Combining a study programme with practicing sports at top-level may prove to be challenging at times. With an elite sports status, you are eligible for assistance to help you stay on track in both areas. This way, you have the opportunity to further your career in sports while keeping up with your studies.

Our elite sports policy

Together with other Dutch Institutions for Higher Education and NOC*NSF (national sports organisation), the HU has signed the FLOT-Action Plan, which stands for Flexible Education and Elite Sport (Flexibel Onderwijs en Topsport in Dutch). With an elite sports status at the HU, we’ll accommodate you as a top athlete as much as we can. Keep in mind that the HU is not a top sports school that offers full customisation of your study programme. However, with the different options at our disposal we’ll make a plan with you that best suit your needs.

Elite sports status

You can acquire elite sports status when you practice sports at the highest level. This means you:

  • have an elite sports status at NOC*NSF
  • partake in high-level sporting events, such as European and World Championships and the Olympic Games
  • play in a national youth team
  • are on a team that plays matches at the highest level nationally and is active across borders
  • are regarded as an up-and-coming talent

Athletes of sports that are not recognised by NOC*NSF do not qualify for a top sport status, unfortunately. We use the criteria of NOC*NSF to decide whether you will be granted Elite Sports Status at the HU. This status is not a fixed fact: every academic year, your status is reassessed in consultation with the top sports coordinator.

What can you expect from us?

The top sports coordinator guides you with your planning and advices you and/or your study career coach.

We try to prevent any study delays by offering you options for flexible education. You can request such an arrangement in consultation with the top sports coordinator and/or student counsellor.

A few examples of the possibilities are:

  • participating in other classes to fit your schedule
  • replanning exams
  • substituting practical assignments
  • adjusting attendance requirement
  • adjusting internship period
  • suspending study advice

Every academic year we have a limited budget available to financially support our athletes with elite sports status. If you need financial assistance, contact the top sports coordinator.

How to apply as a top athlete

  • Firstly, apply for a study programme in Studielink.
    Keep in mind any selection procedures and application deadlines.
  • Fill in the questionnaire and, subsequently, send an email to with proof to support your application for elite sports status.
  • After you’ve done the above, request an intake interview with the top sport coordinator.
  • When your elite sports status is granted, the top sport coordinator will inform the student counsellor.

Want to know more about the elite sports status?

We have collected the most frequently asked questions about the elite sports status and what to expect.

Need some personal advice?

Are there still unanswered questions or do you need some advice about your personal situation? Don't hesitate to contact our top sports coordinators Lenneke de Jeu-Stel en Brigitte van Barneveld. They will gladly help you on your way.

Send an email