UWC Atlantic College appoints new principal

UWC Maastricht head Peter Howe to join South Wales international school from 2017

UWC Atlantic College in South Wales has appointed one of the organisation’s most experienced leaders as its next principal. 

Peter Howe joins the college from UWC Atlantic College’s sister school, UWC Maastricht in the Netherlands, where he has served as Head of College for the last four years.

Mr Howe’s UWC career actually began in 2005, as the International Baccalaureate Coordinator and Head of Economics at the Italy-based, UWC Adriatic. Later, he became the school’s Deputy Head and Director of Studies and ultimately, its Rettore (Head of School).    

In addition to being the founding college of the global UWC education movement, UWC Atlantic College is also recognised for its leading role in the creation of the International Baccalaureate. For the last five years, that pioneering vision has been guided and driven by UWC Atlantic College’s current Principal, John Walmsley.

It was under Mr Walmsley’s tenure that the college celebrated the 50th anniversary of its founding. That celebration also marked an exciting new chapter for the college, with the launch of the Atlantic Diploma and its co-curricular faculties.

A first of its kind, the Diploma sees students divide their time between academic IB studies and a series of UWC mission-focused experiential activities. The dual aspects of the Diploma are designed to equip each student with the ability, drive and confidence to effect positive change in their communities throughout the world, particularly in the fields of peace, social justice and sustainability.            

John Walmsley said: “I can honestly say that Peter has secured the best job in education that the UK has to offer. UWC Atlantic College is an exciting, dynamic and stimulating place, an icon in the UWC movement. In my 40 years of teaching, no other role has rivalled it. Peter is a lucky man and the college is in very safe hands with him at the helm.”

Today, UWC Atlantic College is home to around 350 international students who represent over 90 nationalities and cultures. The humanitarian vision of its founder, the education pioneer Kurt Hahn, lives on at its castle campus on the picturesque Welsh coastline, as does the daily pursuit of the UWC’s mission to make education a force for peace and a sustainable future.   

Mr Walmsley continued: “Peter’s excellent work at both UWC Maastricht and UWC Adriatic exemplify his commitment to the mission and values of the UWC. With Peter taking on the role of Principal, UWC Atlantic College can look forward to an exciting future.”

Speaking of his new role at UWC Atlantic College, Peter Howe said” “I feel both honoured and humbled to have been given the opportunity to join the flagship of the UWC movement.

“Working in education is an absolute privilege, but UWC Atlantic College offers something truly unique. This exceptional place rightfully deserves to be seen as the beacon of the UWC. The college, its staff and students, embody all that our movement stands for. It’s a place of vision that looks beyond the classroom. I believe that many things John has helped to create here, such as the Diploma, should be embraced by all UWC colleges and it is my goal to see that they are.”  

Mr Howe will join UWC Atlantic College in March 2017. Commenting on his appointment the college’s Chair of Governors, Professor Jonathan Michie, said: “I have every confidence that Peter is the right candidate for the role of Principal at UWC Atlantic College and that he will build on the work and dedication of John Walmsley and the committed staff at the college. I look forward to welcoming Peter and his family to UWC Atlantic College and to working with him to ensure the college goes from strength to strength over the coming years.”


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