THE world’s richest football club – and most valuable sporting team – Real Madrid has signed a deal with a leading university to deliver a new MBA in Sports Management.
As part of the course students from across Australia will travel to Spain for a two-week study exchange including behind the scenes work experience with Real Madrid Football Club.
In an Australian first, graduates will earn a joint degree from both institutions, recognised both locally and internationally.
Torrens University announced a trifecta of industry partnerships in late July: with Real Madrid Graduate School, Chifley Business School and thirdly with Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School (BMIHMS).
Torrens University Vice Chancellor Professor Justin Beilby told Invest Adelaide the new collaborations offer students the opportunity to study at what is becoming a truly national – and increasingly international – university born out of Adelaide.
“These partnerships will give our students more career pathways and employment opportunities in the future and it’s really exciting to be attracting new students not just from Adelaide, but also from around Australia and internationally,” Professor Beilby said.
He said Torrens University was determined to deliver quality outcomes for students through innovative new approaches to tertiary education.
“There will always be the core business of knowledge generation but what Torrens University positions itself to do is develop a much stronger link through student and industry engagement to focus on employability.
“We achieve this through co-creation between industry and academia.”
Professor Beilby said the partnership with Real Madrid in particular emphasised Torrens University’s standing as a globally connected educator. This position was key to the football club’s decision to align with the institution.
“Since operations commenced (at Torrens University), we have seen our students work alongside and meet global leaders, undertake a full trimester of study abroad in Malaysia, embark on industry work-placements and secure employment and career progression opportunities.”
Real Madrid Graduate School general manager Emilio Butragueño said this was an important step for the club to expand into the southern hemisphere.
“We’re going to begin with the MBA in Sports Management with the plan of continuing to grow,” Butragueño said.
“We have high hopes; this is a country that’s very sports-oriented.
“We think that it’s a great opportunity not just in terms of Australia, but also in terms of many places in Asia.”
The University has acquired the internationally recognised Chifley Business School, bringing two decades of experience, a network of 10,000 plus alumni and the long-standing relationship with Professionals Australia. The inaugural courses offered by Chifley Business School at Torrens University Australia will include its MBA and Master of Global Project Management.
Meanwhile, links with BMIHMS will allow hospitality students to simultaneously undertake the MBA at Torrens University and gain crucial business strategy and management skills making them competitive in the international hotel and hospitality industry.
“We will always give students the knowledge base required but today employers are seeking more from the soft skill set; those demonstrating leadership, the ability to work in a team, compromise and problem solving,” Professor Beilby said.
A leading example of innovative investment in Adelaide, Torrens University - a part of the Laureate International Universities network - welcomed its inaugural cohort of students in January 2014. The model is documented as a case study for global partnerships by Invest Adelaide, an Adelaide City Council resource.
Today the University has two Adelaide locations – Victoria Square and Wakefield Street in the former Menz Biscuit factory – and has expanded nationally with new campuses in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.
Laureate International Universities founder, chairman and chief executive Douglas Becker said it was a strategic move to establish Torrens University in Australia through the first base in Adelaide.
“The inspiration came from the rising importance of Asia and the vital role Australia plays in this region,” Mr Becker said.