Nineteen students started the fourth edition of the FIFA/CIES Programme on 27 September at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth.

During the opening ceremony, Professor Rosa Du Randt, the Director of the FIFA/CIES Programme, emphasized that the Programme should perpetuate the heritage of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in Africa. She also said that the Programme not only makes it possible to improve sports management at national level, but also offers international prospects. The best example is Salomon Mudege who, after completing the first edition of the Programme at NMMU, successfully participated in the 2009/2010 edition of the FIFA Master’s Degree and is currently on a training course with FIFA in Zurich.

Several new students explained their reasons for taking part in the Programme. Criteria and aspirations are very diverse. Antoniu Geormaneau, a Romanian citizen living in Vienna, appreciates the organisation of courses over four intensive one-week periods, as he feels this is the only way for foreign students to complete the curriculum. Moreover, he also sees the Programme as an opportunity to acquire basic knowledge in sports management, with a view to subsequent registration for the FIFA Master’s Degree. As for Faik Houlie, who hails from the Port Elizabeth area, he considers that the FIFA/CIES Programme, organised in cooperation with NMMU, benefits from an excellent reputation at national level, which adds to its credibility. The Programme also appealed to him because of its international dimension and the fact that it is open to all sports.

This year, for the first time, NMMU will take part in the Best Group Work Prize, which allows students from all the universities in the FIFA/CIES International University Network to compare the quality of their research on a subject relevant to national sport.