UWCSEA is committed to the highest standards of corporate governance. Our business operations are guided by our mission and by the regulatory, compliance and reporting requirements determined by our structure.
This means that UWCSEA fulfils the operating requirements of three regulatory bodies: the Singapore Charity Council; the Committee for Private Education (CPE), part of SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG); and ACRA, Singapore’s Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority.
Learn more about our governance and compliance by exploring the information below.
UWCSEA Board of Governors
The Board of Governors is one of the principle groups with the fiduciary obligation to ensure that the College acts to further its stated objectives and has appropriate systems in place to properly account for and safeguard the funds and assets of the College. The Board of Governors is focused on the long-term sustainability of the College, and works with the leadership teams and key stakeholders to ensure a strong and enduring impact for UWCSEA in Singapore and beyond.
Commissioner of Charities
The College is a registered charity in Singapore. Therefore, as well as applying good governance practices as a corporate entity, the Board of Governors has adopted best practices in key areas of governance that are closely aligned to the principles outlined in the Code of Governance for Charities and Institutions of a Public Character (the “Code”).
The Charity Council requires that charities disclose the extent of their compliance with the Code. UWCSEA’s Governance Evaluation Checklist can be found via the Charity Portal website.
UWCSEA’s Board of Governors applies good governance practices as set out by the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA), the national regulator of business entities, public accountants and corporate service providers in Singapore.
Information on UWCSEA’s compliance with ACRA can be found via the ACRA website .
Committee for Private Education
The Committee for Private Education (CPE) is an agency under the SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG). The CPE is appointed to oversee compliance with the Private Education Act.
UWCSEA is registered as a Private Education Institution (PEI) under that Act and we submit regular reports to CPE and are subject to inspection by them.
The UWCSEA Board of Governors recognises good governance as critical in supporting the school in achieving its mission and educational goal. Good governance begins with the Board of Governors and requires that they set the tone for the organisation.
The three legal entities that comprise the College are (1) United World College South East Asia, (2) United World College South East Asia - East, and (3) The UWCSEA Foundation Limited, with shared administrative services. The UWCSEA Board of Governors has oversight of all three entities in a model of shared responsibility, including committees and advisors that serve all three UWCSEA entities.
- Size, committees, meetings and reviews
- Governor selection and induction
- Term limits, reviews, recruitment and induction
The UWCSEA Board of Governors comprises up to 21 members (currently 15). The Board includes respected business and industry leaders, educators, entrepreneurs and professionals.
The Board consists of three groups of Governors:
- Ad Personam Governors – The majority of Governors are appointed by the Board itself through a rigorous selection process. Many Ad Personam governors are parents of current students of the College. To ensure the Board benefits from independent thinking, there are also several non-parent Governors.
- Ex officio Governors – the College President
Interested Party Governors – These are elected directly by their constituencies and include two parent-elects and two teacher-elects, one from each campus.
The maximum number of Governors is 21.
The Board has six committees:
- Education and Talent, which sets and oversees education and talent management strategies
- Finance and Infrastructure, which oversees the College’s finances and its physical and digital infrastructure
- Governance, which is responsible for nominations and governance matters
- Audit and Risk, which oversees audit and risk matters
- Engagement, which is responsible for improving the engagement and outreach of the College locally and globally, including the UWCSEA Foundation
- Committee of Chairs, which functions as a coordinating and management committee among the Chairs of the Board and Committees
There is also a Foundation Investment and Disbursement Committee (FIDC), which is responsible for oversight of the investment and disbursement of Foundation funds and includes at least one Foundation Independent Director.
Governors periodically re-evaluate the committee structure to ensure it is effective, strategic and forward-looking.
The Board meets a minimum four times each year. Each Governor is also member of at least one committee. The Committees also meet four times per year.
The Board recruits Ad Personam Governors through a robust process that responds to clearly defined skill requirements for the Board. Most candidates are first co-opted as Advisers to Board Committees. New Ad Personam Governors are usually only selected from that pool of Advisers who have served on a Committee. Appointments are based on an assessment of the following factors:
- Professional skills and fit with Board requirements
- Role models for UWC values, culture and alignment with the mission
- Demonstrated ability to contribute to a Board
- Past contributions to UWC/service institutions
- Impact on Board diversity
- Leadership potential
- Positive impact on government relations
There is a comprehensive induction programme for all Advisers and Governors that includes information about the College and the Board, an induction session with the Board Secretary, and meetings with the Chair of the Board and other Governors.
Governors serve a maximum of two, three-year terms. Only the Chair may serve up to two additional terms of three years.
The College and the Board holds the Governors and Advisers to a high standard and regularly evaluate each Governor against the following criteria:
- is prepared for meetings
- listens to and challenges others, when appropriate, while maintaining an atmosphere of respect
- contributes and participates in a manner consistent with UWCSEA values
- has made meaningful contributions to key decisions
- attends most meetings and is highly attentive when present
- contributes overall
The College reports to our regulatory bodies and stakeholders as follows:
Charities Commission Annual Report
UWCSEA’s annual report to the Commissioner of Charities is prepared in accordance with the requirements set out in the Charities (Accounts and Annual Report) Regulations.
UWCSEA holds an Annual General Meeting and files audited annual financial statements in line with the requirements of ACRA (the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority), Singapore’s national regulator of business entities, public accountants and corporate service providers.
Committee for Private Education (CPE), part of SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG)
UWCSEA meets the Enhanced Registration Framework (ERF), which sets the minimum standards that all Private Education Institutions (PEIs) must meet through the mandatory registration requirements. The ERF examines the PEI based on aspects of Corporate Governance, Quality of Provisions and Information Transparency.
Board Effectiveness Review
The Board carries out formal Board effectiveness reviews, externally every five years and internally every two years.