Role of physical education in competitive specialist training process


PhD, Associate Professor N.A. Vakhnin1
PhD, Associate Professor E.G. Vakhnina1
PhD, Associate Professor N.N. Smirnova1
St. Petersburg Mining University, St. Petersburg

Keywords: education, professionalism, health, people, competitiveness, harmony, physical education, security.

Background. The national policies to secure further social progress imply the progress being facilitated by the growing quality of the human resource in every professional service sector. The growing intensity of the processes in every social sector has increased competition in every international, multilateral, research, economic, informational, cultural etc. domain. Subject to persistent changes are the qualification requirements to the education specialists in the professional training, general culture, physical education, life safety and many other social and education fields, with the role and importance of a good professional background increasingly appreciated by the society.

Modern educational system is designed, as commonly acknowledged, to harmonically and effectively integrate education, training and socializing processes and components. Presently it is rather traditional for the social sciences to consider the modern educational service as systemic knowledge, skills and competences building process designed on a self-reliant and/or institutional basis i.e. as the educational service provided by special training institutions forming the social system geared to train professional human resource for every social field and mission as required by the valid social progress objectives and culture [3].

Any governmental or social resource may be described as a combination of educational, demographic and psychological resources mobilized and developed by the educational system – that is expected to build up due professional competences and skills for success in the modern competitive environments – including the relevant tactical behavioural models to facilitate progress of every specialist with his/her successful adaptation to the competitive social and industrial environments.

A modern university graduate has to be prepared to effectively compete in the professional environments and everyday life. The adaptation basics are expected to be provided today by the key academic education curricula, with the special role played by the physical education curricula geared to cultivate healthy lifestyle, competitive spirit and win-focused mentality in every student. Values-driven physical education process at a technical university may be indispensable for the students’ professional and creative progress as verified by the questionnaire and sociological surveys at St. Petersburg Mining University [1] – for the reason that the academic period is the best time for personality progress in every field including individual creativity and professionalism.

Objective of the study was to provide a basis for the theoretical rethinking of the modern challenges in the healthy lifestyle and individual creativity promotion and cultivation processes and mechanisms to effectively improve the physical and mental adaptation abilities and skills for success in professional careers – in the situation when every social process is intensified; with the relevant physical and mental health and progress modeling and rating components to rate the pre-graduates’ professional competency.

Methods and structure of the study. Modern labour markets are increasingly demanding to the quality of the inflowing human resource, with the university graduates often facing serious problems in their employment attempts and expectations and failing to stand hard competitive pressure. This is the reason why the national educational establishments tend to give a growing priority to the individual competitiveness building programs. For the last decades, the Mining University faculty has run studies to identify and analyze the key success factors for the initiatives to cultivate individual competitiveness in students including those under the standard academic physical education and sports curricula.

The Federal Law #273-FL “On Education” Article 84, Section 11 “Education programs in the physical education and sports domain: implementation requirements” reads: “Education programs in the physical education and sport domain shall be designed to facilitate the personality physical progress and build up due knowledge, skills and abilities in the physical education and sport fields for success in the individual physical perfection, healthy and safe lifestyle and health improvement agendas; with the facilitating education services being found, selected and offered to the most gifted children and adolescents for their athletic progress including the specialist training for the national physical education and sports sector” [2].

Study results and discussion. The educational services provided at the Physical Education Department of St. Petersburg Mining University in full compliance with its traditionally high institutional and practical service standards – confirm that due physical education and sporting culture may be viewed among the key credentials of a modern specialist and his/her competency for the professional service. The latest (2017) questionnaire survey of the first-year student population was found to support the previous high assessments of the sport assets and practical conditions for the physical education and sports services provided at the university and the role they play in every student’s life. At least 40% of the sample confirmed their determination for more active physical trainings and sports after they have familiarized themselves with the sport assets, facilities and services offered at the university. Furthermore, around 90% of the sample ranked healthy lifestyle, physical trainings and sports among the most positive life factors. The survey also found the junior student population showing mostly negative attitudes to bad habits: for instance, 100% of a few surveyed groups has reportedly never smoked or quitted smoking; with the numbers of smokers found to fall in the female subgroups.

