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Groningen: elite sports student city!

Would you like to know what it's like to combine top-level sports with a study at the RUG, just like Caroline Groot? As a university we offer space for your personal ambitions and qualities!

Caroline Groot
Watch the video about Groningen elite sports study city: Caroline Groot

Our university offers exceptional talents, such as elite athletes, the extra boost they need. Thanks to our Elite Sports Student Programme you can make the most of both your athletic and professional careers. Find out why our programme for professional athletes is unique to the Netherlands.

What is the Elite Sports Student Programme?

The University of Groningen Elite Sports Student Programme (Studenten Topsportregeling Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, STOR) is designed to help you combine two successful careers. A personal academic career counsellor will help you adjust your learning pace, timetable and examination schedule to your training sessions and competitions where possible. You will also make arrangements on the number of required credits.

Possibility of exemption binding study advice (BSA)

While elite sports students are required to complete the full curriculum, you may be exempted from the binding study advice (BSA) under certain conditions.

Elite Sports Student Grant

  • Students with an elite sports student status are also eligible for financial compensation: the elite sports student grant, a joint scheme offered by Hanze UAS and the University of Groningen.
  • This financial contribution amounts to € 2,000 per academic year, and the maximum number of times this grant is awarded per student is equal to the number of nominal academic years.

Students' experiences

Many top athletes are studying at the UG. How do they combine their studies with their sport? What are their experiences and what special achievements have they made? Read this and more top sports stories on the top sports blog.

Do I qualify?

Want to find out whether you qualify for the elite sports student programme and/or the grant? Find the University of Groningen and Hanze UAS Qualification List below. The list provides an overview of the requirements for each individual sport. However, our elite sports student programme coordinator may apply these criteria more leniently in practice.

Chosen a degree programme? Time to check whether your athletic programme and academic schedule match up. To start exploring the possibilities (and impossibilities), you can make an appointment with our elite sports student programme coordinator Cees Reitsma at Cees can tell you everything there is to know about our programme, the elite sports student grant and facilities for athletes. Once you have chosen a degree programme at the University of Groningen, you will be subject to the same enrolment requirements as our regular students.

Free ACLO card and gym membership

The ACLO is the overarching sports association for Hanze UAS and University of Groningen students.

  • Students with an elite sports student status can apply for a free ACLO card and gym membership.
  • You will receive support with a weight training programme.
  • You can take specialised courses in the area of sports psychology, taping and bandaging.

Extra facilities and activities for athletes

Our athletes can make use of high-end facilities such as test and strength measurements, movement analysis, performance diagnosis and team sport game plan analysis at the SportsFieldLab.

The UG also organises regular activities for our athletes. Our knowledge sessions offer an opportunity to meet other athletes, exchange experiences and learn all about relevant issues such as interacting with the press and promoting yourself on social media.

Athletes can also team up with other athletes to share your unique stories during a college tour, or hold sports clinics for staff and students.


Olympic wall

Students and employees who combine their studies or employment with participation in the Olympic Games will be given a place of honour on the Zernike Campus. The Olympic wall was introduced in the sports centre of the University of Groningen and the Hanze University in 2012.


We work with coaches, trainers, sports associations and various other partners, including Topsport NOORD, NOC*NSF, Hanze UAS and the Research Group Applied Sports Science.

Ask our elite sports students

Do you want to know what it is like to combine elite sports with a study at the University of Groningen? Ask our elite sports students! They answer all your questions and share their personal experiences. Send an email with your questions, the sport you practice and possibly the study you have chosen to Cees Reitsma, university advisor elite sports. We then match you to an elite sports student, preferably a student who does your specified study and/or practices the same sport.

Last modified:21 May 2024 2.23 p.m.
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