A 10-year global strategy has received the approval of International University Sports Federation (FISU) members at the organisation’s 35th General Assembly here.
The strategy was outlined by FISU President Oleg Matytsin, with the vision having been developed since March 2016.
A total of 100 people from 50 countries were invited to influence the plans, including FISU Executive Committee members, representatives from each of the five continental federations and national organisations.
The strategy focuses on eight key areas, which include delivering major sporting events, spreading education through sport, enhancing culture, building dual career programmes and developing FISU’s global network.
Promoting sport through direct relationships with universities, further improving financial and human resources, and cooperating with international organisations have also been highlighted as aims.
As part of the strategy, FISU hope to achieve an increase in intra-university competitions and strengthen educational events.
An enhanced relationship with the International Olympic Committee, the Association of National Olympic Committees and UNESCO.
“Our strategy is a comprehensive action plan that will bring great value to both continental and national federations, and can provide as a common focus for better communication between the national university sports associations and FISU,” said Oleg Matytsin, FISU President.
“There are tens of thousands of participants at our events, but there are 150 million or more students around the world and many of them practice sports themselves.
“I believe that our structure should reach out to them all.”
Having been passed by the General Assembly, FISU are seeking to adopt the strategy by March 2018, when the organisation expects to move into their new headquarters in Lausanne.
The progress of the strategy will then be assessed on an annual basis, with the first update scheduled to take place in August next year.
A competition sustainability study is set to be commissioned to study the long-term viability of international sport events for implementation over the 2020 to 2027 period.
As part of their restructuring of sport events, FISU will seek to place a focus on University World Cups in alternating years, between Universiades.
The World University Championships programme will be reduced as a consequence, with focus shifting towards continental and regional events.
The regionalised events will act as qualifiers for the University World Cups, which will take place in a variety of FISU recognised sports.
It is hoped a six-year planning cycle will be established for Universiades to improve efficiency, while an aim of a three-year framework to be put in place for Championships and World Cups.
FISU have expressed their aim that over the next four editions of the Universiade, the multi-sport event would grow in prestige and become considered a “not to be missed” experience among policy makes and sports audiences.
The dual career building aim, outlined by FISU, is expected to see the organisation’s members conduct Universiade athletes campaigns.
The campaigns would promote sport and careers, with the hope to use sport and education to develop future leaders.
Organising Committees will also be expected to raise communication and activities between athletes to increase the dialogue between different cultures.
This will involve a social network being introduced at events, which will also allow for athletes to remain in touch with their peers post-competitions.
FISU secretary general Eric Saintrond also praised National Federations for their support of initiatives such as the “International Day of University Sport” in his report.
He also called for more women to be appointed and elected to leadership positions throughout the organisation.