Статьи журнала "Современное образование"

Ermek Marzhyqpaev | Tourism and Sport: how young people can raise the country's prestige

Ermek Marzhyqpaev | Tourism and Sport
Kazakhstan's potential lies not only in the availability of mineral resources, digitalization and manufacturing. Unique natural and cultural sights, attracting both Kazakhstan’s and foreign tourists, are an integral and important part of the modern image of the republic. The achievements of Kazakhstan's youth in various fields of sport glorify the country all over the world, demonstrating the level of its development. The Ministry of Tourism and Sports is aimed at training highly professional experts in the field of tourism and all possible support for young people involved in sports. Yermek MARZHIKPAEV, the Minister of Tourism and Sports of the Republic of Kazakhstan tells us about the measures that the Ministry is taking when fulfilling these tasks.
Ermek Marzhyqpaev - foto
– Yermek Boranbayevich, your department supervises two vital fields of our society: sports and tourism. Let's start with tourism. Kasym-Jomart Tokayev, the Head of State has instructed to work on maximizing the unique tourist potential of our country. Is the human resource base ready for such a breakthrough in this area?

– We are proud that our country has a unique tourism potential and we are on our way to maximize it. At present, according to the available official data for the end of 2023, more than 7 million domestic citizens traveled within the country, which is almost 650 thousand more than in the same period in 2022.

There was also a significant increase in the number of accommodation facilities serving foreign tourists. For 2023, this indicator exceeded 1 million people.

Hotels, recreation centers, guesthouses, hostels and other places of accommodation at the end of 2023 cumulatively earned more than 229 billion tenge, which exceeded the revenue of 2022 by 25%.

Thus, following the results of 2023, not only pre-pandemic levels were high, but also a historic maximum in key tourism indicators, emphasizing the sustainable development of our industry.
An interview with Ermek Marzhyqpaev - students
At the same time, today there is a shortage of personnel in the tourism sector. The market needs not only managers, but also narrow specialists with the necessary skills for the service sector. In the fields of MICE-industry (it is also called meeting industry or business tourism), Event-management (planning and conducting events) staff is in short supply.

If we give quality education to students, which will be intertwined with practical training in good five-star hotels, with the study and practice of foreign languages, then they will be excellent experts in the future.

In addition, it is necessary to pay special attention to the requalification of the able-bodied population by organizing short-term courses that provide microqualifications and make it possible to provide the labor market with specialists with necessary competencies in the shortest possible time, as well as to requalify the existing workforce.

As part of this objective, the Ministry of Tourism and Sports is actively investing in the human resource base to ensure a breakthrough in the tourism sector. Thus,
the Tourism Industry Development Concept 2023-2029 introduces a number of measures to improve the personnel training system for tourism industry. Among them, it is necessary to note the invitation of international experts for formation of educational training programs on tourism, growth of the share of disciplines in English, attraction of business representatives to the development of training programs, educational and methodical materials, and also to teaching of disciplines and management of graduate works.
Not so long ago a special university - International University of Tourism and Hospitality - was established in Turkestan region. What tasks have been set before it, how is it coping with them? What is the enrollment of the past year? How many grants were allocated, have they all been distributed?

– You are absolutely right, the International University of Tourism and Hospitality was indeed created in order to fill the shortage of specialists in the field of tourism and hospitality through its staff, thus improving the quality and availability of tourism products and services.

At present, this is the only specialized higher education institution in Kazakhstan that prepares personnel for the tourism and hospitality industry, which faces such tasks as the development and implementation of quality, in-demand educational programs based on the dual system of education and international experience, aimed at preparing personnel with a high level of knowledge and competence in the field of tourism and hospitality; active cooperation with international partners; implementation of applied research projects and the introduction of their results in the real sector of the country's economy, as well as in the educational process, and a number of other tasks.

