– The conditions for combining elite sports with studies at Scandinavia's northernmost technical university are already good. It's great that we, together with the Swedish Sports Confederation, now further develop the possibilities to invest in academic studies in parallel with sports at the highest level. We have fantastic conditions for winter sports and also have several of Sweden's best teams in ice hockey, football, basketball and handball in our region, says Vice-Chancellor Birgitta Bergvall-Kåreborn.
It is from mid-year 2020 Luleå University of Technology will become one of Sweden's 13 elite sport-friendly universities. Being an elite sport-friendly educational institution means that students who are top-level athletes get access to qualified study counseling and to an adaptation of their studies.
Applying on the same terms
Students who may be in question must, at a high level, practice a sport that is part of one of the Swedish Sports Confederation's 72 special sports federations. Application and admission to the education are made on the same terms as for all other prospective students.
– Being able to give more opportunities to combine elite sports with academic studies should give more Swedish medals and elite athletes who succeed even after their sports careers, says Peter Mattsson, head of sports development at the Swedish Sports Confederation.
Special focus on ski sports
Thanks to the good conditions for winter sports and proximity to excellent facilities in the region, Luleå University of Technology is also planning for a special elite environment for cross-country skiing, biathlon and ski orienteering.
– I see great advantages in cooperation between sports. Cross-country skiers, biathletes and ski orienteeres, for example, can benefit from their different experiences and together develop in a stimulating environment. Having something besides sports – studies and a social context – is hugely important for developing both as a person and as an athlete, says Lena Turesson, one of the University's elite sports coordinators who has a background as an elite orienteer and ski orienteer, with two individual World Cup goldmedals in ski orienteering.