Dream Together Master Faculty

Barrie Houlihan

Professor, Loughborough University, U.K.

Thank you for giving me this opportunity to provide an assessment of the Dream Together Master Programme. My comments relate...

										“Thank you for giving me this opportunity to provide an assessment of the Dream Together Master programme. My comments relate to the curriculum, the distinctive nature of the programme and the benefits for SNU. The DTM curriculum is comprehensive and effectively balances the acquisition of knowledge with the development of the skills necessary to apply that knowledge. Each of the themes introduces students to a range of contemporary issues facing managers working in the public, not-for-profit and commercial sectors. Of particular value is the way in which the themes are tailored to the context of developing countries. Although most academic research and scholarship are based on mature sports markets and industries the research has been used as a foundation for challenging students to consider how concepts, theories and business practices need to be adapted to suit the particular context of their home country. In this connection one of the most impressive pedagogical aspects was the extent to which students stimulated each other's thinking through class discussion and debate. The students demonstrated an impressive capacity for innovative thinking in relation to the challenge of managing sport projects with substantial financial, organizational and, sometimes, political constraints. Finally, the diversity and quality of SNU staff and visiting academics ensures that the students are exposed to the leading researchers in their respective fields.

Across the world, there are several sports management masters programmes and the vast majority are similar not only in broad curriculum content but also in the targeted market. Most aim for an affluent European, North American or Asian market. What makes them DTM distinctive and important is the focus on recruiting students who are generally in the early stages of their sport management career and from developing countries. The nearest equivalent is the MEMOS master which is supported financially by the International Olympic Committee through Olympic Solidarity. However, the MEMOS master's degree is designed to attract middle/senior managers in international federations and other international sport organisations rather than the younger future leaders. As such the DTM not only holds a unique position in the global educational marketplace, but more importantly meets the developmental needs a crucial group of future managers and policymakers in sport.

Although the primary beneficiaries should undoubtedly be the students, there are substantial benefits to SNU.
Not only is SNU generating a valuable global network of students who will, in time, be in senior organizational roles in their countries, but it also has the opportunity to develop a research profile in the neglected area of sport in developing countries. There is considerable opportunity for SNU to establish itself as a global centre for research and expertise in this area with a Research Centre focused on sport in the developing world, periodic international conferences and research publications as possibilities.

Overall, the DTM is a unique programme which meets the educational needs of a neglected group of students and which adds to SNU's reputation as a world-leading university”.