CTY Ireland is delighted to host the 16th Conference of the European Council for High Ability! We hope that many of you will choose to join us in Dublin for ECHA 2018 and experience our vibrant home. Here are just some of the reasons to persuade you to make the trip, whether you are coming from near or far!

  • ECHA 2018 will be hosted by CTY Ireland, one of the largest programme providers for high ability students in Europe. CTY Ireland was the first international outpost of the Centre for Talented Youth in Johns Hopkins and has served over 60,000 students since its inception in 1992.
  • CTY Ireland is the hub of several European Talent Points, which help us serve gifted students across Ireland.
  • Dublin has been voted one of the top five friendliest cities in the world by Condé Nast Traveller magazine and this warm friendly atmosphere will be present throughout ECHA 2018!
  • The venue for the conference will be Croke Park Stadium, which has been the hub of Irish sport for over a century. Croke Park is steeped in history and Irish cultural legacy and conference guests will be able to take their coffee breaks while looking out over the famous pitch and accompanying Dublin city skyline.
  • The conference venue is centrally located and well served by public transport, with Bus, Rail, DART and LUAS all bringing you within a 15 minute walk of the stadium.
  • Dublin is a city rich in culture and history and visitors can enjoy a variety of different sight-seeing tours by bus, by boat and on foot. Conference guests of ECHA 2018 will be able to take advantage of Croke Park’s own incredible visitor attractions, including the Stadium tour, the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) Museum (where guests can practice their football and hurling techniques) and the Etihad Skyline Tour, which offers unparalleled views of Dublin city.
  • ECHA 2018 will feature a dynamic and engaging academic programme, as well as an exciting social programme, featuring traditional Irish music and a chance to experience the country famous for ‘céad míle fáilte’, a hundred thousand welcomes!











Professor Karine Vershueren

Karine Verschueren is full professor and head of the research unit School Psychology and Development in Context at KU Leuven, Belgium. In 1996 she obtained her PhD in the domain of developmental psychology. In 2000 she was appointed as professor in school psychology. She investigates the psychosocial and academic development of children and adolescents in schools (e.g., self-esteem, academic engagement), and the risk and protective factors for this development. Specifically, she focuses on the role of teacher-student and peer interactions as contexts for child and adolescent development. She investigates these processes not only in general student populations, but more recently also among highly able students. Her teaching involves developmental and school psychology, including school psychological assessment.


Professor Francoys Gagne

Professor Françoys Gagné is from Montreal, Quebec, born October 6, 1940. After skipping three grades, he obtained his M.A. in Philosophy (Psychology) in 1962 and his Ph.D. in Educational Psychology in 1966, both from the University of Montreal. Dr. Gagné has spent most of his professional career (1978-2001) in the Department of Psychology, at l’Université du Québec à Montréal. After a decade of research on student evaluations of teaching (1967-1977), he became interested in talent development in the late 1970s. Although his research brought him to study a variety of subjects within the field of gifted education, he is best known internationally for his theory of talent development, the Differentiating Model of Giftedness and Talent (DMGT), which has been endorsed by various educational authorities as their framework to define their target population and plan intervention provisions. Professor Gagné has won major awards in the field of gifted education, among them NAGC’s prestigious Distinguished Scholar Award (1996), and two awards from the Mensa Society. Although retired from his UQAM professorship since 2001, Dr. Gagné maintains international publishing and keynoting activities.


David Cuartielles



Professor Heidrun Stoeger

Professor Heidrun Stoeger, PhD, is full professor for educational sciences at the University of Regensburg, Germany. She holds the Chair for School Research, School Development, and Evaluation. She is vice president of the International Research Association for Talent Development and Excellence (IRATDE). She is also a member of the editorial board of the German journal Talent Development and served from 2007 to 2014 as editor in chief of the journal High Ability Studies. She has published more than 250 articles, chapters, and books on giftedness, self-regulated learning, motivation, fine motor skills, and teacher education. She is a member of several national and international scientific boards and expert commissions in the field of giftedness research and gifted education.


Professor Anne Looney

Anne has recently taken up the post of Executive Dean of Dublin City University’s new Institute of Education. From 2001 until 2016 she was the CEO of the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment, the agency responsible for curriculum and assessment for early years, primary and post-primary education in Ireland. She held the position of Interim CEO at the Higher Education Authority until March of this year. A former teacher, she completed her doctoral studies at the Institute of Education in University College London. In 2014/2015 she was Professorial Research Fellow at the Learning Science Institute Australia, based at Australian Catholic University in Brisbane. Her current research interests include assessment policy and practice, curriculum, teacher identity and professional standards for teachers and teaching. She has also published on religious, moral and civic education, and education policy. She has conducted reviews for the OECD on school quality and assessment systems. She is a member of the boards of Early Childhood Ireland, and the Ark Cultural Centre for Children.