First Group of Students Graduate from HSE-FIFA/CIES Sports Management Programme
The first 36 students have successfully defended their final projects and graduated from the joint HSE-FIFA/CIES Sports Management Programme. Their ideas will be put to use at various sports organisations and during the organisation of the 2018 World Cup.
The Higher School of Economics became a participant of the FIFA/CIES International University Network in 2014, which is also when the joint professional programme in Sports Management was opened. Over the course of several months, the programme’s students take part in an intensive course of study in six educational modules – management, marketing and sponsorship, finance, law, communications, and event organisation. This is all under the guidance of leading Russian and international experts. At the same time, participants worked on group projects that essentially counted as their ‘final exams.’
A total of eight group projects were defended at the end of the programme with topics ranging from highly technical areas – one group developed a mobile app for the Russian Football Premier League – to educational ones.
From IT to Sports
Stanislav Skryabin graduated with a bachelor’s in Management from HSE Perm and currently works as a marketing specialist in an IT company that handles online content protection. ‘But I’m interested in sports business and marketing. I came to the FIFA/CIES programme to tailor my knowledge to the field of sports, gain new opportunities, establish new contacts, and start working in this field. I have high expectations as concerns the 2018 World Cup,’ he notes.
Mr Skryabin considers the programme’s study format ‘entirely appropriate.’ Students complete several modules in Moscow, but work independently and remotely the rest of the time. The team Stanislav was on proposed a marketing strategy for team sports clubs in the Nizhny Novgorod region.
Hoping to Break the Stereotypes
Members of another student group come from an entirely different background and have already worked in the sports industry for quite some time.
‘We’re all adults, which is why we researched the educational services market for sports management before coming to the programme,’ Oleg Malezhik explains. ‘The programme in which the HSE and FIFA/CIES brands operate made the greatest impression on me. In other words, this was an entirely deliberate decision. I didn’t come here to improve my career chances, but to self-educate and put my new knowledge to use in my own business. Certain aspects of the programme exceeded expectations, while some courses didn’t turn out to be what we had been expecting, but this is an entirely normal situation, especially in the first year of the programme. It’s clear that the creators and instructors of the programme are active and want to improve it,’ he adds.
How to Combine Sports and Education
‘After completing their sports career early, a myriad of excellent, but not always well educated, people fall to the wayside, and this is a huge social problem,’ says legendary figure skating coach Yelena Chaikovskaya, who taught a special workshop as part of the programme.
One project that was developed by programme participants (among whom was Maxim Shipov, a trainer in Yelena Chaikovskaya’s school) entailed creating a sports academy in which athletes are able to receive a real education without giving up training. This project has already attracted interest in Krasnodar.
Under the leadership of the head of the Zenit Football Club’s stewards service, Oksana Aksenenko, another team developed a project directly related to the organisation of the 2018 World Cup. In developed nations, it is stewards, not the police, who ensure that stadiums are safe and secure. Russia will need to prepare around 20,000 stewards ahead of the 2018 World Cup, which is what the project Aksenenko headed aims to do. The details of the project are already being discussed by a team of specialists with the Russian Football Union.
These two projects were recognised as the programme’s best and will now take part in an international competition alongside the best projects developed by FIFA/CIES partner universities.
‘We Were Hoping to See Projects Like These’
The projects were defended in front of Professor Pierre Lanfranchi, Historian and FIFA/CIES International University Network Scientific Coordinator. ‘We knew that HSE was one of Russia’s leading universities, which is why we believed everything would turn out to be a success,’ Professor Lanfranchi notes, commenting on the expectations he had for the first year of the programme.
‘Everything went splendidly. The students and instructors were top-notch, and the quality of the projects was exactly what we were hoping to see. You are now our ambassadors,’ he told the programme’s first group of graduates.
Please note that the next round of applications for the HSE-FIFA/CIES Sports Management Programme opens on August 25.
HSE held an international conference on 'Crisis Communications in Sports Management Bodies: Active Versus Reactive Strategies'. FIFA top managers spoke about how one of the largest international organisations manages its relations with the media, with politicians and public opinion.
On December 9, the opening of the joint FIFA/CIES sport management programme took place. Participants of the event had the chance to discuss issues with organizing world sport forums with the CEO of the Organising Committee for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, Ricardo Trade.