5-9 JULY 2023 – SHANGHAI



WLSA’s Global Student Conference 2023 took place in July in Shanghai and had the theme of ‘‘Navigating the Modern World’’. This was a welcome and successful return to ‘live’ programming post-COVID-19. The conference drew in students from across the globe and gave them an opportunity to come together and engage in dynamic scholarly exchange and build cross-cultural bridges.


The Conference was hosted at the WLSA Shanghai Academy. Shanghai is one of China’s most historic cities and yet its futuristic skyline shows how it is now at the forefront of China’s economic development. Shanghai proved to be the perfect springboard for the conference delegates to take inspiration from the it’s extraordinary architecture and cultural heritage, while also its strategic position will helped give perspective to dynamic scholarly exchange and global cultural dialogue. The conference focused on 21st Century Skills and featured expert key note speakers, opportunities for debate, reflection and making cross cultural connections. The Conference also features a session from the COLLEGE ADMISSIONS NETWORK, featuring admissions from leading US Universities, helping students navigate their higher education choices. The Cultural Experience included visits to Shanghai’s modern and traditional sites, an also included a visit to the SAIC Motor Corporation, China’s largest car manufacturer. It was a global conference for global citizens, which extended academic horizons and encouraged the delegates to take on the leadership challenges of the 21st Century.


If you are a WLSA Associate School and future Global Student Conferences and WLSA Global Programming is of interest to your students please contact WLSA’s Director Global Student Affairs – Owen Moelwyn-Hughes - for further details via info@wlsafoundation.org.

"The World Leading Schools Student Conference is where the future leaders of the world come together to learn, collaborate, and network. Students have the opportunity to unleash their brilliance and join the brightest minds from across the globe to innovate, collaborate, and shape the future together."

Adam Mangana – Founder of Optima Ed

“Having worked with students from some of the most highly selective educational institutes in the world for over 20 years, I can authentically say that the group of students Adam and I interacted with at the WLSA Global Student Conference were among the most genuinely engaging, creative, compassionate, respectful, curious and inspiring.  The intercultural camaraderie they exhibited, and the level of leadership that they displayed was astounding.  Kudos to Owen and Jack for having the vision and capacity to craft a transformative experience for such a highly motivated and gracious set of students.  The participants of the WLSA Global Student Conference will no doubt make their communities more capable and compassionate by leveraging their time together in Shanghai. Well done.”

Patrick Schuermann – Founder of the Peabody Institute for Educational Leadership, Vanderbilt University

"The WLSA Global Student Conference Shanghai 2023 was an incredibly inspiring and life-changing experience. Specifically, the theme of the conference, "Navigating the Modern World," was really relevant to my interests and concerns as a teenager.”


“The well-organized, immersive, and engaging environment of WLSA made it an ideal place to learn from several speakers, fellow participants, and even our own self-reflection. I learned a lot about how to be a more effective leader in the modern world, and I also gained a deeper understanding of the challenges and opportunities that we face as a global community.”


“The passion of the participants was invigorating and inspiring. The academic workshops were skilfully facilitated, and discussions moved beyond the exchange of knowledge to working together to develop and implement solutions or complete a project as a team.”


“The speakers of the Global sessions to me were all role models, thought leaders, and experts in their field. Their presentations have helped us expand our imaginations, be more creative, and grasp the importance of understanding different cultures and respecting one another.”


“The conference was a great opportunity to bond with other like-minded students from all over the world and exchange perspectives based on our own unique experiences.”


“A renewed feeling of self-confidence and motivation to be a true leader who can help make positive changes in our society. A broadened vision for my future career and a deeper understanding of my own leadership challenges and desires. I would highly recommend the WLSA Global Student Conference to any student who is interested in leadership and cooperative engagement as a learning experience. Thank you for a truly memorable experience that I will refer to for years to come”




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MPPC Winners (Photo contest winners)

Congratulations to the WLSA Photography Competition winners: in first place was David Y (WLSA Shanghai Academy) and the two runners-up where Adhitya K (WBHS, South Africa) and Clara X (WLSA Shanghai Academy)

The Winning photograph works well in that the tall modern buildings are contrasted (quite literally) with the traditional ones. The rich visual texture of ornate woodwork, gold and greenery are set against the grey (non-biological) modernity. The runner-up image creates a sense of movement (though time) and a coming (white lights) – going (red lights). The silhouette of the old contrasts the lights of the new. In the third place, striking architectural features contrast against the new scaffolding. The angles of the scaffolding echo the angles of the traditional roof. Also worth a mention are the two images listed side by side, as they speak into the crowded nature of modern city living: the hustle and bustle of commuting, living, working. The judges enjoyed the wiring on the outside of the buildings – a nod to the impact of technology on urban infrastructure.