How to Engage Sport Students in Higher Education in Global Issues and New Ideas in Sport Management

Ruth Crabtree, Herbert Woratschek*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Background:                                                                                        Researchers (Stensaker et al, 2014) have suggested that Higher Education (HE) provision has changed dramatically over the past few decades, which has had a profound effect upon service delivery. The rise in student numbers and fees, increased mobility of international students and new degree structures have all added to the debate, which researchers suggest have led to many tensions within HE systems. The concept of student engagement is at the forefront of many HE institutes, a recent survey undertaken by the HEA (2016) suggests that student engagement is at the heart of teaching and learning and that an engaged student results in positive outcomes and enhanced skills development. However, researchers have suggested that the relatively new concept of customer engagement is under-researched when it comes to evaluating student engagement within HE (Kahu, 2013). Using the Sport Value Framework (Woratschek, Horbel & Popp, 2014) and the Higher Educational Value Framework (Wawrzinek, Ellert & Germelmann, 2017) as a theoretical base, this study aims to investigate how universities facilitate engagement of sport students and the impact of such activities. It also analyses what barriers there are to sport student engagement initiatives.                                                                                        Method:                                                                                                          Data was collected via semi-structured interviews over a two-month period. The sample includedstakeholders who worked within a HE setting for at least 12 months and who had a working knowledge ofthe student journey. 15 interviews were undertaken and included employees from various departments(including: executive office; department of sport; university sport, international office, marketing, studentsupport, careers, alumni, library services and the student union).                                                                                                      Results:                                                                                                         Initial results suggest that student engagement is seen as a very important aspect of HE. Various activities are initiated throughout the lifetime of the student journey (including before, during and after the duration of the sport programme studied). There were many perceived benefits of an engaged student including enhanced learning and skill development. Barriers to student engagement included resourcing and operational issues.                   Conclusion:                                                                                                     The study confirms that student engagement is an important aspect of HE provision and a coordinated approach to the lifespan of a student is considered an important strategic tool to effective HE management.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGlobal issues and new ideas in sport management: book of abstracts
Subtitle of host publication2nd world association for sport management world conference
EditorsIrena Valentine, Brenda Pitts, James Zhang
Place of PublicationKaunas
PublisherLithuanian Sports University
Number of pages1
ISBN (Print)9786098200089
Publication statusPublished - 12 Nov 2017
Externally publishedYes
EventWASM 2017: Global issues and new ideas in sport management: 2nd world association for sport management world conference - Lithuanian Sports University, Kaunas, Lithuania
Duration: 20 Jun 201723 Jun 2017


ConferenceWASM 2017: Global issues and new ideas in sport management
Internet address


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