Professions of the Future: Why University Applicants Get Enrolled in SUSU’s Institute of Sport, Tourism and Service

Alumni of SUSU’s Institute of Sport, Tourism and Service are not used to “sitting on the sidelines”. Alumnus of ISTS takes prize-winning places at high-ranked sport competitions, takes part in conceptual projects of the region, organises status contests and festivals, and has an active life stance. If you have been dreaming to build up a brilliant career in the sphere of sport, or become a professional in the sphere of restaurant business and hospitality, then the university with a rich history and traditions is waiting for you. Is it true that 90% of all ISTS graduates get employed? We talked about it with Director of SUSU’s Institute of Sport, Tourism and Service, Vadim Erlikh.

Today, ISTS performs training cadre for SCO and BRICS summits, develops a sport IT project called “I-Trainer”, works on development of the tourism cluster of the Chelyabinsk region, and provides education for future teachers and coaches for general education schools, sport clubs, sport federations and fitness centres.

How can education change one’s life entirely?

— Mr. Erlikh, nowadays one of the most topical issues being discussed in mass media is preparation for SCO and BRICS summits. Large sport facilities and hotels are planned to be constructed in the Chelyabinsk region. Will SUSU’s Institute of Sport, Tourism and Service take part in training of cadre for these events?

— We are not just taking part in it. The Ministry of Economic Development of the Southern Urals addressed us with a request to prepare about 3000 well-trained specialists to provide service at the world-scale events within SCO and BRICS summits in the sphere of hospitality and restaurant service. Employees of the Department of Tourism and Socio-Cultural Service and the Department of Catering Organisation have elaborated vocational enhancement and professional re-training programmes which are going to be useful and required among various population categories: from students to specialists who already have some experience of working in these spheres. Attendees of the courses will acquire supplementary education in the frameworks of the status event and will be able to try themselves not only as room attendants, waiters or hotel administrators, but also as managers.

— Does ISTS performs training of cadre for sport facilities of the region that are under construction?

— The issue of training specialists in the sphere of sport is not so much connected with the summits as with the strategy of development which has been elaborated by the region as a whole. By 2025, ISTS is planning to educate 5 000 well-trained specialists for working in the industry. About one billion rubles in the Chelyabinsk region are planned to be spent on construction of sport facilities, including large sport complexes and local sports and recreation centres in municipal structures. The Institute is facing the task to supply the facilities with coaches. We should not neglect the fact of cadre rotation in the region’s system of education. Future pedagogues currently studying in ISTS undertake internships at schools and sport-and-education centres, where they usually stay for further employment.

— Why will alumni of the Institute of Sport, Tourism and Service be demanded on the labor market?

— Complying with the tendencies of SUSU’s development as a whole, ISTS is in a constant qualitative transformation: we have introduced project-based learning; we carry out research and invite lecturers from abroad. In the course of studying, our students acquire new knowledge, skills and competencies, which is beneficial for contemporary employers. Internationally acknowledged companies, such as Radisson hotel network, Pegas Touristic and Anex Tour tourism operators invite our students for internships and then offer them a job. Students get an exclusive access to the most interesting job positions as well as to projects and events of various spheres of activity.

— Could you tell us about ISTS celebrity students and alumni?

— There are many celebrity students and alumni. Among them are such celebrities as Honored Master of Sports of Russia, silver and bronze medalist of world judo championships, Kirill Denisov; silver medalist of summer Paralympics in London, European champion Oksana Guseva; bronze medalist of Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games in ski relay, Anna Nechaevskaya. Among our current students are: a famous archer Anton Bulaev, champions of the World Cup in student hockey Adil Kuchukov, Georgy Yulsky and Maksim Antoshkin; the team of coaches of the famous Uralochka.

There are champions in the HoReCa sphere as well. Among them is a honored chef confectioner of Penka coffee house, Igor Tumarkin. Last year, Igor created a real culinary masterpiece: for the university’s anniversary, he presented a 75-kilo cake which precisely resembled the image of SUSU’s main academic building.

— How do the champions manage to combine sports and classes?

— Combining excellent study while avoiding skipping sport camps and leading active competitive activity is possible due to elements of distance learning technologies. Our students have access to study materials and can use them around the clock, in the time suitable for the students. Celebrity students submit all necessary assignments just like the rest of our students; of course, they have to submit some assignments online, but other than that, there are no exceptions for them.

— How much is the atmosphere and attitude of lecturers important for students?

— Attitude towards students is special. For each student, lecturers’ attention is extremely important. If a student has some difficulties, we always try to help solving them. Every lecturer at ISTS has got talent for teaching; our instructors can find common ground with young people, excite them with a topic, get them involved into the educational process, give students a chance to evolve and take part in interesting projects. Presently, there are 1 500 students studying at ISTS.