The International University of Tourism and Hospitality has attracted more than 3,000 students in the last four years. All of them are studying in the groups of educational programs “Physical Education Teacher Training”, “Tourism”, “Leisure” and “Restaurant and Hospitality Business”.
For the current academic year 2023-2024, the Ministry of Tourism and Sports has allocated 800 personalized grants. All these grants have been successfully distributed. Also, 179 students were enrolled on fee-paying basis. This indicates a high level of interest of applicants in tourism and hospitality education.
About 500 students are expected to graduate this year.
Although the university is very young, it has already achieved some successes, among which is its approval as a member of the World Tourism Organization in December 2021 (United Nations World Tourism Organization). In this respect, it is the only one in Kazakhstan. The University actively uses dual system of education through extensive cooperation with both Kazakhstan’s and foreign partners. In October 2023, it was recognized by the Council of Higher Education of the Republic of Turkey, which added it to its list of foreign universities. This has several significant advantages for the university: recognition of our degree within Turkey, access to governmental programs, grants and other funding and cooperation opportunities
International University of Tourism and Hospitality|Sovremennoe obrazvanie
– The International University of Tourism and Hospitality is a university subordinate to your ministry. Does it have enough academic freedom to form competitive educational programs?

– Academic freedom is a key aspect for shaping educational programs in higher education. Thanks to it, university teachers have the opportunity to respond to changes in labor market requirements, integrating new competencies, and thus create modern competitive educational programs.

The process of formation of educational programs usually includes several stages aimed at meeting the needs of the labor market and providing graduates with necessary skills. For example, the university independently has the right to conduct research on current and future labor market requirements in the tourism industry, identifying key competencies that employers value in future employees. Therefore, it is important to consider feedback from employers and society in the process of shaping educational programs.

By participating in various gatherings, forums, seminars and other events, the International University of Tourism and Hospitality has the opportunity to find key stakeholders for partnership agreements between tourism companies, accommodation and catering service providers, educational institutions and other companies.
From the Ministry's part, we provide full support to the University to establish contacts with the tourism business community and actively participate in the preparation of competitive personnel for the tourism and hospitality industry.
– What is the composition of the enrolled contingent: are most of the enrollees local residents, or are there still many graduates from other regions? Are there any international students? What is their level? Was it justified to lower the passing score for grant applicants to 50 scores, which is the minimum passing score for admission to the university?

– The International University of Tourism and Hospitality has a diverse contingent of students, including representatives of different regions of Kazakhstan. Most of our students are from Turkestan, Kyzylorda and Zhambyl regions, as well as from major cities such as Shymkent, Astana and Almaty. However, international students from Mongolia, the Russian Federation and Uzbekistan are studying as well here. This creates a unique educational atmosphere that enriches the learning experience for all students. The international contingent contributes to the diversity and cultural exchange at the university. The level of knowledge of international students is also high, which is confirmed by the successful completion of educational programs and their active participation in the academic life of the university. This creates an intercultural atmosphere and facilitates the exchange of knowledge and experience between students from different parts of the world.

According to the Standard Rules of admission, studying in educational organizations with educational programs of higher and postgraduate education, the passing score for admission to most educational programs is 50. This decision was made in order to provide more access to higher education for applicants.

It is important to note that in the hospitality and tourism industry one of the important competencies is soft skills (the ability to speak clearly and neatly, to speak in public, to listen, to attract clients, to make the interlocutor feel comfortable, self-confidence, etc.).
Thanks to the practice-oriented approach and the introduction of the dual system of education, students from the third year onwards practise more and have an opportunity to learn from strong industry practitioners, develop their skills and have an opportunity to find a job before graduation.
Is the International University of Tourism and Hospitality designed to fully meet the personnel requirements of the industry, or can it do without the participation of other universities? How does the Ministry interact with other universities, do they also have an opportunity to receive targeted grants from the Ministry?

– Unfortunately, the studies of the human resource potential involved in the tourism industry show a disappointing picture.
The industry is still in need of quality professionals, and in large numbers, which confirms the importance of the International University of Tourism and Hospitality and emphasizes the importance of the mission entrusted to it.
In a short period of time, we managed to attract the right personnel and industry practitioners with big experience.

In terms of that, just recently, a new principal of the university was appointed in the order of competition - Alibek Jumabekovich Shokparov, PhD, a graduate of the “Bolashak” program, who has long work experience in the system of higher education.
However, other Kazakhstan’s universities that prepare staff for tourism and hospitality have a number of very experienced teachers, their own material, technical, educational and methodological bases. The young university should actively cooperate with them. Only together they will be able to solve the problem of staff shortage at the republican level.

