The State and Forecast of Development of University Activity on Organization of Studies and Leisure via Physical Culture and Sport



E.V. Starkova, associate professor, Ph.D.
Perm State Humanitarian-Pedagogical University, Perm, Russia

Key words:  physical education training process, university sport, organization of sport and mass participation events, student health enhancement, sport education quality, sports facilities.

Introduction: Aspects of youth physical training are being discussed on various levels of the government. The importance of physical education and sport in promotion of public health enhancement is recognized by the government: legal documents regulating education activities in the field of physical education and sport are regularly approved.

The FSES regulating elementary general education came into operation in September 2011, the FSES regulating basic general education and general secondary education are already ratified and will come into operation starting from 2015 (all schools will be following these standards).  Starting 2011 all postsecondary institutions conduct their activities based on 3-rd generation FSES HVE. The so called 3+ postsecondary FSES will be introduced this year.

400 hours of Physical Education classes are taught to all undergraduate students in compliance with the FSES HVE. Starting September 2014 postsecondary institutions guided by 3+ the FSES will introduce a new discipline (module) "Applied physical education" consisting of at least 328 academic hours of practical  training intended to help all students pass qualifying fitness level tests including those necessary for verification of professional suitability; it will be introduced in addition to traditional Physical Education classes that consist of at least 72 academic hours of lectures, seminars, tutorial workshops and qualifying fitness level tests. However, the FSES 3+ regulating 44.03.01 Pedagogical Education training category in the field of Physical Education does not require introduction of two separate disciplines.  Still it must be noted that new requirements such as at least 360 academic hours of practical training ensuring physical fitness of students (including those taking a professional PE degree) and their compliance with Physical Training and Sport Complex standards were introduced.

Recent rules and regulations changes in organization and maintenance of teaching process in the field of education result in 2 opposite processes - some postsecondary institutions quickly redesign existing programs and start educating their students using state of the art technologies like they already did many time times before while other institutions totally misunderstand the situation, are unable to introduce frequent innovations and start meeting new plans and requirements and as a result stick to "old school" ways (which sometimes is rather reasonable -  Ready to Work and Defense complex that dates back to the USSR is being re-introduced nowadays, for example). 

Starting June 2010, at the direction of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation, all universities must report the results of health, fitness and sports activities monitoring. The FSES introduces requirements to the quality of Bachelor’s programs: their structure and facilities available to students, i.e. physical infrastructure, including sports and recreational buildings.

Based on the ideas discussed above, we decided to analyze organization of mass sports and recreational activities in Perm State Humanitarian Pedagogical University.

Research methods and organization. The research was conducted in 2013, based on the analysis of regulatory documentation, day-to-day and final reports of the PSHPU departments, questionnaire survey results and student health and fitness level assessment.

Results and discussion. We conditionally divided the PSHPU's physical education training and sports activity into three categories: educational process, extra-curricular mass sport activities and student health enhancement.

There are 13 departments in Perm State Humanitarian Pedagogical University. Physical Education is part of the curriculum in all departments: 3 years of PE in 9 departments and 4 years in 4, which averages to 14 811 hours a year. 1 963 students are involved in compulsory health and fitness activities. 

In addition, 350 PSHPU students study on the physical education department. 32 curriculum disciplines are connected with practical training in the field of physical education and sport, which adds up to 3 712 hours a year.

Therefore 2 313 PSHPU students (74,2% of all full-time students) are involved in compulsory physical education and sports activities every year.

In compliance with Ministry of Public Health and Social Development of the Russian Federation order N 613 issued on August 9, 2010  "On medical assistance during physical training and sports events" all students involved in Physical Education training are subject to annual medical examination. Functional group types are assigned by physical therapy and sports medicine specialists based on medical assessment results: 

- 1 group -- physical training without restrictions; participation in competitions is allowed;         

- 2 group -- physical training with minor physical activity restrictions; participation in competitions is prohibited;

- 3 group -- physical training with major physical activity restrictions is allowed;

- 4 group -- therapeutic physical training is allowed.

If we go back to traditional classification, new groups will correspond with the following:

- 1 group -- major;

- 2 group -- reduced exercise load;

- 3 group -- special;

- 4 group -- students exempt from attending classes.

There is an important difference between the current version of student classification and the previous one: as of today students exempt from attending classes group does not exist anymore, however there is a designated group for students exempt from practical physical training who are advised to take therapeutic physical training classes. Besides that, previously, students of reduced exercise load group could participate in competitions, however fitness level results requirements were adjusted.  At present, Public Health Ministry's order prohibits students that fall into the second functional group from participating in any sports competitions.

