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The University celebrated a unique 10-year academic partnership with the Centre International d’Etude du Sport (CIES) and FIFA in September, attended by the network’s alumni from throughout Africa.

Apart from a gala dinner, a conference for the alumni and class of 2017 to increase the understanding and knowledge of those who have completed the sport management course was also held.

Close to 200 students have graduated from the South African network since 2007, many of whom have gone on to hold top sports administrative jobs around the globe. Nelson Mandela University is one of only three delivery points in Africa, the others being Senegal and Egypt.

“This is an internationally recognised programme, unlike any other, which is unbeaten in terms of what it offers,” says local co-ordinator of the year-long programme Vernon Oosthuizen.

It was the need to train highly qualified sport managers in the run-up to the Fifa 2010 World Cup in line with the “Win in Africa – with Africa” that saw the establishment of the partnership with Nelson Mandela University.

The first edition of the short-learning programme has 19 students. This year’s class has 29 students who come from eight African countries, including South Africa.

The diverse profile and calibre of students, along with the quality of the content and expertise of the module facilitators, have all been cited as reasons for the success of the programme.

The South African partnership has also produced a number annual international project winners, and seen its own graduates complete the Fifa Masters qualification in Switzerland.