Scholae Mundi Foundation and Mahindra Group Announce Major UWC Scholarship Commitment

Mumbai and Yerevan, 28 November 2017: Russian-Armenian impact investors and social entrepreneurs Ruben Vardanyan and Veronika Zonabend have collaborated with Anand Mahindra, Chairman of the Mahindra Group, a global group of companies based in India, committing together to US$ 7.5 million in funding to provide need-based scholarships to meritorious students worldwide to study at one of the UWC (United World Colleges) schools and colleges.

UWC is a global education movement with the mission to make education a force to unite people, nations and cultures for peace and a sustainable future. UWC comprises a network of 17 international schools and colleges on four continents and a system of volunteer-run national committees in 159 countries and territories worldwide that select UWC’s scholars independent of socio-economic means.

All three philanthropists are strong supporters of the UWC educational movement – Vardanyan and Zonabend founded UWC Dilijan in Armenia in 2014, and Mahindra Group, led by Anand Mahindra, established UWC Mahindra College in India in 1997.

Under the new commitment, Mahindra Group will contribute INR 150 million (approx. US$ 2.3 million) over the next five years to support need-based scholarships for students admitted to UWC Mahindra College. Half of this gift will provide scholarship grants for Indian students, while the rest will be used for scholarship grants for students selected through UWC national committees outside India.

In parallel, the Scholae Mundi Foundation, founded by Vardanyan and Zonabend, has allocated approximately US$ 5.2 million to fund need-based scholarships for the coming academic year. US$ 3.7 million will be dedicated to scholarships for international students selected to study at UWC Dilijan in Armenia. The remaining US$ 1.5 million will be allocated to scholarships for students from Armenia, Georgia and Russia to study at one of the other 16 UWC schools and colleges, including UWC Mahindra College. The Scholae Mundi Foundation has already announced a continued commitment in the years to come to enable future scholarship funding.

Furthermore, in recognition of this collaborative scholarship funding commitment, UWC Mahindra College and UWC Dilijan have also committed to support cross-scholarships: UWC Mahindra College will offer a place and a need-based scholarship covering up to 100% of all costs to a student from Armenia. Likewise, UWC Dilijan will offer a place and a need-based scholarship covering up to 100% of all costs to a student from India, for the next five years.

Sir John Daniel, Chair of UWC International commented: “This extraordinary initiative of great entrepreneurs from different parts of the world will enable the UWC movement to reach out to more young people and provide them with a world-class international education. Learning and living at one of the 17 UWC colleges will support them in gaining the skills and intercultural competency needed to become ethical leaders for a better future.”

“In today’s challenging, uncertain and fast-changing global environment, it is imperative to widen access to opportunities for meritorious students with potential for strong leadership. We hope that our commitment will serve as a catalyst to enhance the impact of the UWC movement and help train extraordinary leaders for the next generation who can navigate the complexity of the world around us with ease.” Anand Mahindra, Chairman, Mahindra Group.

“In this increasingly interconnected and rapidly developing world, it is of vital importance to nurture open-minded, wise leaders with strong humanitarian values, capable of charting a course through uncertain times and playing a pivotal role in caring for local and global communities. We believe that UWC education creates these types of leaders and that the SM Scholarship program will help to make this network more inclusive.” Veronika Zonabend, Co-Founder and Chair of the Board of Governors of UWC Dilijan in Armenia, member of the Board of Trustees of UWC International (UK).

About UWC

UWC (United World Colleges) is a global education movement with the mission to make education a force to unite people, nations and cultures for peace and a sustainable future. It comprises a network of 17 international schools and colleges on four continents, short courses and a system of volunteer-run national committees in more than 155 countries.

UWC offers a challenging educational experience to a deliberately diverse group of students and places a high value on experiential learning, community service and outdoor activities, which complement high academic standards delivered through the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme.

Today, over 10,000 students from more than 155 countries are studying on one of the UWC campuses. Over 65% of UWC students in the final two years receive a full or partial scholarship, enabling admission to a UWC school to be independent of socio-economic means.

Since the foundation of the first UWC college in 1962, UWC has inspired a network of more than 60,000 alumni worldwide, who remain engaged with the UWC movement and committed to contribute to a more equitable and peaceful world.

Learn more about UWC on; Twitter @UWC_IO and Facebook @UWCIO

About Mahindra

The Mahindra Group is a US$ 19 billion federation of companies that enables people to rise through innovative mobility solutions, driving rural prosperity, enhancing urban living, nurturing new businesses and fostering communities. It has a leadership position in utility vehicles, information technology, financial services and vacation ownership in India and is the world’s largest tractor company, by volume. It also enjoys a strong presence in agribusiness, components, commercial vehicles, consulting services, energy, industrial equipment, logistics, real estate, steel, aerospace, defence and two wheelers. Headquartered in India, Mahindra employs over 200,000 people across 100 countries.

Learn more about Mahindra on; Twitter and Facebook: @MahindraRise

About The Scholae Mundi Foundation

The Scholae Mundi Foundation is one of the three Charity Foundations (Scholae Mundi Armenia, Scholae Mundi Russia and Scholae Mundi UK) which form the Scholae Mundi Platform established by social entrepreneurs and philanthropists Ruben Vardanyan and Veronika Zonabend. The Scholae Mundi Platform promotes, on a not-for-profit basis, the most advanced educational practices for the public benefit, while catalyzing wider social change, alongside supporting education of students at UWC Dilijan and other educational establishments by providing funds for capital development and scholarships.

After being founded in 2013, the Scholae Mundi Foundation has already provided scholarship grants in the amount of over US$19 million for students to study at UWC Dilijan in Armenia, as well as funds for scholarships for students from Russia, Armenia and Georgia to study at one of the other UWC schools and colleges worldwide.

Learn more about the Scholae Mundi Foundation on; Facebook and Twitter: @UWCDilijan

Media contact information:

UWC International                    Hannah Tümpel:
Mahindra and Mahindra             Varsha Chainani:
Scholae Mundi Foundation         Gayaneh Seiranyan:

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