Since 2002, the University has been an acknowledged world leader in the provision of opportunities for the brightest and most able young people. The University ran the government-funded National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth (NAGTY) for five years but in 2007, in typical Warwick fashion, decided that this was not enough. Keen to spread its reach internationally and to try ever more innovative programmes, the University set up its own independent organisation called the International Gateway for Gifted Youth (IGGY), which has established itself as the first truly international service for gifted and talented young people
IGGY provides the top 5% of 11-19 year olds with an environment to encourage, nurture and challenge them in ways unavailable elsewhere. It links them with the world’s leading universities, businesses and cultural organisations to help stimulate their education, and to expose them to a culturally diverse and exciting community. Unique to IGGY is its ambition to link tomorrow’s leaders in international business, politics, science, research and the arts with those of today.
What does IGGY offer?
IGGY’s provision can be split broadly into two areas – online activities and offline (face-to-face) activities. IGGY Online provides members with access to a world of exciting and personalised learning, including cutting-edge online collaboration technologies as well as more traditional online functions such as forums, live chat, podcasts, video and social networking functions.
However IGGY is more than just an online service. As part of Warwick’s commitment to making IGGY inclusive and truly international, the provision of ‘offline’ activities remains fundamental to the service. These include learning materials, networking and mentoring opportunities and face-to-face learning programmes.
The flagship of IGGY’s face-to-face programmes is IGGY U - pioneering two-week residential programmes which are attended by a global community of students. To date, IGGY U’s have been held in the UK and Singapore, and programmes are currently being planned in Canada, Hong Kong and Australia.
An IGGY U provides an environment in which students can study an academic course intensively, as well as enjoy the rich and rewarding experience of being part of a culturally diverse and invigorating community. The courses introduce these talented youngsters to concepts and approaches more usual at undergraduate level, and IGGY has to date run courses in Medical Sciences, Enterprise, Drama, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, Creative Writing, Law and more.
The IGGY Junior Commission
Based on the existing Warwick Commission, the IGGY Junior Commission taps into the voices and views of IGGY members to offer creative ideas and solutions to a global issue.
The current Junior Commission, made up of 10 IGGY members selected via a global competition, is exploring to what extent the international policy commitment for the provision of education as a human right operates in practice in different areas of the world, and will offer recommendations on how to make it even more achievable in the future.
The Junior Commissioners presented their findings to the wider IGGY community during the summer of 2009, before flying to South Africa to meet IGGY members in the townships of Johannesburg, where they will get an opportunity to see a different education system at work.
Of utmost importance to IGGY is social and economic inclusivity. The University is determined that no student who would benefit from IGGY is unable to do so for financial reasons. Bursaries and scholarships are available for eligible students, and we have established the IGGY ‘Go Global’ Fund to support this.
More information and to find out about ways of supporting the scheme, visit the IGGY webpages.