This tool assists to facilitate recurrent processes in a higher education dual career support scheme. By using the tool, higher education institutes and their athlete students are supported in creating basic operational structures.
A substantial number of dual career athletes in Europe choose for an academic programme subsequent to their schooling career. Some of these are just about to make their transition from talented to senior level sport, others have reached elite athletic level in their sport, while a third group may already be considering athletic retirement in the near future. Alongside sport and education, changes occur on psychological, psycho-social or financial levels.
For athlete students, keeping their personal balance is a tour de force which requires optimised self-management, proactive planning and perseverance. Higher education institutes with dual career support schemes can support their athlete students to cope with these demands. Fostering planning routines, implementing systematic processes and conducting a regular programme evaluation represent main elements of basic higher education dual career support schemes.
This is where the tool Uni II : Perform comes into play. It helps higher education institutes guide athlete students through their academic career by providing them with self-applicable planning tools, and by monitoring both the individual athlete student’s and the institutional programme’s progress. The tool works best in combination with Uni I: Prepare.
Follow the instructions to apply this tool and browse our manifold resources to find out more about the addressed topic.
The Sport & Studies Contract (pdf) assists to capture and frame the sport and study situation for a defined period of time (typically a semester or trimester). Prior to such a period, the athlete student is required to fill in the contract and coordinate the data with the responsible athlete student advisor of the higher education institute. It acts a central operational document in which milestones, goals and appointments are described: timing and organisation of both sport and studies; academic goal definition for the upcoming period; scheduling of check-up dates with the athlete student advisor.
The Dual Career Planner (xls) is meant to be used subsequently. The planner serves as a visualisation of the time commitments that the athlete student has on a weekly basis as well as throughout the semester/trimester. It therefore contains two separate planning schedules as well as real-life examples on how to fill it in. Both templates are interrelated but serve a different purpose in the planning process of the sport study combination. The weekly schedule helps identify the average weekly commitment and possible regular commitments in sport, higher education and personal life. The semester/trimester schedule helps proactively visualize events in sport (competitions, training camps, etc.), higher education (exams, project weeks, internships, block courses, study periods, etc.) and in other spheres of life which affect the planning and implementation of an academic dual career.
The Programme Evaluation (xls) assists higher education institutes to monitor developments of their dual career support scheme. Based on a set of factors and specifications, programmatic developments, challenges and areas for improvement can be identified. The evaluation is advised to be conducted annually.
- Ask the athlete student to fill in the Sport & Studies Contract (pdf) prior to your initial semester/trimester meeting. It works best in combination with the Dual Career Planner (xls). Ask the athlete student to fill in the weekly and semester/trimester schedules with regular appointments and commitments. Make sure, check-up sessions between the athlete student and you (respectively the responsible athlete student advisor) are included.
- In your meeting, check the feasibility of the contract with the athlete student. Discuss the schedule and identify challenges that could arise either regularly or as one-off points in time during the contract period. If required, fill in the Flex Request. The Flex Request serves to identify and coordinate all required academic flexibilisation measures due to athletic commitments. Empirically, these measures often refer to academic aspects such as rate of compulsory attendance, course admission, course-splitting, exam postponement, or assignment deadlines. Its approval shall be based on the respective dual career support policy of your higher education institute. Optimally, the Flex Request is evaluated by a person or department authorized to make alterations to the regular study programme (e.g., exam committee). Alternatively, flexibilisations must be individually negotiated with the responsible lecturer. In any case, the athlete student shall take main responsibility for this process to foster personal development and independence.
- At the final (bi-)annual check-up, evaluate the academic progress and help the athlete student identify key learnings for the upcoming contract period.
- Apply the Programme Evaluation (xls) annually after the end of an academic year. Draw conclusions that shall contribute to the optimisation of the programme. Use the results to display the scope and effectivity of the dual career support scheme towards the institutional decision-makers.
- European Union (2022): The European Qualifications Framework (EQF)
- Fontys (2020): Top Sport & Studies Ambassadors
- Riksidrottsförbundet – Swedish Sports Confederation (2019): Swedish National Guidelines for elite athletes’ dual careers – Recommended actions for the combination of high-performance sports and university education at the Swedish National Sports Universities (RIUs) and Elite Sports-Friendly Universities (EVLs)
- Sport Ireland (2022): Six Third Level Institutions Awarded Accreditation for Student Athlete Support
- Vrije Universiteit Brussel (2018): Dual Career Competency Questionnaire for Athletes (DCCQ-A)
- Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (2020): Topsport Academy Amsterdam
- Napier University (2020): Elite Athlete Programme
- Tilburg University (2020): Special Circumstances – Dual Career
- University of Bath (2020): Team Bath – Dual Career Programme
- University of Manchester (2020): Elite Sport Strategy
- Verein KADA (2017): Studium Leistung Sport (SLS)
- Vickers, E. (2018): An Examination of the Dual Career Pathway and Transitions UK Student-Athletes experience throughout University Education
The tool "Uni II: Perform" in action: See real-life examples of its application in EU dual career practice.