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Having the Summer and Winter World University Games every second year was not enough for university sport competitors and fans. With this in mind, the International University Sports Federation launched the World University Championships in 1963, with Handball in Lund, Sweden. Today, the Championships season takes place during every even-numbered year, this filling the gap in the international university sports calendar between two World University Games seasons.


The World University Championships are either single sport or small cluster events, and thus they give cities and often universities the chance to host a major international sports event with minimum cost and complexity. In 2018, 32 stand-alone World University Championships made for a calendar full of quality competitions.


2020 World University Championships

The 2020 season will host 29 World University Championships for student athletes!


The geographical spread of the Championships includes events in the Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia.This year, FISU welcomes three new National University Sports Federations (NUSFs) to the hosting family – Argentina for Rugby Sevens, Morocco for Cross-Country and Ukraine for Waterski and Wakeboard.


The 2020 series will be the inaugural year for the cluster event – Mind Sports – which combines Bridge and Chess for the very first time. The Mind Sports Championship will be held in Bydgoszcz, Poland. Another new addition is Wakeboard. While Waterski Championships have been held before, this year will be the first edition where Wakeboard will be a part of the FISU World University Championships programme. 


Amsterdam (NED)

10-13 Mar 2020


Gangjin (KOR)

20-24 Oct 2020


Nizhny Novgorod (RUS)

27 Oct-01 Nov 2020


Brasilia (BRA)

05-08 Nov 2020


Bangkok (THA)

16-22 Nov 2020

Latest World University Championships News


Organisation of a World University Championship

The attribution process for hosting a World University Championship starts with a call for candidature. Candidate NUSFs are required to provide a bidding dossier that is examined by the FISU Executive Committee. After deliberation, the World University Championship event is attributed to the chosen NUSF and city.


At FISU, the World University Championship Department assists and oversees all operational, administrative and logistical elements to ensure the success of the world championship events. The Department oversees the event right from the candidature phase to competition. The team serves as the link between Organising Committees, National University Sport Federations (NUSFs) and International Federations of the relevant sports.


The International Technical Committee (CTI), composed of technical experts for each sport, is in charge of assisting and following up all the technical sport-related matters of a World University Championship event.


The World University Championships, the sports lab of FISU

From table tennis to taekwondo, the World University Championships are the gateway for new sports and formats to make their way into the Universiade. This allows FISU to experiment with International Sport Federations to enhance sports delivery and innovation.


FISU’s partnership with the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) to develop and promote a new discipline such as 3x3 Basketball is one recent example. Since collaborating with FIBA to make Basketball a more versatile sport, the 3x3 format is now the undisputed game of choice on courts all over the globe and is the number one urban team sport in the world.


Mixed team Archery, a competition format first tested and developed at FISU’s World University Championships in 2006, will join 3x3 Basketball for its Olympic Games debut during Tokyo 2020.


As the home of university sports, it is in our DNA to collaborate with global partners to keep innovating in the ways that will shape the future of sports.

Given that the WUCs take place every two years, FISU can evaluate the popularity and evolution of sports, and contribute to their development. After a sport has been steadily included into the World University Championships programme it can apply to become part of the World University Games sport programme.


World University Championships - Sports Programme

The programme of the World University Championships is subject to change and currently includes 32 sports.

In order to be as complete as possible, it includes:

  • Individual/team sports
  • Indoor/outdoor sports
  • Combat sports
  • Mind sports
  • Summer/winter sports    

Host Kazakhstan gave the home crowd something to cheer about by starting their group stage play off with a 4-3 victory over the Czech Republic in the first match of the 2018 tournament 

Hosting a World University Championship Event


Many, but not all, of the FISU World University Championships for 2022 and 2024 have recently been attributed. Should your association be interested in organising a future Championship event, please refer to the Bid City Brochure (below) and send your letter of intention to the FISU World University Championships department (championships@fisu.net).

You may download these documents below:

According to the procedure in our regulations, we remind you that only a Member Association of FISU can submit a candidature dossier. All candidatures submitted to FISU are analysed by the Technical Delegate concerned and by the WUC Evaluation commission. 

For more info regarding the hosting go to the hosting page.



You may contact the FISU World University Championships Department through different channels: