News Release

Dual careers for sports talents – at KIT and in Europe

KIT has been “partner university of top-level sports” for 20 years – more than 80 sponsored top athletes – SAMEurope project creates European networking

Meeting Announcement

Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT)

Excellent in two systems: Maximilian Köhler (front), German U20 Champion over 400 m and 400 m hurdles, is supported at KIT as a top-level student athlete (Photo: Martin Anstett)

image: Excellent in two systems: Maximilian Köhler (front), German U20 Champion over 400 m and 400 m hurdles, is supported at KIT as a top-level student athlete (Photo: Martin Anstett) view more 

Credit: Photo: Martin Anstett

“Competitive sports is done at a time in life when foundations are being laid for a professional career. As “Partner University of Top-level Sports,” we are well aware of the challenge of combining top athletic performance with an academic education. We will continue to support such dual careers in the best possible way in the future,” says Professor Alexander Wanner, Vice President Higher Education and Academic Affairs at KIT.

“Top-level sports plus studying at a university of excellence – for the athletes, this means combining the sports system and the system of academic education, which is initially foreign to them, as optimally as possible. If, in addition, a longer stay abroad is to enrich the personal career, SAMEurope with a growing network of European universities will help to find individual solutions for studies and top-level sports,” says Professor Swantje Scharenberg, head of the Research Center for School Sports and Sports of Children and Adolescents (FoSS) and project coordinator of KIT’s ”partner university” activities. “Success factors,” says Scharenberg, “are the personal commitment of all participants, tolerance, and a great mutual understanding.”


More Than 80 Top-level Athletes Sponsored Since 2003

Since 2003, KIT has been supporting its top-level student athletes within the framework of a cooperation agreement with the German University Sports Federation (adh), the Olympic Training Center Olympiastützpunkt Metropolregion RheinNeckar, and Studierendenwerk Karlsruhe. This makes it one of the first German universities to have committed itself as a “Partner University of Top-level Sports.”

More than 80 athletes, usually members of the national team or national squad of their respective top associations, have been supported and promoted since then, among them former European broad-jump champion Christian Reif, multiple kickboxing world champion Daniel Dörrer, or long-jump hopeful Mikaelle Assani, who studies bioengineering at KIT and will also be present on April 20.

The dual-career services provided by the KIT project coordinator include individual study counseling and support in flexible handling of attendance times, submission and examination dates (e.g. in the case of training camps abroad), through to leave semesters when participating in the Olympic Games or in world title matches.


European Mobility for Dual Careers

In the three-years Erasmus+ project SAMEurope, Institut National des Sciences Appliqueés de Lyon, the Spanish University Jaume I in Castellón de la Plana, the Swedish Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, the Finnish University of Jyväskylä, and KIT work at facilitating dual-career students’ international mobility. For this purpose, the courses of the Erasmus+ program will be adapted to the needs and capabilities of dual-career students and be consolidated through appropriate networking of universities in the EU. 


Anniversary Celebration Event

The commemorative event “20 years KIT Partner University of Top-level Sports Meets SAMEurope” held in English will take place on April 20, 2023 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on KIT’s Campus South (Building 11.30, Engelbert-Arnold-Str. 2). In addition to entertaining elements, the program includes new insights into the positive influence of competitive sports and experience abroad on personality development and career opportunities, as well as a panel discussion on the question of how dual careers for students can be supported by EU offerings.

The top athletes currently studying at KIT are expected to be among the participants, but also representatives of the KIT departments, other European universities, the city of Karlsruhe, the Olympic training centers, the adh, and the Baden-Württemberg Sports Association Landessportbund Baden-Württemberg, as well as personalities from economy, culture, and politics. 


Read more:

Livestream for the event


Being “The Research University in the Helmholtz Association”, KIT creates and imparts knowledge for the society and the environment. It is the objective to make significant contributions to the global challenges in the fields of energy, mobility, and information. For this, about 9,800 employees cooperate in a broad range of disciplines in natural sciences, engineering sciences, economics, and the humanities and social sciences. KIT prepares its 22,300 students for responsible tasks in society, industry, and science by offering research-based study programs. Innovation efforts at KIT build a bridge between important scientific findings and their application for the benefit of society, economic prosperity, and the preservation of our natural basis of life. KIT is one of the German universities of excellence.

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.