Dear Colleague,

On behalf of The Centre for Talented Youth, Ireland, I would like to extend a welcome to the 16th Conference of the European Council for High Ability to be held in Dublin in 2018. This event is intended to be an exceptional networking opportunity for educators, researchers, psychologists, teachers, parents and the highly able themselves to promote the exchange of information among people interested in this field.

Although a small country, our traditions of looking outward and of transcontinental migration have helped create a world where the Irish diaspora are found everywhere. Our location, between Europe and America, and our traditions combine to produce a land that is accessible, welcoming, and a pleasure to visit. We expect that for many this will be a first visit to Ireland, while for others it will be an opportunity to return home. There will also be a significant number who, though of Irish ancestry, have never visited our shores. To all delegates and partners, whether this is a first visit, a homecoming, or in a sense both of these, we can offer a venue to exceed your expectations.

A visit to Dublin offers a chance to see other parts of the country too. Ireland is simply one of the world’s best travel destinations. A landscape of stunning beauty, with a deep cultural and literary history, and a warm and welcoming people have combined to earn us this reputation. A social program can thus be guaranteed that will meet the highest standards. Cooperation with this bid has been secured from our tourist boards, airlines, universities and sporting bodies. Strong political support has been assured us at local and national level. All of these factors combine to make Dublin the optimal choice.

CTY Ireland was established at Dublin City University in 1992 to meet the needs of high ability students aged 6 to 17 years from Ireland and abroad. Since the first summer programme in 1993 over 55,000 students have attended or participated in programmes run by CTY Ireland. We have a rich tradition in the field of gifted education and our affiliation with ECHA dates back over 25 years. As the current secretary of ECHA I promise to work hard to ensure that we continue the wonderful tradition of ECHA conferences and I hope to see you here in Aug 2018.

Dr. Colm O’Reilly
CTY Ireland
Dublin City University











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.