Therapeutic physical training classes for students exempt that fall into the fourth group are organized throughout five years of postsecondary education. Therapeutic physical training classes are scheduled outside the curriculum and are held both in the am and pm to make it possible for students to choose times that are convenient for them.  Therapeutic physical training classes are taught by Physical Education chair faculty professionally trained in this field (1 - Candidate of medical sciences, physiotherapist; 2 - PE department graduate of PSHPU, pursuing medical degree). Medical examination results in PSHPU for the past 5 years can be found in the following tables:

Distribution of PSHPU students among functional groups (2008-2012)


Functional group


(1-st group), %

Reduced exercise load

(2-nd group), %


(3-d group), %

Exempt from attending classes

(4-th group), %


























The distribution of students among functional groups has not considerably changed over the last five years: the number of students in major and reduced exercise load groups increased insignificantly and there seems to be a decrease in the special group, but at the same time the number of students in therapeutic physical training group has also increased.

Distribution of PSHPU students among functional groups by year (2012) %


Functional group

1 group, %

2 group, %

3 group, %

4 group (Therapeutic Physical Training), %

1-st year





2-nd year





3-d year





The ratio inside the groups is different for each year of study:  there is an increase in percentage of students in major group (1-st group) in the second year and insignificant growth in special and therapeutic physical training groups, the third year is characterized by a  serious increase in number of special group (3-d group) students that can be explained by either aggravation of health during educational process at the university or by more precise medical examination (3-d and 4-th year students  undergo a medical examination their third and fourth time respectively). As far as disease patterns are concerned, ocular disease (89% of which is myopia) comes first -- 32,6%, apparatus system diseases make 24,8%, excitatory and digestive system diseases make 18,6% each (3-4 place), the fifth place is occupied by genitourinary system diseases

Disease patterns of PSHPU students by medical examination results



2012 (%)


Ocular diseases

(89% of which is myopia)



Apparatus system diseases



Excitatory system diseases

(95% of which is angioneurosis)




Digestive system diseases



Genitourinary system diseases


The statistics, provided by A. Stradze, director of Extended Education and Youth Policy division of Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation, shows that currently only 25% of 7 million Russian students exercise regularly. According to the development strategy of Physical Education and Sport in Russia, the number of students involved in sports activities should increase up to 80% [1].

It is commonly known that competitions and preparation activity is the major evidence of successful sports activities. This point raises the following question: how can we get to the above mentioned result (80% increase) if  physical therapy and sports medicine specialists only allow 1st group students to take part in the competitions? Only 37% of the PSHPU students fall into this group. How are students supposed to pass fitness level tests provided by Russian Physical Training and Sport Complex outside competitions? We can only rely on productive cooperation of all Ministries responsible for organization of Physical Education process in universities to solve this conundrum.

According to the FSES HVE 050100 regulating Pedagogical Education category, successful completion of Physical Education class results in shaping of ready to use Physical Education skills for strengthening and enhancing body adaptabilities and health cultural competence. (OK-5) [5].

OK-5 level of competence is evaluated based on university curriculum disciplines that allow to measure fitness levels and test students' knowledge in the field of Physical Education .

The G. Apanasenko’s methodology (1988) based on assessment of simple functional indices is used to determine students with low level of physical health and involve them in preventive and recreational activity.

Initial check-up which is conducted in September during practical training teaches students to evaluate their fitness level based on clinical and physiological indices. 

548 students of the 11 PSHPU departments participated in our research (428 females, 122 males).  

The majority (58,4%) of 2011 first year PSHPU students demonstrated low fitness level, level of 33,1%  students was below  average and only 8,5% of examined students fell into an average functional group. There were no students with high fitness level or that above average as one can deduce from the results shown above. This data indicates a significant decrease of functional body backup, which comes near to a medical condition.

The battery of tests is used to determine fitness level. This research represents exercises results that assess the level of tolerance (Cooper test) and strength (pull-ups for males and 1 minute sit-ups for females). Fitness level tests results are: 

- Cooper test: females - low fitness level; males - satisfactory fitness level;

 - sit-ups: females - high fitness level;

- pull-ups: males - satisfactory fitness level.

Theoretical knowledge level is evaluated by multiple choice questions tests based on school curricula subjects.  100% of 1-st year students gave correct answers to 55% of given question (average number), which can be described as high knowledge level .

Obtained results give us a reason to state an alarming decline in school graduates fitness level. This can be explained by increasing lack of muscle activity among young people (starting from school), and (probably) insufficient attention from educational institution to the process of organization of Physical Education in schools.

