Education Director – UWC Costa Rica

Costa Rica

A truly outstanding opportunity at Deputy Head level to shape a potentially world-leading commitment to sustainability-focused education.

For August 2024

UWC Costa Rica is a non-profit, bilingual, fully residential college with an exceptionally diverse 200-strong student body. Its mission is to cultivate in young people the passion and ability to serve humanity and our planet – learning from nature and from each other for a lifetime.

UWC Costa Rica, part of the United World Colleges movement, is a two-year college that places the IB Diploma Program in the context of a comprehensive Sustainability Framework aligned with the context of Costa Rica and UWC’s commitment to a more peaceful and sustainable future. The College offers a transformative education, guided by its values of reciprocity, empathy, and accountability and recognizing the world’s need for change-makers who are committed to achieving sustainability and peace through courageous leadership. Even more will become possible in 2025 when the College moves to a brand-new campus, adjacent to Costa Rica’s second biggest national park. This will be a perfect home for the College and its focus on nature-based, experiential education.

Education at UWC Costa Rica – and therefore the remit of the Education Director – is viewed in the broadest sense: academics (the curriculum and teaching and learning), co-curricular, and residential life (encompassing all aspects of student life and wellbeing). The whole student experience therefore becomes the transformative education that is UWC Costa Rica’s context-led interpretation of the UWC educational model.

The College’s Sustainability Framework influences every aspect of its education and operations. This identifies the need for deep cultural change but is also a roadmap to achieving that change in every part of the College. Sustainability is broadly considered, embracing the College’s environmental, context-based, and experiential education commitments.

The move to the new campus will represent a unique opportunity to make UWC Costa Rica’s sustainability commitments and ambitions even more real and relevant. The extraordinary 48-acre campus will be built and operate in harmony with its environment and will be game-changing in terms of the ability to offer a sustainability-focused and nature-based education with the potential to be globally influential.

The Education Director, working alongside Head of School Mauricio Viales, will be central to preparing for the move and designing an education program that is fit for its new home. There is the opportunity not only to impact on each succeeding generation of UWC Costa Rica students, but to have a far wider impact – in the wider UWC movement, in the IB, on education in Costa Rica and more widely in Latin America and the Caribbean, and on approaches to sustainability education globally.

This role requires an ambitious, passionate and innovative educator and leader, someone who aligns absolutely with the belief that education is the key to a more sustainable future. It requires someone who can think big, but who has their feet on the ground and is accomplished at implementation and achieving change. The Education Director must also be able to work comfortably in a culture that is so obviously shaped by the College’s values; indeed, they must be able to embody that culture.

The position will be available in August 2024. Interested candidates are strongly encouraged to read the candidate information carefully, to explore the College’s website and the documentation available there, and to speak to colleagues in RSAcademics to understand whether this is the role for them.

For a preliminary, confidential conversation about the roles with Jean Sullivan, Head of International Search or Keith Clark, Head of International Leadership Appointments, please contact jeansullivan@rsacademics.com.

The deadline for the receipt of applications is Tuesday 20 February 2024 at 09:00 (Costa Rica)/15:00 (UK)

To apply, candidates should complete an application form electronically and submit it to RSAcademics, together with a letter of application, CV/résumé, and completed data sharing agreement. Please click the Apply Now link on the right side of this page. You will be taken to an online portal where you will be able to download the application materials. Please follow the instructions provided to complete your application. Guidance on the letter of application can be found in the candidate information. Please make sure your letter is tailored to this role; an application letter that is largely generic is discouraged and may lead to your application not being considered.

Should you have any queries relating to submission of your application, please contact Alison Hooper, Project Coordinator, at applications@rsacademics.com. Alison can also be reached by calling +44(0)1858 383163.

UWC Costa Rica is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment. The appointee will undertake their role and responsibilities in accordance with the safeguarding policy and guidelines, which are available on the school’s website. Candidates can expect that safeguarding issues will be discussed throughout the appointment process. The successful applicant will be required to undergo all checks relevant to the post; references will be taken up both in writing and verbally.

This post is exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 and the amendments to the Exceptions Order 1975, 2013 and 2020.

The safeguarding responsibilities of the role are indicated in the candidate information.

RSAcademics is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and to promoting diversity and inclusion in schools.

Key Dates

The deadline for the receipt of applications is Tuesday 20 February 2024 at 09:00 (Costa Rica)/15:00 (UK)

Selected candidates will be invited to preliminary interviews with RSAcademics colleagues, which will take place by videoconference in the weeks commencing 19 and 26 February

Video interviews with members of the UWC Costa Rica team are likely to take place in the week commencing 4 March

Final interviews will take place in Costa Rica later in March. Any candidate who knows they will have difficulty travelling then should mention this at Preliminary Interview