Currently, training of tourism staff is carried out in 49 organizations of higher and/or postgraduate education.
The Ministry of Tourism and Sports of the Republic of Kazakhstan is the administrator of the budget program in terms of targeted grants for Bachelor's Degree in tourism only for the International University of Tourism and Hospitality.
– In general, how do you assess whether today we have enough published literature, available research results on history, archeology, geography of our country to prepare experts who have deeply studied cultural, historical, natural heritage of Kazakhstan?

– In general, there is enough published literature on history, archeology, geography of our country, which have already been inserted in the educational process of universities, but they are mostly outdated, and many publications do not sufficiently reflect and show the results of research of our scientists and organizers when studying cultural, historical and natural heritage of Kazakhstan.

Organization of scientific researches on history, archeology, geography of our country and their introduction into the educational process will give an opportunity to prepare experts with skills to assess the importance of historical and cultural heritage of Kazakhstan and other countries of the world in the development of local and outbound tourism, the role of museums, historical and cultural tourism in the formation and development of tourist cities and routes.
If to provide the educational process with additional editions of this specificity, the future specialists will receive qualitative knowledge, as they will learn more deeply the history and culture of Kazakhstan, will master the customs and traditions of the people of all periods in the development of Kazakhstan.
Currently, the development of educational programs is innovative in nature, which implies the creation of relevant and creative disciplines and classes that require constant replenishment of the book collection and the publication of relevant literature. In this regard, while for some disciplines the provision of literature is quite high, for others it is necessary to publish, which is possible only through the support and encouragement of scientific research activities of teachers and publication of their works in the form of educational and teaching works.

– Are university scientists, teachers and students involved in the development of breakthrough projects in tourism, which President Kasym-Jomart Tokayev spoke about?

– Yes, the university is developing in the scientific direction as well. With this aim, a scientific research center was formed in 2022, its own scientific publishing house was established– international magazine «Bulletin of the International University of Tourism and Hospitality», research projects are developed and submitted to contests announced by the Science Committee of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan, internal projects are financed.

In the first half of the 2023-2024 academic year, in addition to the current two projects, university scientific researchers and faculty members submitted 21 applications for grant funding competition for scientific and scientific-technical projects for the period from 2024 to 2026. So far, four of them have been checked and are in the appraisal stage, while the remaining 17 projects are in the process of verification.

Also, students of our university under the guidance of teachers are engaged in scientific work in the field of tourism. For example, they developed projects on the topics of “the Prospects of creating a Smart city in Turkestan: relevance of its development” and “Tourism niche in Kazakhstan: problems and their solutions”. The possibility of their participation in upcoming startup projects at the republic level is currently being considered.

In order to familiarize students with science, annual competitions are held among students on a science project. For example, a competition of the scientific project “Development of tourism in Kazakhstan” was held at the annual science week in 2023, and students who took the 1st and 2nd places according to the results of the competition were awarded cash prizes.
International University of Tourism and Hospitality|obrazvanie.kz
– With which countries does Kazakhstan conduct active international cooperation in the field of tourism? How does the International University of Tourism and Hospitality participate in it?

– International University of Tourism and Hospitality actively develops international cooperation in the field of tourism with various countries, including Turkey, Thailand, Russia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan.

In particular, the university has developed joint initiatives and activities by signing memorandums with partner institutions, including:

– Alanya Alaaddin Keykubat University (Turkey) – participation in academic mobility under the Erasmus + program, cooperation in the framework of joint scientific projects;

– Erciyes University (Turkey) – exchange of experience in the creation of the GastroSchool, cooperation within the framework of joint scientific projects under the Erasmus + program;

– Istanbul Ticaret University (Turkey) – assistance in organizing guest lectures;

– Sakarya University of Applied Sciences (Turkey) and Necmettin Erbakan University (Turkey) – participation in academic mobility within the framework of the Erasmus+ program;

– Prince of Songkla University (Thailand) – cooperation in the framework of academic mobility;

–Management Development Institute of Singapore in Tashkent (Uzbekistan) - cooperation in joint research projects, joint participation in forums;

– Scientific Research Institute for Tourism Development (Uzbekistan) - participation in joint research projects;

– Berdakh Karakalpak State University (Uzbekistan) - cooperation in the framework of teacher exchange programs;

– J. Balasagyn Kyrgyz National University - cooperation in joint research projects and academic mobility;

– Academy of Tourism (Kyrgyzstan) - cooperation in the framework of academic mobility.
This cooperation covers a wide range of activities, including academic exchanges, joint research and sharing of experiences, contributing to the development of a global perspective and internationalization of tourism education at the International University of Tourism and Hospitality.
– Turning to the topic of sports, I would like to know what kind of support in terms of training young sportsmen have today, not only graduates of sports schools, but also children from ordinary schools, who regularly attend sections, participate in competitions, what grants, benefits, discounts and other forms of encouragement are provided for them?

