Tutorsport – Universitat Autonoma (Autonomous University of Barcelona)

19 November 2018
Tutorsport – Universitat Autonoma (Autonomous University of Barcelona)

Tutorsport – Universitat Autonoma (Autonomous University of Barcelona) – combining elite sport and education/ Spain

Source  :  Athletes careers across cultures, edited by N.R. Stambulova and T.V.Ryba, London, Roultedge, ISBN 978-1-84872-167-8


The first career assistance program in Spain – Tutoresport – was founded in 1997 at Barcelona's Universitat Autònoma and aimed at helping to combine elite sport with university education. Tutoresport offers personalized academic tutoring to elite athletes included in government lists based on their sport achievements. More than 135 athletes have benefitted from this program to date. Mateos, Torregrosa and Cruz (2010) evaluated the level of satisfaction with the program, the athletic identity of the participants and the participants' career-related difficulties. The evaluation of the program was positive as satisfaction levels were high and the levels of general career decision-making difficulties, measured with Gati et al. (2000) instrument, tended to decrease in relation to the amount of time spent in the program.


Source: Evaluation of Career Assistance Programme for elite athletes: Satisfaction levels and exploration of career decision making and athletic- identity (Mateos, M & Torregrossa, Miquel & Cruz, Jaume. (2010). Evaluation of a career assistance programme for elite athletes: Satisfaction levels and exploration of career decision making and athletic-identity. Kinesiologia Slovenica. 16. 30-43.)

Athlete life-skill, and career and education programmes are becoming widespread, offering a wide range of services that provide athletes with the necessary tools to make a satisfactory transi- tion out of their sporting career (Anderson & Morris, 2000). Tutorsport (TS) is a career assistance programme that aims to support elite athletes while they are studying for an undergraduate degree. This programme, created in 1996, was developed by the Sport and Physical Activity Service of the Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain; it was the first of its kind in the country. So far, over one hundred students have benefited from the programme and successfully completed their undergraduate degrees. Participation in the programme involves the allocation of a personal tutor to each athlete enrolled. The tutors, who are also lecturers at the university, offer initial guidance in the selection and number of subjects to ensure that studying is compatible with training regimes and competitions; they and also provide support through regular tutorials during the academic year. Tutors act as mediators between lecturers and athletes, informing the athlete about any relevant information such as deadlines or exam dates, and they may distribute any academic material from sessions that the athlete may have missed due to the demands of competition and training. The tutor assesses the degree of participation and interest in the programme and reports accordingly to the Sports and Physical Activity Service, recommending whether or not the athlete should remain in the programme. Additionally, it is a requirement for participants to pass a number of credits in order to stay in the programme.

One of the areas that TS addresses indirectly is the process of career exploration and career decision-making. Even though the programme is not designed to tackle retirement issues di- rectly, evidence shows that pre-retirement planning during the competitive career in the form of varied activities, such as continuing education, occupational endeavours and activities related to athletes’ social network leads to a less problematic process of adaptation after retirement (Cecić Erpič, Wylleman, & Zupančič, 2004). Thus it can be stated that as the programme supports elite athletes during tertiary education, it might play a role in career exploration and adaptive retirement to post-sporting life. Nevertheless, the extent to which athletes engage in the process of career exploration and career decision making is limited (Martens & Lee, 1998). Gati, Krausz and Osipow (1996) developed a theoretical career decision-making model based on a taxonomy of those difficulties associated with career decision making as well as devising the correspond- ing scale called the Career Decision-making Difficulties Questionnaire (CDDQ).


Qustionnaire on DCA / Smart sport/ Spain/2018

In the Autonomous University of Barcelona- Tutorsport program the senior students mentor the junior student with the guidelines of DC experts.


Source : University of Barcelona website https://www.ub.edu/web/ub/en/estudis/estudiar_UB/vida_UB/esports/esports.html


The UB aims to promote regular sports activities to improve physical and mental health and to contribute to a rounded education.

UB Sports offers a wide range of sports classes and provides the university community with facilities including a swimming pool, tennis courts, rooms for sports classes and fitness, football and rugby pitches, a sports centre and an athletics track, among others.

In addition, UB Sports promotes competitive sport, which serves as a point of connection between students from different UB schools and faculties and other universities. The UB's teams have been ranked among the best in Spain for university sports and in the Championship of Catalonia.

UB Sports is one of the sports complexes that has the largest infrastructure in Barcelona. It has around 100,000 mof sports facilities and is the centre of leisure, sports and health activities for members of the UB university community.

Further details can be found on the UB Sports website.


Source: University of Barcelona website:



The University of Barcelona undertakes a series of activities aimed at preparing its students and graduates for a smooth transition between the university and the labour market.

This is the mission of the Feina UB program, which works in two main areas: vocational integration and careers guidance. To carry out these tasks, the UB has a team of careers guidance counsellors and provides opportunities for work placements and a job bank.

Work placements are the first contact that many students have with the world of work. They may be recognized and evaluated within the syllabus.

A strictly academic, rather than an employment, relationship is formed between the student and the company. There are two types of placements: 

-Placements that are included in the syllabus and are recognized academically.

-Placements that are not specifically included in the syllabus (education cooperation agreements), which enable students to extend the course’s practical training, under the supervision of the UB school or faculty.

TheFeina UBprogram also offers services and activities to facilitate the transition between the university and the labour market:

Mediation services for employment and work placement.

-Job banks.

-Placements in companies and in national and international institutions.

Professional careers services

-Career days.

-Training courses, workshops and seminars on skills and competences.

-Online courses in job search:
-- Job search techniques.
-- Personal brand and web 2.0 tools.

-Club de Feina (Job Club): a space that includes resources and specialized advice for vocational integration.

-Careers guidance interviews.

Participation of companies and institutions in the UB

-UB Employment Forum.

-Participation in job fairs.

-Company presentations.