A sampling comparative analysis of the questionnaire data arrays (with the 2017 survey data compared with the past survey data) showed a persistent growth of the student population appreciating benefits of academic physical education [4]. Thus more than 50% of the respondents majoring in high technologies were found to acknowledge good physical fitness as a potential success factor in their future professional careers. This opinion is most widely supported by the students majoring in the modern high-tech heavy industries including oil-and-gas production, mining and metallurgic engineering businesses [5]. It should be noted that 1/3 of the sample preferred some other success factors in their future professional careers albeit all of them are still highly rated the physical education and sporting backgrounds among the success factors. We should also confess, however, that some students are reluctant to practice off-class sports i.e. other than the mandatory academic physical education and sport practices – despite the fact that they still highly rate the benefits of the university physical education and sports services.

Conclusion. The academic course is designed to develop a highly competitive individual easily adaptable to the social and professional environments due to good professional background and personality qualities. The competitiveness cultivation component of the academic curricula is intended to increase the students’ motivations for the learning process to effectively respond to the growing requirements to the education quality and professional personality qualities it develops, with the academic physical education service acknowledged as making a great and special contribution to the process.


  1. Vakhnin N.A., Vakhnina E.G. Valeologo-pedagogicheskoe soprovozhdenie fizicheskogo vospitaniya studentov tekhnicheskogo vuza kak faktor professionalnoy podgotovki i tvorcheskogo razvitiya lichnosti [Valeological and pedagogical support of academic physical education in technical college as a factor of professional training and creative development of personality]. Teoriya i praktika fiz. kultury, 2016, no. 5, pp. 15-16.
  2. Zakon «Ob Obrazovanii» no. 273-FZ [Law "On Education" no. 273-FL] ( zakon-ob-obrazovanii-2013/)
  3. Osipov G.V. [Ed.] Rossiyskaya sotsiologicheskaya entsiklopediya (1998) [Russian sociological encyclopedia (1998)]. Moscow: NORMA – INFRA-M publ., 666 p.
  4. Rudenko G.V. Individualizatsiya professionalno – prikladnoy fizicheskoy podgotovki k deyatelnosti, svyazannoy s riskom dlya zhizni i zdorovya (na primere gorno-geologicheskikh spetsialnostey). Avtoref. dis. dokt. ped. nauk [Individualization of applied professional physical training for life and health-threatening activities (case study of mining and geological specialties). Doct. diss. abstract (Hab.)]. St. Petersburg, 2013.
  5. Rudenko G.V., Bakhvalova S.V. Rol fizicheskoy kultury v podderzhanii i vosstanovlenii rabotosposobnosti gornykh inzhenerov [Physical culture to maintain and restore performance of mining engineers]. Zapiski Gornogo instituta, 2006, vol. 167, pp. 290-291.

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Traditional specialist training models are still retained in the new millennium at the national technical universities albeit the labour automation, new technologies and new job-related risks require the traditional educational methods and models being updated. The government of the Russian Federation makes a special emphasis in its sustainable development policies to advance the specialist competitiveness and life/ job safety standards viewed among the highest priorities by the modern communities. Human resource is considered a core element of the sustainable development process, with a modern specialist expected to be highly physically and mentally fit, stress tolerant, mentally balanced, healthy, highly competent in the vocational field and prepared to cope with a variety of stresses in the modern competitive social environments for success. These qualities and skills are in top priority in the physical education and sports programs being successfully implemented at St. Petersburg Mining University and highly appreciated by the students as demonstrated by questionnaire surveys. Due management, legal, economic, general cultural and professional competences in the physical education domain are expected to generate high synergy to improve the quality of the educational service provided at the technical university.