Miguel Carmelo is the President of Universidad Europea de Madrid and President of Laureate International Universities for the Mediterranean Region.
What is the Real Madrid Graduate School - Universidad Europea ?
Sports in the twenty-first century transcends the boundaries of games, competition or physical activity, becoming something tied to other disciplines such as recreation and leisure, health, management and communications. In response to this, Universidad Europea de Madrid and Real Madrid embarked on this joint project as a way of finding educational and professional solutions to the needs of this new sports landscape.
What is the School’s philosophy?
Our philosophy is structured around three pillars. The first and most important is that of education, that is, how to teach and train all the professionals who are going to have key roles in sports-related fields.
The second pillar is our international focus. Real Madrid is an internationally-recognized brand, as is Universidad Europea de Madrid. This university belongs to Laureate International Universities, a leader in advanced education world-wide, encompassing more than80 institutions in 28 countries, with over 1 million students. For these reasons, the Real Madrid Graduate School should feel inspired to extend its new educational project into other countries.
The third pillar is that of research. Not only do we have to transmit knowledge, but we must also create it, and the best tool for this is research.
Who are these master’s degrees designed for? What are their admissions requirements?
The master’s degree programs are basically aimed at two groups:
The first group would be university graduates who want to steer their professional training towards sports-related areas. The second group would be individuals who are already working and who might not have a university degree, but have broad experience in the sports world and want to channel this experience into advanced studies. Our School’s master’s degrees offer them this opportunity.
What professional doors open for students of the Real Madrid Graduate School - Universidad Europea? Do the programs have a practical approach, focused on professional life??
One of the most interesting aspects of the School is the range of professional opportunities that graduates find when the finish their studies with us. These students may not come from a physical education academic background; they might be medical students who want to practice sports medicine; or students who work in law who wish to get involved in sports legislation; or students of communications, for example, journalism, mass media, or advertising, who want to apply their work within the field of sports. These are areas that the School covers in terms of professional preparation.
We should also remember that at the Real Madrid Graduate School – Universidad Europea between 25 and 50 percent of the programs’ class hours are practical in nature. That is, from the very beginning of the master’s course the student is in contact with the professional world.
What results have you seen over the last ten years of this School? How would you describe the experience? Has it been professionally useful for the students who have completed your programs?
If you look at it quantitatively, the School has been successful, since thousands of students have either already completed their graduate degrees or are doing so now, studying sports, leisure/recreation, management, health science and communications.
The School has also achieved significant qualitative results. It has been a wake-up call to an entire educational system that was clearly lacking in training for sports-related fields. It has received very positive responses from both the university sphere and from professional ones.
We need to stress that our students exit the programs very well qualified, therefore, employers respond positively to them. This is clear proof of our success.
Why did Real Madrid and Universidad Europea de Madrid form a partnership in this project? What do both institutions have in common?
Real Madrid and Universidad Europea de Madrid have several things in common. Let me just highlight the most important of these:
The first is our clear international focus. We share the ambition of expanding beyond Spanish society in order to become a permanent part of a global society.
The second commonality is our sense of social responsibility, as tied to leadership. If we are leaders then we also have a responsibility towards society in the way of education and training. We should greatly increase the levels of professionalism throughout all the sports-related disciplines.
In this day and age sports have taken on a dimension that goes beyond the limits of the playing field. Is the Real Madrid Graduate School - Universidad Europea the best platform for exploring these new fields?
It is absolutely right to say that sports have acquired a new dimension and have become an activity that has moved beyond the playing field and is no longer just mere spectacle. Sports activity is now an alternative choice for what to do with your free time, a tool for the care and improvement of your health and a mass phenomenon that attracts advertising and influences the economy.
Consequently there has also been an increase in the need for professional experts in the fields of health, recreation, communication and management linked to the world of sports. The Real Madrid Graduate School – Universidad Europea wants to provide the solutions to the new needs that the field of sports is generating in society, bringing specialists to each sector.
Why is the Real Madrid Graduate School - Universidad Europea so pioneering and one-of-a-kind?
Today there does not exist anywhere else a school of university studies specifically dedicated to the education of professionals, equipping them to be experts with knowledge and skills adapted for, and specific to, different areas such as health, management, communications, or sports science, all of which are linked to sports.
What does the Real Madrid Football Club have in common with Universidad Europea de Madrid?
Real Madrid and Universidad Europea de Madrid share the common objective of making possible an innovative educational project, in a pioneering manner, with academic excellence that brings together all areas of education at one focal point: namely sports.
We must also consider that both institutions have a clear international calling. On the one hand Universidad Europea de Madrid belongs to the Laureate International Universities Network, world leader in Higher Education over 1 million students, and on the other, Real Madrid Football Club, which has without doubt moved beyond the boundaries of sports becoming a true mass phenomenon, with followers on all five continents, and is currently one of the brands with the highest international recognition.
You know Real Madrid like nobody else; first as an emblematic player, and later as a highly respected director. How do you take what you have lived and experienced inside the Real Madrid Football Organization and use it in the management of the School?
You could say that I was brought up in Santiago Bernabeu stadium and in the environs of Real Madrid, and during all that time I have gone along learning certain things, codes of action that have proved essential in my life. Real Madrid always plays to win, which is why we went into this project with the goal of making it successful, and above all to maintain and protect the image of the Football Club. For all of these reasons we are the first ones to want to make sure that anyone being part of the School and participating in our programs finds that they are fully satisfied. In this way I take advantage of my experience and apply those principles that have been successful with Real Madrid to the day to day operation of the School.
What are the plans for the future for the Real Madrid Graduate School - Universidad Europea?
From among the first challenges to be taken on by the School what really stands out is the need to continue working on international expansion. In fact, we are currently embarked in an ambitious expansion project that will double the number of students in the coming five years. For example this year the School will be launching in several countries in Asia, and America. This is a way in which we are attempting to promote the mobility of our students in Spain through international stays that will give them a more global vision of the profession of sports. Currently our students are benefiting from international experience in the United States England and Germany. .
We are also working to innovate when it comes to the undergraduate and graduate programs that are currently linked to the three areas of education of the School: sports science, management and communication and health.
In the Graduate program for instance, innovation is taking place with the introduction of more Masters Programs being taught in English and online with the idea of encouraging students from everywhere across the world to participate in our programs.
What can the Real Madrid Football Club offer to the Real Madrid Graduate School - Universidad Europea?
The commitment to this project on the part of the Real Madrid Football Club is one hundred per cent. Not only will the Club be contributing with its experience as an acknowledged institution of high prestige, but the Club will also contribute with the use of its facilities such as the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium or the Valdebebas Sports Complex, internships will be made available, for example with Real Madrid TV, and professionals from the highest levels within their fields will help in the design and implementation of these courses.
Real Madrid Football Club and Universidad Europea de Madrid are two institutions with a clear international presence. Will the Real Madrid Graduate School– Universidad Europea follow this same path to an international presence?
The School also has a clear international vocation which can be seen reflected not only by the support of the two institutions that back it but also in the international trajectory it has taken over the years, leading to a presence in several countries in Europe, Asia and America.
What are the basic pillars of the Real Madrid Graduate School - Universidad Europea?
The Real Madrid Graduate School - Universidad Europea has its pillars clearly defined. These pillars are first and foremost concerned with the education of leaders; specialists in those disciplines that are in some way connected to the world of sports. Next is a clear international vocation, made manifest by those two institutions that support the School. The third pillar is concerned with a professional focus whereby the most prestigious professionals both from Real Madrid and from Universidad Europea de Madrid participate in the development and teaching of the programs.