— What research in the sphere of sport science does ISTS presently carry out? What projects are students working on?

— Within a research direction called “Perspective engineering in sports and medicine”, our students and postgraduates take part in development of devices intended to diagnose and correct biomechanics. They also study robotized rehabilitation complexes and methods of workability enhancement with the use of virtual reality. In the frameworks of project-based learning, a work is being done to create a knee control, a passive exoskeleton. This year, a serious innovative project called “I-Trainer” has been launched. The university is going to buy a special wireless suit with 16 sensors intended to be fixated on the body, as well as software and a muscle tonus analyzer. The essence of the project is to “fuse” the two spheres: sports and IT. Our goal is to obtain a digital model of an athlete together with a mathematical model of “ideal” biomechanics in order to create innovative workout methods with software acting as a virtual coach and intended for visual demonstration of the technique of sport exercises, up to the bending angles of body parts and correction of speed modes. This is a big interdisciplinary project including a team of biologists, engineers, statists, analysis experts and programmers. Some of the project’s authors have already been involved in operation processes of SUSU’s Sports Science Research Centre. Of course, nowadays similar software exists and used in gyms, but there are no analogs of the I-Trainer project for such sports as track and field, combat sports, swimming, and many others. Our idea has already been supported by sports federations in Moscow.

— What are other spheres of activity of students?

— Students majoring in Tourism and Hospitality take part in a project entitled “Sustainable development of tourism in especially protected territories of the region”. Within a year, they’ve been taking active part in sociological research in taganay, Arkaim and Zyuratkul. I should note that the strategy component of research and project activity is international collaboration. This work includes our colleagues from the Geographical Institute "Jovan Cvijič” of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts.

We would like to offer our future freshman students to take part in a new project called “Marketing of tourism territories”.

Also, ISTS performs training of students in the sphere of Food Technology. Project group of students studies innovative methods of processing of crop seeds that would ensure maximal preservation of the product’s healthful properties. According to participants of the project, new technologies used in preparation of healthful food products allow preventing development of gastrointestinal and cardiovascular diseases. The main goal is to invent healthful products made of natural raw material at an affordable price.

In 2018, SUSU established the Centre of Testing the All-Russian Physical Education and Sports Complex called “Ready for Labor and Defense”. A distinctive factor of our Centre is the presence of all necessary infrastructure which allows completing all challenges from running to shooting and swimming in one place. Bachelor’s degree students majoring in Physical Education, Physical Education for People with Disabilities (Adaptive Physical Education) and Teacher Education take part in implementation of a project entitled “Interrelation between the GTO complex results and the state of health of school children and students”.

A signature traditional springtime event is a relay which is a real massive sport celebration. This year, the event is to be held on May 17; 5 000 people are to take part in it.

— Requirements for students are becoming stricter year after year, and so do students’ expectations. What do modern young people expect from the higher education institution?

– Young specialist’s interest to their future career is quite understandable. One’s career nowadays is one of the acknowledged factors of personal success, the extent of one’s fulfillment in the profession and society. The Institute actively cooperates with enterprises and regards their cadre demands. Successful careers of alumni are the indicator of our work’s quality.

Eventful and interesting educational, sport and research activity allows students after their graduation to get successfully adjusted to the professional environment. Therefore, we have a high index of credibility of employers to ISTS alumni. The main purpose of instructors is to make SUSU ISTS alumni to be harmoniously developed, physically durable, intelligent and successful people who become top-level professionals.

For the reference

The Institute of Sport, Tourism and Service has been created on the basis of two faculties: the Faculty of Physical Education and the Faculty of Sport, Service and Tourism. ISTS actively interacts with employing enterprises of the Ural region. Long-term partnership relations have been established with representatives of state, public and commercial organisations. In the sport sphere they are the Ministry of Physical Education and Sports of the Chelyabinsk regions, various sports federations, fitness clubs and sports complexes. In the sphere of hospitality, tourism and food technology, they are the Ministry of Economic Development, hotels, tourism companies, and restaurants of the city and the region. All our efforts first of all are targeted at enhancement of quality of student training, which guarantees them employment and a prestigious job position.

SUSU’s Institute of Sport, Tourism and Service is the largest research and education complex which performs training of cadre demanded in the sphere of physical education, teaching education (physical education),adaptive physical education, tourism, hospitality, catering technology, restaurant service, and materials’ artistic processing technology.

ISTS performs educational activity in bachelor’s, master’s and postgraduate programmes. Alumni of SUSU’s Institute of Sport, Tourism and Service are well-estimated at the labor market by large employers of the Ural Federal District, Russia and the world.

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