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University of Warwick announces new international venture for gifted young people


The University of Warwick has announced that it is to launch a new international organisation for gifted young people in Spring 2008.

University of Warwick Vice-Chancellor Professor Nigel Thrift made the announcement to nearly 1000 international conference delegates gathered at the University of Warwick on Sunday 5th August for the Conference of the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children

The working title for the new organization is the International Gateway for Gifted Youth (IGGY) and it will be targeted at the top 5% of 11-19 year olds from around the world. IGGY will provide a pioneering online learning experience and face-to-face opportunities and programmes delivered by universities, businesses and government agencies.

The University of Warwick will launch a pilot programme targeted at up to 1000 gifted young people in Spring 2008, with full a launch in UK and one overseas territory (from Asia) planned for Autumn 2008. The plan is then for a further roll-out to two or three other countries in Autumn 09 .

A major activity planned for the launch pilot is an “IGGY Commission” in which gifted young people will come together to consider a significant global issue take “evidence” on the issue/problem and deliberate on how to tackle that problem. Young people will be invited to make submissions as part of an international competition. An expert panel will choose the successful entries, the authors of which will be appointed as commissioners.

This is modelled on the University of Warwick’s own Warwick Commission in which academics tackle global issues – the current Warwick Commission is looking at World Trade.

At the heart of the “IGGY” experience will be a developing personalized online learning network: a community-led site where leading national and international Higher Education institutions, educators, companies and others will deliver content, provide expertise and offer students learning activities and development opportunities (both online and through events) to enhance their learning and social development and to both contribute to and support their mainstream educational progess.

“IGGY” intends to have its first international summer school programme for around 150 young people in Summer 2009. Following that pilot summer programme, “IGGY” plans to run summer schools in more than one country with parents having the option to send children to an overseas “IGGY” summer school not just their home one.


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