Combine elite sport and study

Elite sport and study - at HFU you can do both! (I14968)


Furtwangen University has a strong connection to sport, particularly high-performance sport. Thanks to its unique location in the middle of the Black Forest, many different types of outdoor sports, such as cross-country skiing, biathlon, ski jumping and mountain biking can be carried out literally "on our doorstep". The proximity to Freiburg and the Freiburg-Schwarzwald Olympic Support Centre offers optimal conditions to combine study and elite sport in a Dual career.

The Furtwangen model - flexible study conditions for high-performance athletes

Furtwangen University makes it possible to combine high-performance sport with studying for a university degree. Flexible conditions are set down in our Study and Examinations Regulations.

Here are some of our students and graduates who have been very successful in their chosen sports:

  • Dr. Georg Hettich, ​2006 Olympic Champion, Nordic Combination
  • Christoph Burkhard, 2004 Paralympics Champion, Swimming
  • Benedikt Doll, two-time Olympic Bronze Medal Winner in 2018 and 2017 World Biathlon Champion
  • Markus Bauer, 2018 German Mountain Bike Marathon Champion
  • Janina Lehmann, made the top 15 at the 2018 Motocross World Championship
  • Jan Rotter, 2016/17 German Team Wrestling Champion
  • Christiane Knittel, 2011 German Wrestling Champion



"HFU gave me the best possible support and provided the perfect environment for me to combine my sport career with my degree in Business Administration and Engineering. Because I was given so much flexibility, I was able to complete assignments and exams just like the other students."
Benedikt Doll - two-time bronze medal winner at the 2018 olympic games and 2017 World Biathlon Champion. Graduate of Business Administration and Engineering - Marketing and Sales bachelor's programme. Photo: NordicFocus

The Furtwangen model

Furtwangen Model – Dual career - university degree and high-performance sport

High-performance sport is enormously time-consuming and is usually carried out at a point in life when under normal circumstances the athlete would be preparing for a successful career in his or her working life. In the past, top athletes sooner or later had to decide – success in sport or a successful working career?

Furtwangen University recognised this dilemma early on and offers top athletes the opportunity to combine a sporting career with a university degree in a dual career programme.

Although this may not sound very unusual, for a long time the combination was not possible in this form. To improve the opportunity of a dual career at Furtwangen University still further, in the summer semester of 2012 a project group headed by Professor Robert Schäflein-Armbruster was formed. One of the aims of the project work entitled "High-performance sport at HFU" carried out by the two professional mountain bikers, Felix Euteneuer and Markus Bauer, was to develop a "Furtwangen model" which offered the best possible conditions for a dual career. Among other initiatives, this project developed the special regulations for HFU high-performance athletes.

Special conditions for HFU high-performance athletes

High-performance athletes of suitable ability will be added to an HFU elite sports list by the Elite Sports Officer of the University Board of Executives, Prof. Robert Schäflein-Armbruster. This place on the list guarantees the studying athlete special, more flexible study conditions.
Special regulations for HFU high-performance athletes as download




Cooperation agreement with Freiburg-Schwarzwald Olympic Support Centre

A cooperation agreement was signed between the Freiburg-Schwarzwald Olympic Support CentreStudent Services Freiburg and Furtwangen University in 2006. The special regulations for high-performance athletes have been laid down since 2013 in the General Section of the Study and Examination Regulations for all bachelor's and master's study programmes at Furtwangen University.

The aim is to create framework conditions for elite athletes studying at Furtwangen University, which make it possible for them to combine studying for a degree and high performance sport in the sense of a dual career in an optimal way.

Cooperation agreement as download

Careers advice at the Freiburg-Schwarzwald Olympic Support Centre

Careers advice at the Freiburg-Schwarzwald Olympic Support Centre

Jürgen Willrett
Schwarzwaldstraße 177
79117 Freiburg
Tel. 0761 50367911
Fax: 0761 50367990
Email: Email application is started:juergen.willrett(at)

ADH Elite sport partner university

I'm happy to advise you on combining elite sport with study at HFU!

Your key contact

  •  Thorsten Schelling
    Thorsten Schelling Secretary to the Executive Board