– Sport in Kazakhstan has long been an important part of national culture and identity. From age-old traditional sports to modern disciplines, the Kazakhs show an interest in physical activity and competitions. Therefore, our state tries in every possible way to create all conditions for the younger generation actively engaged in sports.
Under the order of the Head of the State, legislative amendments were introduced to provide grants to talented children, including winners and prize-winners of international sports competitions, for their enrollment in higher education institutions without participating in a competition.

Along with it, according to the Law of the RK “On Education”,
winners and prize-winners of international sports competitions (included in the list approved by the Ministry of Education of the RK) of the last three years are enrolled with the award of an educational grant in higher education institutions on condition that their chosen qualification corresponds to the subject of the Olympiad, competition or sports competition.
– Our students regularly participate in the World Winter and Summer Universiades, we hosted the Turkic Universiade in Turkestan last November. How actively is student youth involved in sports today? What kinds of sports are they more fond of?

– If we talk about sports events, there is a sufficient number of them. Our student youth participate in all competitions and have good results.

As you know, every two years there is a summer and winter Universiade among students of higher education institutions of Kazakhstan. Thus, in 2023, the XIII Summer Universiade of the Republic of Kazakhstan in 17 sports was held in Aktau, where 62 universities, 324 teams, 2,092 students and 323 teachers-trainers took part.

In parallel with the Universiade, the Student Sports League is formed to increase the number of students systematically engaged in physical education and sports. According to the results of 2023, 34 universities and 784 students took part in the republican stage of the league.

Kazakhstan’s students also participate in the World Winter Universiade in 10 sports and the World Summer Universiade in 11 sports.

Kazakhstan’s sportsmen performed well at the Winter Universiade in Lake Placid (USA) in January 2023, where they won 3 gold, 4 silver and 4 bronze medals.
The most successful Winter Universiade for Kazakhstan's national team remains the 2017 Summer Universiade in Almaty. At that time, our team took the second place in the team scoring, behind Russia. Kazakhstan won total 36 medals - 11 gold, 8 silver and 17 bronze.

The above mentioned sports activities generate a lot of interest among the students and they continue to actively participate in world sports reaching great heights.

In general, it should be said that any student entering a higher education institution can choose a sports section that he or she will like. The program includes physical education, which meets a certain standard similar to the school program, but in order to develop themselves physically, many students can choose from such sports as basketball, football, swimming, athletics, boxing, wrestling and so on.
– How students - participants and winners of Universiades and other sports competitions are supported?

– Support for top-level university sports is linked to big international competitions. All champions and winners of the Summer and Winter Universiades in sports will receive monetary incentives from the state.

The size of monetary incentives to champions and prize-winners of international sports competitions, coaches and members of the national teams of the RK in sports (national teams in sports) approved by the order of the Minister of Culture and Sports of the RK from June 27, 2023 № 156:1. Summer, Winter World Universiade (1 place – 15 000$, 2 place – 10 000$, 3 place – 5000$);

2. World Championships (among youth) of Olympic and Paralympic sports (1 place – 3500$, 2 place – 2300$, 3 place – 1100$).
– The Fifth World Nomad Games will be held in Kazakhstan. How are the preparations coming along?

– As you know, the Fifth World Nomad Games are scheduled to be held September 8 - 14, 2024 in Astana.

We expect delegations from more than 100 countries to participate. The uniqueness of the World Nomad Games lies in the trinity of sports, cultural and scientific programs.

It is planned that the sports program of the Games will include 20 competitive and 10 demonstration sports. There will be 110 sets of medals.

To form the infrastructure of the World Games, the most convenient principle of “linear” device was applied, where the maximum number of involved objects is located along one line.

No new facilities will be built for the World Games, the already existing infrastructure will be used for these purposes.

