The Stuttgart University of Applied Sciences (HFT Stuttgart) is a partner university of top-class sports. A corresponding cooperation agreement was signed by the university and the Stuttgart Olympic Training Center, as well as the Stuttgart Student Union and the German University Sports Association on May 24, 2022.
Nine competitive athletes are currently studying at the HFT Stuttgart in Bachelor's degree programs, four of them belong to the national squad, one student belongs to the 1st National League South. For all of them, it is a great challenge to reconcile their top sporting careers with their studies. With this agreement, the Stuttgart University of Applied Sciences commits itself to fulfilling its responsibility towards its top athletes and to supporting them with concrete measures so that their studies do not suffer under the double burden and can be successfully completed.
Individual support for students of competitive sports Applicants who actively participate in top-class sports and are bound to Stuttgart as a place of study are admitted to the HFT Stuttgart by means of a preliminary quota. This includes applicants who belong to an Olympic, perspective, supplementary or team sports squad or junior squad 1 of the German Olympic Sports Confederation formed at the federal level. This selection procedure is regulated by the university admission and selection procedure of the HFT Stuttgart. In addition, the top athletes are supported with various measures. For example, they receive individual support from the university's Central Student Advisory Service at all times. If it is not possible for them to participate in deadlines and exams due to competition, individual solutions are sought. For example, exam periods and study durations can be modified and internships can be adjusted accordingly. Additional sports-related semesters of leave can be granted for the preparation and execution of competitions.
Of course, the university accommodates the student athletes, especially with regard to attendance times. This also includes the offer to make up teaching material due to absences. Students also receive support from the university when it comes to the recognition of academic achievements, for example when they change their place of study.
"Many of the top athletes at the Stuttgart Olympic Training Center are students. They have to cope permanently and in parallel with high and highest demands in sports and studies", Herbert Wursthorn, career advisor of the Olympic Base Stuttgart, describes the situation of the students. "The HFT Stuttgart accompanies them on this path and thus creates the necessary freedom for top performance in sports and in education."
The university attaches great importance to the dialogue between students and teachers. This is the only way that the cooperation now agreed upon can succeed.
Top student athletes can sign a declaration of membership following the cooperation agreement in order to receive the benefits of support from the university. In return, they undertake to take on representative tasks for their university and, after completing their studies, to advise active top athletes on how studying and top sport can successfully go hand in hand.
"As a 'partner university of top-class sport', the Stuttgart University of Applied Sciences is committed to offering its top athletes optimal conditions for combining a sporting career and academic training," promises Prof. Dr. Katja Rade, rector of the Stuttgart University of Applied Sciences. "We are already cheering on every sporting event and are delighted when our students represent HFT Stuttgart as ambassadors."
"Studying and competitive sports are not easy to combine, but the HFT Stuttgart and my professors support me even when I am on the other side of the world. For the future, I hope that other athletes will take the step to come here and benefit from the cooperation based on partnership."
Paula Schürholz, sport: beach volleyball (national squad) Bachelor's degree program in business psychology Sporting successes: U20 German champion, 9th place U21 World Championship in Thailand
"At the HFT-Stuttgart, great value is placed on personal contact between professors and students. This has helped me a lot during my studies for the pursuit of athletics. Sports take up a lot of time in the field of competitive athletics. I hope this partnership will help me balance my sport even better with my studies."
Melanie Böhm, athletics/400 m hurdles (national squad) Bachelor's degree program in business informatics Sporting successes: 1st place German U23 Championships 2021, participation in U23 European Championships in Tallinn 2021.
"The HFT Stuttgart allows me to determine the amount of learning for the upcoming semester myself before each semester. This is important because I miss a lot of lecture material due to training and traveling to competitions around the world, which would be impossible to catch up on if I were studying full-time. With the support of HFT Stuttgart, I hope to successfully complete my studies and start my professional life well prepared after my sports career."
Marco Jäckel, sport BMX Racing Bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering Sporting successes: 1st place at the 3 Nations Cup in Ahnatal/Germany, 7th place at the UEC BMX European Cup Round 6 in Ravels/Belgium, 67th place in the official UCI world rankings (as of 12.5.2022).
"The HFT Stuttgart just now gave me three weeks off in April and May for the training camp in the USA. I would wish for more understanding of our special situation from the HFT Stuttgart as a partner university of top-class sports as well as support from the lecturers, for example with individual approaches to solutions, in order to be able to combine competitive sports and studies."
Kathleen Reinhardt, athletics/100m run Bachelor's degree program in interior design Sporting successes: bronze medal in the 4x100m relay at the U20 European Championships in Boras, German championship title with the 4x100m club relay and Baden-Württemberg championship title in the 100m in 2019.
"By extending my basic studies, HFT Stuttgart has made it possible for me to continue to focus on competitive sports and give one hundred percent without having to neglect my studies." Alexander Czysch, athletics/200 m run Bachelor's degree program in building physics Sporting successes: 2019 European Championship U20 semi-final over 200m, 3rd place German Championship Active over 4x100m.
"Due to the good supervision ratio of teachers to students, it is possible at HFT Stuttgart to address individual needs of students in elite sports. At the beginning of my studies I was competently advised and supported in planning my studies with regard to intensive training. The university awards scholarships for students with special talents, which includes sports. I would like to see an even more individualized course of study planning with flexible deadlines, which would be even more responsive to the training and competition realities of elite sports."
Lillie Schupp, gymnastics/rhythmic gymnastics (national squad) Bachelor of Business Psychology Sports achievements: five-time German champion in rhythmic gymnastics (group), member of the national team for rhythmic gymnastics and in the perspective squad for the Olympics. Fourth place at the World Cup in Baku/Azerbaijan 2022
Alexander Czysch | Kathleen Reinhardt | Lillie Schupp | Marco Jäckel | Melanie Böhm | Paula Schürholz (l.t.r.).