FISU Healthy Campus project to be rolled out in May 2020

18 December 2019

LAUSANNE – As the International University Sports Federation looks ahead to an exciting 2020, one of the biggest projects that will see a rollout is the FISU Healthy Campus project that aims to improve standards of health and fitness on campuses worldwide. The FISU Healthy Campus project will bring global universities onto one platform for information sharing, best practices and guidelines for maintaining a healthy campus.

All through 2019, FISU has been working closely with seven pilot universities to define criteria for the ‘Healthy Campus Label’ and set the standards. The next milestone on this road will be the final definition of the ‘toolkit’ after evaluation and feedback received from the pilot universities.

"Launching a programme of this importance requires a lot of academic study and benchmarking, because it must be technically well structured," says Fernando Parente, Director of FISU Healthy Campus and University Relations. "We have now defined the base criteria, which will serve as the basis for the attribution of the ‘FISU Healthy Campus’ label to universities around the world."

The base criteria have been set with a maximum of 100 points, and universities will be graded on a variety of factors that are included in these criteria. After finalising the standards with the pilot universities, the programme will be ready for a worldwide launch by the end of May 2020. Reaching out to potentially every university around the globe will be no mean task and Parente is aware of the implications.

"The biggest challenge that we will face will reaching the decision makers at each university, which will be imperative to move forward with this project," says Parente. "To prepare for this, we have already identified almost all the stakeholders to direct our marketing and promotional efforts towards."

The response from pilot universities has been very positive so far.

"Working with FISU in the implementation of the Healthy Campus programme is a great opportunity for our university, for Federación del Deporte Universitario Argentino (FeDUA) and for our country," says Emiliano Gordin of the Universidad Nacional de La Matanza, Argentina. La Matanza is one of the seven universities that are partnering FISU in the pilot phase of this project.

Ian Fitzpatrick of University of Western Australia agrees with Gordin. "The University of Western Australia has been really pleased to work alongside FISU on this pilot project," he says. "It has stimulated many positive interactions on campus between colleagues and opened up communication and awareness between all the areas of the University that have a role to play in providing a healthy campus."

"The pilot universities are actively participating in the process," says Fernando Parente. "All of them have set up expert groups to qualify the standardization process. The proposed criteria to obtain the ‘FISU Healthy Campus Label’ was in fact revised after feedback from all seven."

The other pilot universities are University of Johannesburg in South Africa, Universtiy of Turin in Italy, the Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (RUDN) in Moscow, Peking University of China and the University of Lausanne, Switzerland on whose campus the FISU Headquarters are based. All have been instrumental in creating the Healthy Campus ‘toolkit’ which will be shared with universities around the world in a few months.

"The toolkit will be based on the criteria and will provide actionable steps towards improving healthy lifestyles among the academic community," explains Parente. "It will also offer suggestions as to how to organise themselves better to achieve good results. This will all be supported by the FISU Healthy Campus digital platform, that each University will be able to integrate into and disseminate knowledge onto."

The immediate next step will be in January 2020 when FISU will send the proposal of the ‘FISU Healthy Campus Standard’ to 30 world recognised experts in the domains of certification, quality systems management, sport and physical activity, nutrition, disease prevention, mental and social health, risk behaviour, environment, sustainability and social responsibility. The document will then be evaluated by the experts and their feedback will be incorporated to prepare the official launch of the project in May 2020.

The International University Sports Federation – FISU

Founded in 1949, FISU stands for Fédération Internationale du Sport Universitaire (International University Sports Federation). FISU was formed within university institutions in order to promote sports values and sports practice in harmony with the university spirit. Promoting sports values means encouraging friendship, fraternity, fair-play, perseverance, integrity and cooperation amongst students, who one day may have responsibilities and key positions in politics, economy, culture and industry.

With FISU’s motto being ‘Today’s Stars, Tomorrow’s Leaders’, all FISU events include educational and cultural aspects, bringing together sport and academia from all over the world to celebrate with a spirit of friendship and sportsmanship. FISU cooperates in developing its events and programmes with all major international sports and educational organisations. As major outcomes of those collaborations, in 2015, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) proclaimed the International Day of University Sport to be celebrated annually on 20 September – an event that has seen huge growth in its first few years.

FISU is composed of 174 Member Associations (National University Sports Federations). The FISU General Assembly elects the members of the FISU Executive Committee, its board of directors. A total of 14 permanent committees advise the Executive Committee in their specialised areas. For the daily administration of FISU, the FISU Executive Committee relies on the Secretary General, who is assisted by the FISU staff. FISU’s headquarters are in Lausanne, Switzerland.

For more information please contact FISU Media at media@fisu.net or Media & Communication Manager Tina Sharma at t.sharma@fisu.net

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