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Joint Executive Programme in Sports Management of HSE and FIFA/CIES Holds Fifth Commencement

HSE University’s Executive Programme in Sports Management held its fifth graduation ceremony on campuses in Moscow and St. Petersburg. This year, the programme awarded Master’s degrees to 45 graduates who completed final projects that focused on the advancement of the sports industry in Russia.

HSE University’s joint Executive Programme in Sports Management was founded in 2014 and is the only Russian partner of the International Centre for Sports Studies (CIES), which was created by the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the University of Neuchâtel, and the Canton of Neuchâtel.

The HSE and FIFA/CIES Joint Programme

2 Degrees:


2 Campuses:

Moscow and St. Petersburg

6 Academic Modules

and a project defense in 10 months

45 students from 12 cities of Russia and abroad graduated from the programme

in the 2018/2019 academic year

Although FIFA participated in the creation of CIES, the programme is not just about the football industry: students learn about the economic, legal, and communication aspects of creating and managing sports organizations, businesses, and events.

This year’s commencement was the programme’s fifth. Since its founding in 2014, almost 200 students have graduated from the programme. ‘On the one hand, you might say this is a very small number. But you can also look at it differently,’ says Dmitrii Kuznetsov, Co-Chair of the programme’s Academic Council and Director of the Higher School of Law at HSE.

Our graduates are the vanguard detachment of Russian sports, and many of them are already promoting sports in other countries

In honour of its fifth anniversary, the programme held an international conference, ‘Sports Industry Development Strategy in Russia and the World’. The conference was attended by business representatives, alumni, and FIFA/CIES manager Roland Chavillon. The latter, by the way, reminded the graduates of the famous aphorism, which is mistakenly attributed to the American football coach Vince Lombardi: ‘The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.’

The programme’s modular system (in which students attend full-time classes for three to four days about once a month) allows students to combine their studies with work. At the end of the programme, students defend group projects before a committee of HSE and CIES faculty and sports industry experts. The creators of the best project (this year’s winners developed a project to promote tourism in the Arctic regions through the popularization of national sports) then represent Russia at the FIFA/CIES international competition in Switzerland.

Peter Belorybkin,
Fitness Industry Manager

I have been working in the fitness industry for more than twenty years, and the last time I graduated from a university – a physical education institute in Malakhovka – was exactly twenty years ago. I felt it was time to refresh my knowledge not only in the field of sports, but also in sports management, which is what especially drew me to this programme. I heard good reviews about it from past graduates and was very happy to come here—I don’t regret my decision for a second. The modular system is especially suitable for those who are already working in the profession and do not have much free time. The group project I participated in is directly related to the area that I work in – the gamification of fitness. We used all the knowledge and skills gained in the programme in order to take a fresh look at the development of fitness. We managed to conduct experiments on the basis of several fitness clubs, and if we continue this work, we will have success.

Dmitry Farkov,
Executive Director of the Judo Federation of St. Petersburg

My rule: you can never have too much education. For me, this is my third degree, and one of my previous degrees was already in management. But this programme, with its economic and legal slant, is exactly what modern sports managers need. I chose this programme for a variety of reasons, but mainly because I was impressed by HSE University – its teaching staff, its approach to people, and its culture.

Alexander Malykh,
Graduate of Lokomotiv Football Academy

My athletic career came to an end and I received a bachelor’s degree, but I always wanted to return to football in a new, managerial capacity. HSE and this programme provided me the foundation to do just that. The academic modules themselves are convenient. During the three or four weeks between them, you can work independently, analyze everything you learned, and select what is most valuable to you. It keeps you on your toes – there is no feeling of routine or ‘same old, same old’. The project that we prepared in the programme is dedicated to the creation of a specialized football complex as part of a public-private partnership. This is not a theoretical concept - we performed the calculations and prepared an economically sound business model.

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