The 12th EAS Conference was held at 24th and 25th September 2015 at the University of Applied Sciences of Amsterdam (HvA) / School of Sports & Nutrition. The headline for the conference “Dual Career as an educational challenge in the European environment of sports” pointed out the main focus of the EAS network since its beginning.

The conference was followed by more than 70 participants from 17 countries and representatives of partner organisations, like FISU, EUSA and ENAS and the policy officer of EU Sport Unit, Mrs Agata Dziarnowska.

Conference was opened by addresses of EAS President Prof. Dr. Laura Capranica and Mr. Dennis van Vlaanderen, manager Topsport Academy Amsterdam and Dr. Jacomine Ravensbergen, Dean at faculty of Sport and Nutrition at HvA on behalf of the hosts. Dr. Ravensbergen pointed out, that the University of Applied Science Amsterdam (HvA) attracts athletes troughout the ‘Dual Career’ program (Top Sport) that helps them to realize successful academic education alongside being an athlete but as well guide them to the labour market afterwards. Therefor the HvA developed a centre of Elite Sports and Education.

Starting sessions focussed the Dutch dual career system. It was introduced from aspects of the institutions who are involved in, like Dutch Olympiv Committee, as well as from the view of the “target group”. Student athletes and a student with disabilities, shared their personal experiences in combining academic and sports careers.The Dutch Olympic Committee presented its programmes related to ‘Dual Career’ as well.

Dr. Flavia Guidotti from the University of Rome / Foro Italico presented a study evaluating the scientific papers that are published on the specific topic of the ‘Dual Career’ right now. Beside the fact that the topic has been developed since 2004 there are still existing different interpretations, methods of aims and goals for projects under the term “Dual Career” especially when there is no national strategy or policy launched in that field.

Several Institutes of Higher Education took the chance to present their own programs. The Catholic University of Murcia (Spain) focused on ‘Developing an innovative European Sport Tutorship model for the dual career of athletes (ESTPORT)’, the University of Mitweida in Germany presented a research project on ‘Dual Career as Educational Challenge in the European Environment of Sports’ which focused implementation new learning cultures and structures, like online based studies.

Besides the single models of Higher Education Institutions, national initiatives and EU supported projects were presented at the conference. Beyond them: - ‘Winner Education Model’ presented by Finland, - ‘TWIN’ by TASS, which is the organisation in charge of top-athletes in the UK - ‘Gold in Education and Elite sport (GEES)’ presented by INSEP (France) and the University of Brussels (VUB)

Agata Dziarnowska, policy officer of the EU Sport Unit pointed out that the ‘Dual Career’ is one of the prioritized topics for the ‘Sport and Education’ program of the EU Commission. She explained that from the EU Commission point of view “Dual Career” should be a tool for different policies such as, social inclusion, unemployment and education. She underlined the importance of the GEES study which is aiming to formulate recommendation on competences, instruments and methods to the member states and to develop minimum quality requirements at the European level.

As a conclusion all participants agreed in the focus on the flexibility needed by all stakeholders and institutions to create and implement programs for “Dual Career”, that there is a lack of studies concerning the challenges in each elite sport and education system and that therefor it is a necessity to develop requirements and models at European levels, where the “Study on Minimum Quality Requirements for Dual Career Services” will hopefully be the basis.

All these aspects and the related EAS activities in different (EU funded) research projects were presented by EAS President prof. Dr. Laura Capranica and EAS Secretary-General Joerg Foerster who is delegated to the EAS network as a “Dual Career” Expert by National University Sports Federation of Germany (ADH). In the General Assembly the members voted for minor changes of the EAS Statutes, elected two financial auditors and authorized the EC to go ahead with the process of seat change from England to Malta.

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