Oleg Matytsin says he is very pleased with the progress FISU has made since his election as President in November ©FISU

Oleg Matytsin has claimed he is "very pleased" with the progress the International University Sports Federation (FISU) has made since his election as President in November.

The Russian was confirmed as FISU's head for at least four years after unseating Frenchman Claude-Louis Gallien, who had been in charge since 2011, at the body’s General Assembly in Lausanne.

Matytsin, vice-president of the Organising Committee of the 2019 Winter Universiade in Krasnoyarsk, amassed 102 votes against Gallien, who received only received 23.

Last month, FISU’s Steering Committee held a meeting for the first time since Matytsin’s election during which it discussed appointing the chairs of the various groups within FISU and proposed topics to be put on the agenda for the Executive Committee meeting in Brussels on March 4 and 5.

The gathering came as FISU formalised its purchase of a building at the University of Lausanne, which will house its new headquarters.

Also in December, FISU launched a new digital accreditation system to be used by member associations at this year’s World University Championships.

A total of 34 sports will hold Championships in 2016, with the first being in ski orienteering in Tula, Russia from February 11 to 16, and the last in sambo in Nicosia, Cyprus from December 9 to 11.

Started under the last administration, Matytsin sees the accreditation system as a significant step forward in FISU’s internal communications, benefitting everyone from Organising Committees to athletes in 2016.

Speaking in his New Year’s message to FISU’s 170 National University Sports Federations, Matytsin said: "This process of reform is happening from a position of great strength and this is largely thanks to the excellent work of my predecessor Claude-Louis Gallien.

"But as we have seen in 2015, in the sports industry you must change yourself, or risk being changed by external forces.

"During my election campaign, I structured my proposals across three areas: alignment with the Olympic Movement, administration, and communications.

"It has been eight weeks since I had the honour of being elected as your President and I am very pleased with the progress made so far."

Oleg Matytsin succeeded Claude-Louis Gallien, pictured here with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Opening Ceremony of the 2013 Summer Universiade in Kazan, as FISU President in November
Oleg Matytsin succeeded Claude-Louis Gallien, pictured here with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Opening Ceremony of the 2013 Summer Universiade in Kazan, as FISU President in November ©Getty Images

Construction on FISU's new headquarters is underway and is expected to be completed by late 2017.

This leaves just under two years before FISU vacates its current residence in the Maison du Sport International, which is also home to a number of International Federations and is located in close proximity to the headquarters of the International Olympic Committee.

"In this time I hope to have laid down a new blueprint for FISU for our future so that our physical move into a new home is combined with an operational and philosophical transition into a new era," said Matytsin.  

There are many other "equally exciting" activities taking place behind the scenes at FISU, according to Matytsin, as it strives to become more relevant among students and continue to impose good governance practices, aligned with Olympic Agenda 2020, throughout its operations.

"FISU and all its members have a collective responsibility for the moral, intellectual and physical development through sport of students around the world," said Matytsin.

"To ensure we meet this responsibility, every stakeholder must feel they have a voice and they must be able to exercise that voice when they wish.

"Fostering debate and dialogue is one of the fundamental roles of every university.

"As it is in universities, it should be amongst the FISU family.

"So I say to all member associations: FISU is here for you.

"Keep us informed, and keep challenging us.

"FISU will be doing the same to you in return."