Repeated survey in the end of academic year showed the following results: almost half of examined students stayed on the "below average" (40,4%) and "low" (17%) fitness levels. However, during the first academic year 63% of females and 40% of males demonstrated positive dynamics (transition to a  higher functional group) in their fitness level, 8,5% showed negative dynamics and others (17% of females and 21,3% of males) did not have any significant changes in their fitness level. Survey, undertaken in the end of the second year of study (May, 2013), identified positive dynamics of fitness level and transition to a higher functional group for 76% of females and 58% of males (compared to 2011), "above average" category made 14% of total number of students.  Female students showed better adaptation to university lifestyle.  73% of female and 64% of male students showed positive dynamics in tolerance level test, and 78% and 60% respectively in power test.

Fitness level monitoring allows to detect prenosological changes, provide up to date preventive measures, edit educational programs content and evaluate the success of  cultural competence OK-5 ("Pedagogical Education") shaping, while taking Physical Education classes in university.

There is an annual survey in the university which defines students' attitude to Physical Education and sport.  257 PSHPU students (from all departments other than PE) from first to third year of study participated in the survey in 2013. The survey results can be found in the following table:

Answer options

% of respondents who have chosen the answer option


Physical Education classes should be given during the whole period of studies in university.



Physical Education training classes should be given 2 times a week.



I am satisfied with Physical Education classes



Various sports clubs should be organized in the university.



Significant reasons to take Physical Education classes for students are:

- intention to improve fitness level;

- intention to control weight and become fitter






I acquired all necessary skills and abilities essential for performing independent sports activities during the period of study

3-d year  - 83%


I have a positive attitude to sport



Knowledge acquired in class will help

- achieve desired goals in career; 

- provide "sick-list free" work environment;

- promote health enhancement






I do not like the space where classes are held,  sports equipment is not sufficient.


Generally, physical education classes meet students' expectations, however they are not satisfied with underequipped and underfinanced sport facilities which causes absence of diversified types of physical activity.

As it was said before, there are 32 disciplines in the Physical Education department that are connected with various types of physical activity and sports. In compliance with university quality management system requirements, student survey is conducted to monitor department life and research student attitude to education organization and curriculum. 101 students of the 4th and the 5th years of study (2012) and 145 students from the 3rd to the 5th years of study (2013) of 3 department programs: Physical Education, Adapted Physical Education and Tourism and Hospitality participated in our survey. Education quality evaluation was based on the results of "Teacher through student's eyes" questionnaire, which included a list of department teachers and nine performance criteria that allowed to evaluate their work (5 was the maximum score for each criterion).

Rating of each teacher and chair responsible for training of this or that program was calculated based on the results of the questionnaire. Results of Physical education department evaluation are represented in the following table:

Teachers performance evaluation criterion



1. Teacher's self-discipline and punctuality



2. Performance and efficient use of time in class



3. Content significance and availability of material



4. Connection with other disciplines (helps students to build system thinking)



5. Connection with career, teacher gives practical knowledge to students



6. Interaction with the audience (control over the audience reaction, ability to turn  discussion into meaningful activity, respectful attitude towards students with)



7. Intellect and culture of speech (teacher's speech is professional, understandable and distinctive)



8. Credibility, respect and tacticity towards students.



9. Teacher's outfit



A minor decrease in some indices can be seen in the department, but it does not influence the quality of potential specialists training. However, such analysis made it possible to identify some issues in the activity of certain department structural units. Obviously, these results can be judgmental to some extent because teachers impose high demands on their students show their resentment towards those demands by giving low grades to teachers in the questionnaire.  However in our case the results are verified by knowledge level tests in various disciplines.

Competitions and sports and mass participation events management is handled by sports club "Uchitel". The club members organize internal university competitions and coach teams for Perm Regional Universiade.

3800 students participate in university sport events during the year - from 60 to 900 people can be involved in competitions depending on their type, which makes approximately 70% of all PSHPU students.  6 sports clubs were organized in PSHPU to coach university teams for Perm Regional Universiade in the following sports disciplines: basketball, volleyball, futsal, power lifting, aerobics and cross-country skiing. The training process is organized on contractual terms by university teachers and invited sport experts. 104 students or 3.3% of all PSHPU students attend university sports clubs.

For comparison:  there are 19 sports clubs(13 full-time coaches ) in PNRPU and 14 (6 full-time coaches) in PSNRU , besides, there are 54 recreational groups in PNRPU (PNRPU, PSNRU and PSHPU usually compete for victory in Perm Regional Universiade). There are no group physical education clubs and  only one head of sport club in our university.

Perm Regional Universiade participants are divided into 2 groups: 1st group - universities with more than 2000 students, 2nd - universities with less than 2000 students. PSHPU competes in the first group. Universiade includes competitions in 22 sport disciplines but only 11 of them are counted towards overall medal standings. PSHPU participates in 20 types of sport (except Sambo and kettlebell lifting) and places high for the past 5 years.

