Tim Feenstra, triatleet en student Tilburg Univesity

Dual Career

Tilburg University is proud of its students with Dual Careers (such as sports, performing arts or entrepreneurship). The university supports these students in the best way possible in order to facilitate the successful combination of their two careers.

Do you have a Dual Career? 

Directly apply for talent status

The dual career regulations are part of the student charter and concerns those students in the following categories:

  • Student Athletes
  • Sport Coaches
  • Sport Officials
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Gamers
  • Performing Artists

Facilities for Dual Career students

Tilburg University provides facilities to students who want to combine their dual careers.  Among others the university offers additional student supervision and in some cases financial assistance when dual career activities cause delays in study progress.

You can find a complete overview of the facilities for dual career student athletes on the website.

Stefan Groothuis on Youtube on the importance of (academic) support in a dual career.

Rowing as core sport

The university has chosen a core sport: rowing. This typical student sport will receive extra university support. The kind of support Tilburg University offers can be found on rowing sub page of the website.

Wall of Fame

Tilburg University is very proud of its excelling students and provides facilities for student athletes to enable them to combine their academic and athletic careers. Tilburg University honors those who excel in combining these two careers on the Wall of Fame at the Sport Center.

More information on the talent status?

Contact the Dual Career Officer.

Frequently asked questions

In our dual career policy, we strive to facilitate students with talent as much as possible in combining their studies with their other careers (e.g., top-level sports, business, performing arts). For this, the quality of education is paramount; flexibility in education is sought without compromising the curriculum.  

Below, you can find a lot of information about the dual career policy. If your questions are not answered, please contact the dual career officer.  

We consider it important that you choose the right study program. Let yourself be guided by your interests, ambition, and competences, and only in the last place whether it can be combined with your top-level sports career, business, or life on stage. It is advisable to talk to the dual career officer and/or education coordinator about the feasibility of combining your desired study program with your other career.   


When do I qualify for a talent status?
  • The non-academic career must be pursued at the highest level. That is, you belong to the national or international (sub)top-level of your sport, cultural career, or entrepreneurship. 
  • Top-level athletes who have been awarded A, Selection status by the NOC*NSF. 
  • Top-level sports talents who have been granted IT, NT, or Belofte status by a sports federation affiliated with the NOC*NSF. 
  • Top-level athletes who meet the criteria established in the Handbook guidelines determining talent statuses regional target group version 1.0 2014-2015. NOTE: the dual career officer has the possibility to deviate from this Handbook in favor of the student if developments in the sport and/or in society so require. 
  • Top-level athletes who are part of the competition selection of the student rowing association TSR-Vidar endorsed by the Vice-President of TSR-Vidar. 
  • Entrepreneurs who are part of the Brabant Startup Alliance program. 
  • Sports officials who act as officials during competitions of elite athletes whose level of performance qualifies them for Talent status, with a minimum of 16 hours of training and preparation per week. 
  • sports coaches who mentor top-level athletes whose level of performance qualifies them for Talent status, with a minimum of 16 hours of training and preparation per week. 
  • Performing artists who are among the top 10% within their field (national coverage/reach as a minimum), with a minimum of 16 hours of training and preparation per week. 
  • e-sports players (gamers) who compete at the highest national competition level in a game that is internationally recognized and organized, involving a minimum of 16 hours of training and preparation per week.  
How do I apply for top sports status?
  • If you think you qualify, make an appointment with the dual career officer through this Link
  • Send an e-mail stating your accomplishments in the past three years and last year’s and the upcoming year’s training regime to the dual career officer at dualcareer@tilburguniversity.edu.  
  • If it is decided that you qualify for talent status, you will receive an official statement from the Executive Board. 
  • The statement is valid for one academic year and must be reapplied for annually before the start of the academic year. 
Does the university have its own top sports teams? How can I be selected for a team?

Yes, the university has plenty of sports teams. All of them, except the rowing selection, are recreational. Our rowing team is an elite sports program. Students selected for the rowing selection will be eligible for a talent status. All other university sports teams are not eligible for a talent status. Click here for more information about our Sports Center. 

How is the support of top athletes organized within Tilburg University?

The dual career officer is the first point contact within the university regarding dual careers, and coordinates dual careers matters within the university. The dual career officer has an advisory role towards the Schools/study programs.  
With the education coordinator, you discuss your study planning and possible solution to challenges you expect to encounter.   
The support that is offered is customized and cannot compromise the quality of education. The Schools cooperate in supporting dual careers to the extent deemed reasonable by the Schools. 

What facilities are included in the dual career policy?

All educational support is tailor-made. The faculty will try to support you within what they deem reasonable. Flexibility can be created in, for example, mandatory attendance, deadlines, alternate assignments, preferred timeslots, and such.

Is there financial support?

There are several financial arrangements; 

  • Financial support for study delay (when study delay has occurred in the first 4 years of your academic career (Higher Education) due to dual career related circumstances) 
  • Financial support for (inter)national trainings camps and events 
  • Talent grant (grant for incidental and special investments for improving your dual career) 
  • Sports membership (year membership at the University sports center) 
How do I apply for financial assistance?

