A business education for elite athletes

elite athletes ESSEC business school

Many business students excel thanks to the qualities that their involvement in sport has given them, such as commitment and a competitive spirit, and institutions recognise the importance of educating sportspeople with the knowledge and abilities to succeed outside of sporting careers, too.

Now, ESSEC Business School has launched a new multidisciplinary Bachelor’s degree for elite athletes, in partnership with CentraleSupelec and Sciences Po. The Multidisciplinary Bachelor’s for Elite Athletes will welcome its first students in September 2024, as part of the new INSEP Excellence Campus.

This programme was announced by the President of France, Emmanuel Macron, during his speech on the Olympics and Paralympics at the National Institute of Sport, Expertise, and Performance (Institut National du Sport, de l’Expertise et de la Performance, or INSEP). It provides elite athletes with the opportunity to balance high-performance sport and higher education.

The launch of this Bachelor’s degree is aligned with the work two French ministries have been conducting for several months to allow elite athletes to reconcile academic and sporting excellence.

The curriculum brings together the professors and expertise of three renowned French higher education institutions: ESSEC Business School, CentraleSupelec and Sciences Po. The programme also draws on INSEP when it comes to supporting and preparing elite athletes.

Elite athletes’ flexible academic journey

This programme is aimed at elite athletes who have a French baccalaureate or a foreign secondary school diploma recognised by the French Ministry of National Education and who would like to continue their sport while gaining the skills and training to prepare for their future – at their own pace. The programme can be completed in three, four, five or six years, depending on the rhythm selected by each student-athlete.

Students will learn how to handle key technological, societal, environmental and economic issues facing organisations, thanks to the academic experience of each institution in management, engineering, and social sciences.

Thanks to the multidisciplinary nature of the programme, graduates will be able to pursue Master’s degrees to specialise further or join the workforce in various types of organisations as project managers, able to manage societal and digital challenges.

To best suit the needs of elite athletes, students will be able to organise their classes to be up to 80% online and up to 35% in person. To optimise student success, asynchronous online classes will be accompanied by four levels of pedagogical support: webinars with professors, pedagogical forums with dedicated educational coaches, individual sessions with tutors, and cohort follow-up by the community manager.

Vincenzo Vinzi, Dean and President of ESSEC Business School, commented:

“This programme is a major step forward for talented and passionate young athletes. True to our pioneering spirit and history of excellence, ESSEC is happy to join forces with leading partners to offer elite athletes the chance to “reconcile the irreconcilable” and achieve both athletic and academic success, thanks to this multidisciplinary programme designed to suit their needs”.

For additional insights, announcements and perspectives about other Programmes in Business Education, visit the conversation here.