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09 October 2019 | in Education, FISU

Dual career and professional development on the agenda for FISU Education Committee

With a review of its last term, and looking ahead to the next four years, the FISU Education Committee has placed significant importance on the issues of dual career, academic qualification and mentorship for student athletes.


LAUSANNE – The FISU General Assembly, composed of 174 National University Sport Federation members, meets every two years to establish the general policy and main lines of work to drive the global university sport movement. The next General Assembly will take place in Italy in just over a month from now and the FISU Education Committee met at the headquarters in Lausanne recently, to take stock of the last four years of work and set the agenda for the next term.

Dr Verena Burk chairs the Education Committee meeting“We had a very constructive meeting of the FISU Education Committee at the end of the term,” said Dr Verena Burk, Chair of the Committee. “Topics discussed included the FISU educational events and programmes, such as FISU Conferences, FISU Forum and Scholarship Programmes, but also the evaluation of the work done over the last 4 years.”


“In particular, we focused on the implementation of the FISU Global Strategy 2027 by the Education Committee,” she added.


The Education Committee oversees four of the eight strategic focus areas of the FISU Global Strategy: education through sport, cultural events, cooperation with international organisations and dual career building.


On the agenda was a detailed discussion on the FISU Forum 2020 that will be organized in cooperation with the Hungarian University Sports Federation and the Physical Education University of Budapest from 12-16 August 2020. The FISU Forum 2020 will delve into sustaining the legacy of the University Sports Movement, 70 years after FISU first came into existence.


Also looking ahead to the FISU World Conference that will take place during the Lucerne 2021 Winter Universiade, the Committee agreed that in the years to come, FISU Education will focus on the issue of dual careers for athletes.


"The Education Committee agreed that the priority should always be to develop and progress university sport," said Associate Member Jordan Kenny (left) from the University of Roehampton, UK.


"This includes supporting athletes with information on dual career, supporting volunteers to attend the Volunteer Leaders Academy and supporting professionals to further their technical knowledge of specific areas."


Dr Burk agreed. “In the future, the FISU Education Committee would also like to turn its attention to new projects that are strongly aimed at the target group of students and student-athletes,” she said. “The topics of dual career, further qualification and mentorship will play a special role here onwards.”


Mohammad Baghdadi, 2018 Scholarship recipient, RIOU MSAIn addition to the Conference and Forum, FISU Educational activities include the FISU Student Ambassador programme, the International Day of University Sport, the FISU Volunteer Leaders Academy among many others.


FISU also supports several academic scholarships, including the selection of candidates for the Dream Together Masters programme in Seoul, Korea and the Master of Sport Administration at the Russian International Olympic University (RIOU).


The selection of highly deserving candidates is validated by the fact that some of them complete their studies and come back into the fold to give back to the university sport movement. Mohammad Baghdadi of Lebanon, recipient of the 2018 RIOU scholarship is one such case.


Sami A. Garabedian, Lebanese Federation of University Sport“Mohammad finished his master’s degree about three months ago, did very well, and speaks an extra language now – Russian!” says Sami A. Garabedian, Director of Athletics at the Lebanese American University and Member of the FISU Education Committee.


“As part of the programme requirements, he just finished one month of training at Manchester United. Because he was a former LAU student and also a former national champion in triathlon, he was always closely involved with university sport."


"Thanks to FISU’s involvement in his development, his skills have been further enhanced and we hope to hire him to work in the LAU Athletics department starting January 2020, once we get the necessary approvals."

“He will be a big asset to LAU and to university sports in general,” adds Garabedian, who is also Secretary of International Relations, at the Lebanese Federation of University Sport (FSUL).


During the next four-year term, The FISU Education Committee will continue to foster development and enhancement of student athletes and all those connected with university sport.