FORMER US president Bill Clinton is to host a gathering of more than 600 students at the University of Edinburgh as part of a new 'student leadership' programme, it has been announced.
The Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) aims to "engage the next generation of leaders on college campuses around the world" and will host its annual conference outside the United States for the first time when it arrives in the Capital next April.
Clinton, who will be accompanied by daughter Chelsea as part of the visit, will deliver a speech at the two-day event - which encourages students to participate in "Commitments to Action" that address pressing social, economic and environmental challenges.
Mr Clinton said: “For twelve years, students from across the world have been working to change their communities and change the world through CGI U.”
“CGI U is a platform for these up-and-coming student leaders to connect with experts, explore funding and resources for their projects; and inspire their peers. We are thrilled to join with the University of Edinburgh next year as we host our first-ever international CGI U meeting.”
Students in the upcoming CGI U class will join a network of more than 10,000 participants from more than 1,100 schools and 163 countries to "change the world or address issues such as disaster recovery and response, civic participation, maternal health, and providing access to resources for migrants and refugees."
Chelsea Clinton, vice chair of the Clinton Foundation added: "I am always inspired by the students who come to CGI University with their commitment to making our world a healthier, more sustainable and more equitable place.”
“I'm excited for our 2020 meeting in Edinburgh and our new expanded year-round programming to support CGI U students past, present and future."
Former President Clinton was awarded an honorary degree by the University in 2016, while Chelsea spoke at the Edinburgh International Book Festival last year.
The University of Edinburgh’s Principal and Vice Chancellor, Professor Peter Mathieson, said: “We are delighted to host the CGI University’s first international meeting. We are looking forward to working closely with the student leaders and CGI who share our deep-seated commitment to making a difference."
He added: "It will be a great opportunity for student delegates to connect with our world-leading experts and research, learn from one another, and begin to make their mark on the world.”