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The aim of our study is to reveal the relationship between doing sports and persistence among higher education students in the Northern Great Plain Region of Hungary and especially among Hungarian minority students in Romania, Slovakia, Serbia and the Ukraine. The theoretical background of the research is based on the developmental model (Brohm, 2002; Miller, Marchant, Polman, Clough, Jackson, Levy, & Nicholls, 2009; Melnick, Barnes, Farrel,l & Sabo, 2007) as well as Tinto’s (1975) and Pascarella and Terenzini’s (1980) institutional integration model. For the analyses, we used the database of the Center for Higher Education Research and Development (CHERD-H), which includes the higher education institutions in the border regions of the five countries under investigation (Hungary, Slovakia, the Ukraine, Romania and Serbia) (IESA 2015, N=2,017). According to our results, despite of the integration model theory, university sports membership decreases the level of persistence regardless of gender, country and social background. However, comparative analyses show that non-university sports club membership conveys values like appreciating the usefulness of learning and commitment to successfully complete exams and learning requirements. University and non-university sports club members mostly agree that they want to achieve the best possible learning outcomes.