Head’s Blog

Gabriel Abad Fernández

Dear UWCD students, staff, founders, governors, parents, guardians, friends, supporters and donors, diplomatic representatives, and to all of you watching this event online, I am Gabriel Ernesto Abad Fernandez, I have the honour to be the Head of UWC Dilijan.

Over the last couple of weeks the UWC heads have been reflecting on the changing needs of our students today. The impact of COVID cannot be overstated, as is the fact that the global landscape has changed. How should a UWC education react to these changes?

Our weekly College Assembly on a Monday is time-constrained and mainly focused on information and celebration, not allowing us to engage in deeper conversations, so this week we held our first Community Forum, an initiative to give our community a reasonable amount of time to engage in an open and frank exchange of views and ideas on issues connected to being a UWC, our mission and values.

Recently I read a discussion in an aviation forum I follow (yes, I continue to be an aviation geek) about a passenger who was offloaded from the plane that she had already boarded because she could not stow her carry-on luggage in the overhead bin. This seems non-sensical, as the crew is there to help the passengers, isn’t it?

As we get to the end of January, I look back at the beginning of this term, the final term for our Class of 2023 and my own final term at this wonderful community. During the break we worried whether the expansion of COVID cases in China was going to affect us and discussed contingency plans (fearing going back to the darkest days of the pandemic).