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Malala Yousafzai

DP Programmes


Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS) is at the heart of the IB Diploma Programme (DP). It is one of the three essential elements in your DP experience. It involves the student in a range of experiences alongside academic studies throughout the Diploma Programme.

The three strands of CAS, which are often interwoven with particular experiences, are characterized as follows.

Exploring and extending ideas leading to an original or interpretiveproduct or performance.

Physical exertion contributing to a healthy lifestyle, complementing academic work elsewhere in the Diploma Programme.

Collaborative and reciprocal engagement with the community in response to an authentic need.

CAS enables the student to enhance his/her personal and interpersonal development through experiential learning. At the same time, it provides an important counterbalance to the academic pressures of the rest of the Diploma Programme. A good CAS programme should be both challenging and enjoyable, a personal journey of self‑discovery. The starting point is for each student different and therefore he/she will have different goals and needs, but the CAS activities will have experiences that are profound and life‑changing.

Social Entrepreneurship at UWC Maastricht

At UWC Maastricht we are committed to fostering social entrepreneurship among our students and staff. In previous years we have offered short courses with the aim of training small groups of interested students in the tools and attitudes needed to start projects and make them sustainable.

Moving towards equipping all our students and future alumni with the right skillset has been one of the reasons to launch a Youth Social Entrepreneurship (YSE) Programme for all first year students of the IB Diploma Programme in September 2015.

Staff have been specifically trained to deliver YSE as facilitators, guiding a process of discovery of new concepts and fostering initiatives. External consultants have been key in contributing to the programme.

UWC Maastricht is also networking with social entrepreneurs and experts in social economy in the Limburg region, other parts of The Netherlands and Belgium.

To find out more about this programme visit our blog:

Making social entrepreneurship an intentional part of our experiential education will allow for more interaction with the local community and a better understanding among our students and staff of the particularities of Maastricht, as students will identify local problems and design specific solutions in the form of social entrepreneurial projects.

On Friday 22 April, 10 projects will be pitched by the finalist teams at UWC Maastricht’s Community Panel.

In the same spirit, the UWCM Hub is a weekly space/time for our final year students (DP2s) to continue working on projects which they started or developed last year, sharing with other students, staff and other experts. These students are currently working on a project to bring UWC Maastricht closer to the local population and for our students to facilitate more opportunities for dialogue and events for the city.

As part of our UWC IMPACT Series we also often invite social entrepreneurs who are UWC alumni. See below.


UWC Maastricht inaugurated its the UWC IMPACT Series in April 2015, as an opportunity to engage with, and learn from, UWC alumni from around the globe who are active citizens in their communities. Whether as educators, scientists, artists, journalists, lawyers, doctors, designers, business people, diplomats, etc. these UWC alumni share with our community how they live the UWC mission and contribute positively to create awareness, inform change, build partnerships and innovate to make our world a better place.

Our students and staff are inspired by the IMPACT UWC Alumni are having through their professional activities, volunteer actions, social entrepreneurship projects, social activism and campaigning or/and mentoring of other people and ideas.

These two hour sessions take place once per month and the audience is encouraged to get involved in the questions and debate that follow the presentations.

Our alumni department tries to ensure a diversity of fields of expertise, nationalities and UWC Colleges among other considerations when selecting our guest speakers.

If you are interested in presenting at UWC Maastricht, please contact

Presentations to date have included:

  • Mario Konyen Joseph, UWC Mahindra College’00: The challenge of applying UWC ideals beyond the campus and in a post-conflict & isolating context: the case of South Sudan.
  • Rebecca Warren, UWC Atlantic College’97: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world" If Nelson Mandela was right, what might this mean in practical reality and how could you get involved?
  • Lorena Silvestri, UWC Adriatic’03: How UWC values and Social Entrepreneurship can make for a happy and meaningful life.
  • Mette Kim Bohnstedt, UWC Red Cross Nordic’05 and Jacob Lennheden and Dick Muyambi, UWC Red Cross Nordic’07: Igniting Social Entrepreneurship.
  • Ariane Cantwell-Corn, UWC Atlantic College’05 and Adam Cantwell-Corn, UWC Atlantic College’08: Taking Bristol by Storm.
  • Khristian Méndez, UWC Mahindra College’11: The Floor is Yours: Theatre and the United Nations.
  • María Isabel León, UWC-USA’87: Education & Leadership.

Project Week

A project week, an integral part of the UWC experience, contributes to students’ personal development and gives them a chance to test their skills and knowledge also outside the classroom. All DP1 students design, plan and carry out a local project week focused on providing service to the local communities of Maastricht. In order to successfully complete the CAS component of the IB diploma programme, all DP1 students are expected to participate in the local project week in the final week of June. Moreover, all DP students are encouraged to organize a European optional project week during their study breaks. These optional project weeks can focus on service as well as creativity, action and exploration in general. Additionally, mainly during the summer holidays, students have an opportunity to carry out a home country service project to provide, either individually or in a group, a service to their home country community.

Community Time

The community time is designed to strengthen the ties within the student body but also between staff and students. It is scheduled for each Monday afternoon, 15:45 – 17:00, and can be used for a variety of events. For example, Global Café gives the community space and time to come together and discuss world issues such as poverty or climate change in small focus groups consisting of both staff and students. Student Forum is a panel debate, which allows students to directly address questions to either the leadership team, facility manager, Head of Year or Head of Residential Life depending on the discussed topic. The Community time is also used by the Student council for meetings with their peers while there are workshops and trainings organized for the staff. 

UWCM Student Led Conferences

UWC Maastricht is proud of its annual student led conferences.  These conferences are completely organised by students; staff merely support and advice throughout the process.  

ToK Conference (Theory of Knowledge)
The TOK Conference provides students' with the opportunity to engage critically with the world around them.  They will spend two days exploring one specific theme by looking at it through the different academic disciplines.  Together with student guests from a variety of schools and prestigious keynote speakers, they will join the organising team in a variety of active workshops which are designed to raise more questions than answers.   By the end of the conference, they know some of the reasons behind why you know what you think you know. 

IPC Conference (International Peace Conference)
On January 23rd, 2015 the first ever Peace Conference at UWC Maastricht took place. It began as an initiative by a Palestinian and an Israeli student who overcame their preconceptions of each other, and culminated in a three-day event with student-led workshops and guest lectures from experts in war journalism, development work, politics and diplomacy. The highlight was the opening of an Israeli-Palestinian Youth Parliament, which will serve as a forum for youngsters to voice their opinion about the ongoing conflict and search for solutions. In the years to come we will be building upon the foundations laid by the first organisers. To find out more visit the website:

TEDxYouth is a trademarked organization that organizes conferences designed for the youth, by the youth. TEDxYouth@Maastricht is an entirely youth-led conference with organizers between the ages of 16 and 20. The audience of TEDxYouth varies from the age of 11 to 25 years old. UWC Maastricht students participate in this conference.Younger students generally participate in workshops given throughout the day, whilst older students mainly attend as an audience to the talks.

MaasMUN (Maastricht Model United Nations)
Maastricht Model United Nations Conference (MaasMUN) debuted in 2015 for students'  who have a passion for current global issues and enjoy debate, then MaasMUN is the conference which you should become involved in.  Model United Nations is a simulation of the UN wherein students debate world issues as delegates from a country in a specific commission.  Aside from the system of MUN, this conference supports our school’s values such as “Celebration of Cultural Differences” because the conference opens the opportunity for students to understand and become more sensitive to other nations’ cultures.  For more information, visit the website:

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