In total, 7 metropolitan stadiums will be involved:

– “Astana Arena” stadium will host the opening ceremony of the games;

– J. Ushkempirov Palace of Wrestling “Jekpe Jek” will host wrestling competitions;

– competitions in folk games and wrestling are planned in the “Alau” Ice Palace;

– accreditation and equipment centers will be located in the Track and Field Sports Complex “Qazaqstan”;

– competitions on traditional intellectual games will be held in the conference hall of “Duman-Parliament”;

– “the Kazanat” hippodrome will host competitions in equestrian and demonstration sports, as well as the closing ceremony of the Games;

– a scientific conference will be held at the national museum.
At present, the preparation of Kazakhstan’s national team has begun, the composition of teams is formed, training gatherings are being organized. The national team of the Republic of Kazakhstan will participate in all sports. Work is carried out in this direction jointly with the Association of National Sports.

In the framework of the World Nomad Games, the national teams will take part in 55 training gatherings, as well as in 27 international and 53 national competitions.

In addition, from March to July our sportsmen plan to take part in 4 world championships and 4 Asian championships on audaryspak, traditional archery, zhamba atu, Kazakh wrestling, tenge ilu, asyk atu, togyzkumalak.

Sportsmen and coaches of the national team of the RK have all opportunities for successful performance at the Fifth World Nomad Games.

One of the highlights in the world of sports was the performance of 48 of our participants in the “Future Games 2024” in Russia between February 21 and March 3.

This international tournament brought together 21 innovative fijital disciplines that combined digital and classic sports, about two thousand people from Russia, China, India, Belarus, South Korea, Spain, Uruguay, Philippines, Argentina, Ecuador, Colombia participated. Kazakhstan’s sportsmen performed well and were able to achieve high results.

In the Counter-Strike 2 and laser tag game our team xGOD triumphed, winning the final over the Russian team LookingForOrg with the score 2:0. The match ended with a combined score of 13:9 on the Inferno card and 13:11 on the Overpass card. This impressive achievement confirms the high level of training and professionalism of xGOD players. Kazakhstan’s players managed to win a substantial prize of $175 thousand.

“Our Counter-Strike players have proven themselves on the world stage since long ago, from the very first versions of this game, and today they continue to delight fans at international tournaments. Congratulations to the Kazakhstan’s team with their amazing victory, such a prize fund is indeed considered a significant reward for the world of cybersport”, – noted the President of the Cybersport Federation of Kazakhstan Kuanyshbek Esekeev.

In addition, Kazakhstan’s sportsmen in different international Dota2 teams were able to reach the quarter-finals. Our fijital hockey players - Cyber Barys team went through the 1/8 finals. Alim Rakhmetov, a coach of Young team was able to lead his team to the first place, his team won $87.5 thousand. Stanislav Shtyrenko, a player of the Rise team in the “World of Tanks” discipline, finished at the stage of 1/4 finals, his team received $30 thousand for participation. Adil Yeldosov, a member of Team Absolute, became the winner in Standoff discipline, his team earned $87.5 thousand.

The infrastructure of cybersport in Kazakhstan has been dynamically developing since 2018, then this discipline was first recognized as an official sport, and the Federation of Cybersport of the RK emerged in the summer. Since then, the country has hosted hundreds of tournaments, including a number of international tournaments.

Kasym-Jomart Tokayev, the President of Kazakhstan proposed to hold the next international multi-sport tournament “Games of the Future” in Kazakhstan.


Редакцияның сұрақтарына жауап бере отырып, Қазақстан Республикасының Туризм және спорт министрі Ермек Маржықпаев елдегі туристік саланың дамуы және жастар спортын қолдау туралы әңгімелейді. Министрлікке ведомстволық бағынысты Халықаралық туризм және қонақжайлылық университетінде төртінші жыл қатарынан туризм саласында мамандар даярланып жатыр. Ел Көшпенділердің дүниежүзілік ойындарын өткізуге дайындалуда. Чемпионаттардың жеңімпаздары мен жүлдегерлері мемлекеттен ақшалай көтермелеулер алады.


Отвечая на вопросы редакции, министр туризма и спорта Республики Казахстан Ермек Маржикпаев рассказывает о развитии туристской отрасли и поддержке молодежного спорта в стране. В Международном университете туризма и гостеприимства, подведомственном министерству уже четвертый год готовятся специалисты в области туризма. Страна накануне проведения Всемирных игр кочевников. Победители и призеры чемпионатов получают денежные поощрения от государства.
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