The main problem today - lack of financing of training camps and other competition expenses prevent students from achieving higher results. Russian president V. Putin, reiterated the need to evaluate the idea of creating a special foundation that would help finance student sport development projects.  We expect this issue to be resolved soon and are willing to be part of this process.

PSHPU student union committee supports students that participate in university sport life and give bonuses to sportsmen and sportswomen representing the university.  More than 50 sport events were financed by student union from 2008 to 2012.

Recovery of such expenses as swimming pool seasonal passes and vouchers for beach resorts can be considered as part PSHPU students health enhancement program.  

Starting September 2011 in compliance with the Russian Federation Government Regulation № 945 issued on November 18, 2011, students with outstanding academic progress and sporting achievements are eligible to higher scholarship. In 2013 24 students with sport achievements received such scholarships.

The university needs its own sports facilities to organize the abovementioned recreational and health enhancement events.

There are 7 on campus sports facilities (see the table). The Physical Education department process of training is organized in the sports hall, gymnasium and training centre "Lyady" Other facilities are spaces adjusted to sports and recreational events where students of 12 university departments exercise. 

PSHPU sports facilities

Name of the facility

Level above the ground

Spacing (sq. meters)

1. Sports hall

1st floor


2. Sports and recreation centre

basement level


3. Gymnasium

1 st floor


4. Physical training hall

1 st floor


5. Tennis court



6. Body-building hall



7. Country training-centre

1st floor

5 ha

There are around two thousand sports buildings that comply with up-to-date requirements, in universities within jurisdiction of the Ministry of Education and Science. But, generally, the condition of facilities and inventory leaves a lot to be desired. More than 300 thousand of square meters require major maintenance and cannot be used, that is why many universities have to rent sports halls. At present time 169 sports halls and 231 swimming pools are rented by universities [1].

Our university is not an exception. In order to comprehensively provide educational process to students, the university rents a number of sports facilities in the city, such as swimming pools (for Physical Education department students and special group students with apparatus system diseases), ski resorts and track-and-field facilities.

New FSES contains requirements to conditions of implementation of the major education program including inventory and equipment.  However, these standards cover equipment and inventory of the basic education programs Physical Education subject at school [2], whereas it is impossible to find the same document regulating sports equipment requirements for universities.

There are Methodology instructions from January 18, 1982, that regulate the organization of university students education (health and medical questions). N 10-11/9 is a sports halls engineering rulebook (from February 26, 2005. N 24), requirements to university sports facilities from 1992.

If we compare the existing university sports facilities in our country to the standards of 1992 (see table) [3], we probably won't find a full match, only if we summarize total spacing of all buildings.

University sports buildings requirements (1992)

University buildings



1. Large cross-functional sports hall (for sport games) with spectators seats



2. Average cross-functional sports hall (for aerobics and sport games)



3. Special-purpose sports hall (for wrestling, boxing, fencing and others)



4. Sports hall for special groups and groups with reduced physical load



5. Swimming-pool



Ministry of Education and Science holds two major contests. The first one will be evaluating organization of sports activities at the universities, the second one - efficiency of university healthy lifestyle promotion.  In order to increase the profile  of these contests, new incentives such as new sports facilities or  sports equipment should be provided,  not only a letter of recognition [1].

Summary: A complex of recommendations for sports and recreational activity development, improvement of educational process quality in the field of physical education was worked out based on the undertaken study.

  • Bringing existing sports facilities (including utility spaces) in line with standards (Sanitary/Hygienic Norms and Regulations, construction norms and rules etc.);
  • Consistency of actions of organization units responsible for successful operation in the field of physical activity at the university (PSHPU Physical Education Coordination Board);
  • Creating conditions for development of professional student sport, mass physical education of students via sports clubs - an independent university organizational department;
  • Organization of recreational sports events according to students' needs;
  • Research and development of new programs connected with preparation of Physical Education and sports specialists in compliance with new National Standard requirements for schools and universities.


  1. Gorunova I. The interview with A. Stradze, the director of Extended Education and Youth Policy division of Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation. // Russian)
  2. Sample programs of general education. Physical Education. - Moscow:  Prosveshenie, 2010 – 64 P. (In Russian)
  3. Design of higher educational institutions and institutes of continuing education / State research and design institute of educational, commercial and residential and recreational buildings. – Moscow: Stroyizdat, 1992. - 315 P. (In Russian)
  4. FSES HPE areas of training 44.03.01 "Pedagogical education" // (In Russian)
  5. FSES HPE on the training specialization 050100 "Pedagogical education”, approved by the decree of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation dated December 22, 2009. N 788. (In Russian)