dutch studentsA group of students and faculty members from Hogeschool Rotterdam pose for a photo at Comerica Park before heading in for a Tigers game against the Houston Astros.

Dutch students visit one of the world's top-ranked sport management programs

After having spent a couple of days in Windsor, it didn’t come as any surprise to Maarten Uwland to learn that the University’s Masters of Human Kinetics program in sport management is ranked among the best in the world.

“When you look around at the legacy in this building, you can see that the University of Windsor has been earning its stripes for a long time,” said Uwland, a professor in sport marketing and management at Hogeschool Rotterdam, a university of applied sciences located in the Netherlands. “You have more than 30 years of excellence in this field.”

Uwland was leading a group of 20 third-year Dutch sport management students and three faculty members who came to Windsor last week for a two-day fact-finding mission to better understand how the sport management stream of the kinesiology department here operates.

As it happens, their trip coincided with the release of SportBusiness International magazine’s 2014 Postgraduate Sports Course Guide. For the third year in a row, the University’s masters in sport management program cracked the list of top 25 finalists for best programs in the world, making it the only Canadian university to appear on the list. The final rankings will be announced in June.

jess dixon
           Jess Dixon          

Jess Dixon, a professor in the program, couldn’t emphasize enough the importance of those rankings.

“More than half of the students applying here are citing those rankings as something that has attracted them to our program,” he said. “It’s increased our reputation internationally and validates a lot of the things we’re doing internally. It reinforces what we’re trying to do, and it helps grow our brand.”

Dixon said Uwland learned about UWindsor as a past student of former human kinetics dean Bob Boucher, who has travelled to the Netherlands more than 30 times to teach short-term courses. Those trips, and similar ones made by other faculty members to various countries around the world, help improve the school’s international profile, he added.

Uwland said that after a series of lectures and a tour around the area, he could see how well integrated the program and the faculty is in to the community.

“We also learned that community-based sport marketing is really well-integrated in to the program,” he said. “You’re doing a lot of stuff here that is for the betterment of the whole region. We have to catch up with that in Europe.”

Besides attending lectures by various HK faculty members, the students toured the St. Denis Centre facilities, made a visit to the WFCU Centre, and even went to a Detroit Tigers game on Monday night. Despite a lack of offense in the Tigers 2-0 win over the Houston Astros, the group still had a great time.

“We saw a lot of things we don’t have in Holland,” said student Marco Van Reenen. “We have never been to a baseball game before, so it was a new experience. We really liked it.”

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