Elite Student-Athlete Support

High performance sport requires a significant commitment and when combined with academic studies, elite athletes usually will require additional support to excel in both pursuits. To assist with this, many Australian universities provide support to assist in balancing the demands of dual career elite student-athletes. Support provided by universities is varied, however the most common types of support universities may provide to their elite student-athletes are:

  • academic (timetabling, exam/assignment flexibility) typically as part of the Elite Athlete Friendly University (EAFU) Program
  • financial (scholarships, grants or travel support)
  • workshop and seminar access
  • sport science and medicine access
  • training facility access

Elite Athlete Definition

How an elite athlete is defined may vary across the university sector.  However the majority of elite athletes within Australia are categorised by their respective National Sporting Organisation (NSO) and/or are on scholarship within the network of institutes and academies of sport around Australia.  The Australia’s Winning Edge Athlete Categories have been developed to provide a consistent basis, both within and across sports to:

  • Identify the athletes with the greatest potential to contribute to Australia’s Winning Edge targets
  • Track their performance over time
  • Inform the prioritisation of support to these athletes.

Athletes who fall outside of this cohort may still be identified as 'elite' by being a member of one of the following organisations:

  • Australian Institute of Sport (AIS)
  • State Institutes or Academies of Sport (SIS/SAS)
  • AFL Players’ Association
  • Australian Cricketers’ Association
  • Rugby Union Players’ Association
  • Rugby League Professionals’ Association
  • Australian Professional Footballers’ Association
  • National squad members from Australian Sports Commission funded sports

If an athlete is not recognised by one of the above, they may submit an application for conisderation to the university. The university will use its discretion in assessing student athletes.

University Elite Student-Athlete Showcases

Australian University Sport (AUS) have designed a series of showcases to highlight the support that Australian universities offer to elite student-athletes. These showcases detail the following in relation to elite student-athlete support:

  • Current elite student-athletes supported
  • Academic support including a rating against the Elite Athlete Friendly University (EAFU) Guiding Principles
  • Financial support (scholarships, grants, travel)
  • Other support including facility access, sport science and medicine access and personal development opportunities
  • High performance sport partnerships (if applicable)



The Australian National University



Australian Catholic University


New South Wales

Charles Sturt University

Sydney University Sport and Fitness

The University of Newcastle

The University of New South Wales

The University of Notre Dame Australia

University of New England

University of Technology Sydney

Western Sydney University



Bond University

Griffith University

Queensland University of Technology

The University of Queensland


South Australia

The University of Adelaide



Federation University

La Trobe University

Monash University

RMIT University

Victoria University


Western Australian

Murdoch University

The University of Notre Dame Australia

The University of Western Australia


 Additional universities will be featured in the near future. For more information contact AUS Elite Student-Athlete Pathway Manager, Joshua Sear, via joshua.sear@unisport.com.au.


  • AIS
  • AUS
  • Kukri