North Korean leader Kim Jong-il's grandson Han-sol has enrolled in the United World College in Mostar in Bosnia, a local newspaper reported Wednesday. UWCiM is an international school established in 2006 "with an explicit aim to contribute to the reconstruction of a post-conflict society."
It is one of 13 worldwide United World Colleges established by a British foundation in 1962 to embody the ideas of Kurt Hahn, a German educator who stressed the need to help students understand different cultures, religions, and values through school life.
The Bosnian school has 74 students from 29 countries on a UWCiM list as prospective graduates for 2013. Thirty-eight are from former Yugoslav republics such as Bosnia, Serbia and Montenegro. One student each comes from Israel, Palestine, Iraq, and Afghanistan.
The school aims to let students from hostile countries like Israel and Palestine study, do homework, and build friendships together in the same classroom, a former UWC teacher said.
Under school rules, all UWCiM students are obliged to live in a dorm for three years. Tuition is approximately US$25,000 per year. Students can seek admissions to any university around the world after graduation as the school operates the International Baccalaureate diploma program.
"Some parents were agitated at the news that a grandson of the North Korean dictator became a UWCiM student," said the Večernji List, the Croatian evening newspaper that broke the news. "But Kim Han-sol has not yet been seen even though it has been nearly a month since the school reopened" on Sept. 1, it added.