Cultures) course and coordinates the Peace and Justice Triveni Stream.

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