All requests for financial assistance go through the dual career officer. Requests for financial support can be submitted to the dual career officer via e-mail, a personal interview, or by phone. The dual career officer will then inform you of the proper procedure for each request (there are different forms of financial support). 

Is a modified BSA possible?

In principle, the binding study advice applies to all students at Tilburg University. A talent status is a recognized special circumstance that allows the dual career officer to advise the Examination Board to give a deferred BSA. 

Can I get guidance with planning?

Yes, both the dual career officer and the education coordinator can help you with your planning. We expect you to have a good idea of what is expected of you regarding your dual career, that you recognize the importance of a good work/rest ratio, and that you make conscious choices for the benefit of your dual career. 

Can I deviate from compulsory attendance?

In principle, deviation from compulsory attendance is not permitted. If there are special circumstances (such as a dual career), deviating from compulsory attendance is negotiable and may lead to an adjustment/facilitation.  

Can I take longer to study?

Yes, you can take longer to complete your studies. The only condition is passing your BSA, and it may happen that some courses may have lapsed after a certain time, and you may have to retake courses. In relation to provisions from DUO, the degree period is 10 years. https://duo.nl/particulier/studievertraging/verlenging-van-de-diplomatermijn.jsp (in Dutch). 

Can I take an exam remotely?

In principle, no. In very exceptional cases and for exams that are suitable for this, it is negotiable and may be possible.

Can I take classes remotely?

It depends very much on which course you are taking whether or not distance learning is possible, and to what extent. You can discuss this with the education coordinator.

Are there required internships? Preferred partners? Custom programs for dual career students?

Some courses require internships. Students are responsible for finding an internship in case these are required. There are no custom programs for students with a dual career. More often than not, business’ are willing to create some flexibility for dual career students.

Can I use sports facilities?

Every student can purchase a sports membership at the Student Sports Center at a student rate. Students with talent status have the opportunity to recoup the cost of a sports membership by making a one-time contribution to the university (something in return for the benefit of the university). You can discuss/request this with the dual career officer.

Can I get help looking for housing?

The university does not have an active role in helping you find housing. However, information can be found on the website Arranging your accommodation | Tilburg University.

What should I do if I go to training camp?

Report this to the dual career officer. You can then also request financial compensation from the dual career officer if you incur costs for the training camp.  
You should also check to see which lectures, deadlines, exams, etc. you might miss during your absence and what the consequences might be. Discuss this with the education coordinator to see if adjustments can be made in your program’s curriculum to minimize the negative consequences.

What should I do if I am not sure whether I am in the selection (in terms of planning)?

Always assume that you will make the selection. Then we can plan accordingly and see what requests for assistance you have. If you do not make the selection, you will have more time to study.

What happens if I get injured?

In principle, your talent status continues as usual, and you can still contact the dual career officer and the education coordinator with your requests for assistance. If your rehabilitation does not include the ambition for return-to-play, your talent status lapses. In that case, you need to report your (medical) special circumstances to the dean of students to possibly qualify for support via that route.

What are students' experiences?

Logically, students’ experiences vary because every dual career student’s situation is different. And not every study program can offer the same flexibility.  In general, students are very satisfied with the support the dual career officers can offer, the extent to which they contribute ideas and can draw on their own experience in top-level sports.  Students are also generally satisfied with the financial support offered at the university.   
Flexibility in education is also positive although there will always be a demand for greater flexibility in examinations, and remote education.  
When participating in a dual career, not everything is always possible, and study delays can possibly occur. Not everyone likes that. Therefore, good expectation management is very important. An intake interview with the dual career officer takes care of this. Students experience these conversations as very positive, despite the “frustration” that not everything is always possible.

What steps should I take as a student to properly start the academic year?
  • Choose a study program that is in line with your interests and competencies (and not because it is logistically the best fit for your dual career. 
  • Schedule an intake meeting with dual career officer (to discuss situation). 
  • Schedule a meeting with education coordinator (to discuss study planning). 
  • Plan well using dual career programs and lecturers. 
  • Initiate conversation with the dual career trainer/coach/supervisor etc. to discuss the extent of the flexibility for the purpose of your study program.  
  • Making conscious choices (setting and monitoring boundaries) regarding your dual career, study program, social life, work, student life, etc. 
What is expected of me as a top-level athlete?

A proactive attitude. You are in charge. We will see how we can support you when you have a request for assistance.  
Make conscious choices for the benefit of your dual career. Ask for help when you feel the need and inform the right people within the university about your situation and the challenges you are likely to encounter in a timely manner.   
Be aware that it is not always possible to create flexibility from within education. Keep in mind that study delays are possible.

What is expected of my (sports) organization?

That they are aware of the fact that, in addition to your top-level sport/enterprise/ life as an artist, you also study. And that the organization contributes ideas to see where support for your studies is possible.

Who can I ask which question as a top-level student athlete?

In principle you can contact the dual career officer with all your questions. For questions concerning the content of your studies, the dual career officer will most likely refer you directly to the education coordinator since that is where the specific knowledge for your study program lies.