Frankfurt, 12 January 2021 – IU International University of Applied Sciences and the Olympic Training Centres (OSP) are intensifying their cooperation and complementing it with the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB) with regard to in-service education. Dirk Schimmelpfennig, Head of Competitive Sports at the DOSB, Werner Schaefer, Head of the Olympic Training Centre Hessen and Dr. Sven Schütt, Managing Director at the IU International University of Applied Sciences, have now signed a comprehensive agreement that significantly expands the existing cooperation. For more than three years now, the athletes at the 17 Olympic Training Centres nationwide have had access to the distance learning programme offered by the IU. The OSPs and the DOSB as the non-governmental umbrella organisation of German sport are dedicated to dual careers, career counselling, and the further training of athletes, coaches, and staff. Accordingly, the expansion of our successful cooperation now offers not only athletes in all Olympic and non-Olympic disciplines but also all full-time national and state coaches as well as full-time employees simplified access to a part-time distance learning programme for individual qualification and career planning.

Broadly positioned with a firm foot in the professional future

Tanja Spill, a middle-distance athlete at LAV Bayer Uerdingen/Dormagen, has her goals firmly in sight: the 2021 Olympic Games in Tokyo and a Master's degree in Marketing Management at the IU International University of Applied Sciences. Regarding her choice of study programme, she explains: "I deliberately chose a Master's outside the sports sector to be more broadly prepared for my professional future."

Prof. Dr. Kurt Jeschke, academic director of educational cooperation, comments: "Currently, about 100 top athletes are already studying at the IUBH. The distance learning programme is ideally designed to meet the needs of athletes, coaches, and professionals in the federations through its flexibility, variety of topics, and technical learning environment. The expansion of our cooperation, which now includes the DOSB and its affiliated umbrella organisations, is a clear sign of confidence in the quality of our educational services. We are delighted to now be able to help all people interested in the world of elite sport find their way to further training and get an academic degree - and thus a second leg to stand on in addition to the sport."

Dirk Schimmelpfennig remarks: "The expansion of the existing cooperation arrangement for athletes is an important building block in terms of human resources development within the field of competitive sport. The DOSB is delighted about the now available, discounted access for federal and state coaches to the educational programmes offered by the IU, which support their coaching activities or qualify them for other tasks in the sports system. It has also created an attractive offer for its member organisation through this cooperation.

"IU University of Applied Sciences has been an important partner for Germany's Olympic Training Centres in the area of dual careers supporting the German national team athletes for several years now. We are happy that this cooperation has now been extended to the group of full-time federal and state coaches," says Werner Schaefer, Head of the Olympic Training Centre in Hesse.

OSP and DOSB also offer career prospects beyond sport

Thanks to modern learning methods such as an IU learning app, self-tests, social learning via learning wikis, study coaching, and the possibility to take exams online as e-exams at any time, top athletes and trainers of the sports associations as well as employees of the Olympic Training Centres and the DOSB now have the opportunity to optimally combine further training, study, training, and work. Distance learning offers a choice of more than 120 Bachelor's and Master's degree programmes in eight subject areas ranging from architecture to UX design. Different time models and innovative learning technologies make the study programme as flexible as possible.

This is particularly interesting for busy and long-distance travelling athletes and coaches. For Tanja Spill, it was precisely this flexibility which determined her choice of study: "Taking exams when and where it suits me best and not having compulsory attendance dates is essential for me as an athlete. At the IUBH, I have this opportunity - and I'm taking it."