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University Network

Supporting Australia ’s elite athletes to achieve academic excellence.

The Elite Athlete Friendly University (EAFU) Network has been established to identify and promote universities who have responded to the specific needs of elite student athletes by developing new, or promoting existing policies and practices which assist elite student athletes to undertake sporting opportunities whilst pursuing and achieving academic excellence.


AIS Personal Excellence (formerly known as the National Athlete Career and Education —(NACE) program of the Australian Sports Commission, in conjunction with University of Queensland and Griffith University, completed a review in 2003 of the higher education sector and the issues associated with elite athletes completing post-secondary studies.
Many recommendations emanated from this report, with several focussing on the support that could be provided to athletes from the university sector.

The AIS delivered a presentation to the National Conference for Australian Vice Chancellors Committee — Deputy and Pro Vice Chancellors (Academic), in May 2004. The presentation outlined a possible model for universities to implement which addressed the support requirements of elite athletes to assist them complete their post secondary education.
Individual meetings were undertaken with representatives from universities to discuss the Elite Athlete Friendly University (EAFU) project and outline the requirements for endorsement to the network.

A Guiding Principles document was developed and forwarded to 38 universities, to assist them develop a submission for endorsement to the EAFU network. The guiding principles contain information and requirements pertaining to:

  • Athlete support via a nominated university staff contact
  • Flexible study options
    • Assessment related needs
    • Enrolment related needs
    • Course related needs
  • Course entry
  • Defining Elite Athletes
  • AIS support.

Note: It is recognised that academic standards must and will be rigorously applied.

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