Australian University Sport (Unisport) have claimed performances of student athletes at the Olympic Games have been boosted by increased high performance funding from universities.
The claimed was made as part of a research report, which has continued to track the performance of student athletes since the Australian Sports Commission introduced their Winning Edge funding scheme in 2012.
It was revealed that at Athens 2004, the Australian team was made up of 104 student-athletes, representing 23 per cent of their delegation.
They went on to claim 39 per cent of the country’s medals.
A similar statistic was found at London 2012, where student athletes comprised of 23 per cent of the team but claimed 63 per cent of their medals.
Student athletes earn 62 per cent of Australia’s Olympic medals at Rio 2016.
Unisport claim that the growth of elite programmes on university campuses has been remarkable and state that student athletes rose from an average of 57 in 2013 to 105 in 2017.
It was claimed that investment had risen by 46 per cent on campuses since 2013.
Further analysis found that The University of Sydney, The University of Melbourne, The University of Queensland, Griffith University and RMIT University provided the Olympic and Commonwealth medal winning students.
It was found that around 16 Olympic swimming athletes are studying and training at Bond and Griffith Universities combined.
University of Sunshine Coast has been reported to have doubled its high performance programme in the last three years.
Unisport also found there was evidence supporting the value of sport in the higher education context, including links between sport participation and positive impacts on student experience in areas such as student recruitment, retention, achievement and graduate outcomes.