The Autonomous Non-Profit Organisation "Russian International Olympic University" (RIOU) was established on 21 October 2009 under the Memorandum of Understanding between the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Sochi 2014 Organising Committee and the Russian Olympic Committee, and under a decree of the Russian Federation No 774. The founders of the University are the Ministry of Sport of the Russian Federation, the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) and Interros private investment company.
RIOU is the world's first university dedicated to sport business education, offering unique programmes infused with Olympic values and experiences. RIOU's activities concentrate on training specialists in sports management for the Russian and international sports industry, and the Olympic and Paralympic Movements. The University's educational programmes cover the main aspects of sports education: venue and infrastructure management, competitions, mass communications, diplomacy and administration, and career management. The university's main educational product is a one-year Master of Sport Administration (MSA) course. RIOU also runs a wide range of short-term programmes: career enhancement courses for retired athletes and sports officials from Russia's regional authorities, as well as seminars on Paralympic sports, barrier free environment and Olympic hospitality. RIOU's campus can accommodate up to 500 students at any one time.
Among RIOU's teachers and professors are renowned Russian and international experts in sports management. The University is aimed at the development of systematic partnerships with leading Russian and foreign universities. Our current partners list includes: the University of Applied Sciences Kufstein (Austria), Coventry University (UK), Brunel University (UK), University of East London (UK), Sheffield Hallam University (UK), IPC Academy (UK), World Academy of Sport (UK), Olympic Studies Centre at the Autonomous University of Barcelona (Spain), Capilano University (Canada), Lomonosov Moscow State University (Russia) and Moscow University of Industry and Finance (Russia).
As the custodian of the 2014 Games Archive, RIOU is responsible for preserving the information legacy of the Sochi 2014 Winter Games and creating the right conditions for research in the field of the Olympic Movement and sport. Under the agreement signed in September 2013, the Sochi
- To create a next generation university - the very best in the sphere of sports and Olympic education
- To prepare leaders for the Russian and worldwide sports industry
- To build modern research facilities for the Olympic Movement and Russian sport
- To keep and develop the Olympic legacy of the Sochi 2014 Winter Games.
Over the last decades, the sports economy and industry have undergone considerable changes: the macroeconomic environment has been radically changed and the sports industry is rapidly transforming into an independent, developing business area. The radical changes within the sports industry are ongoing and much has still to be done to put Russian sport at the top of the industry.
Staging a series of large international competitions in Russia, firstly the Sochi 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, has revealed a great demand for next generation sports managers. The Russian International Olympic University has become a key instrument in preparing professionals who will not only take part in organising the most innovative Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, but also provide effective management of the sports industry in the future.