Along with the representatives of other Lithuanian universities – Vilnius Gediminas Technical University, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Vytautas Magnus University, Kaunas University of Technology and Aleksandras Stulginskis University, the director of the study programme Physical Activity and Lifestyle Assoc. Prof. Dr. Rita Gruodytė-Račienė visited Almaty under the project “Increasing the Awareness and Prestige of Lithuanian Higher Education Institutions in Kazakhstan. Promoting Studies in Lithuania”. LSU has taken part in the project for some years already.
The delegation of Lithuanian universities participated in the International Higher Education Fair “Begin Group Edu Fair”. In addition to Kazakh higher education institutions, representatives from 11 countries of the world – Australia, USA, Canada, Singapore, Germany, Denmark, France and others, representing more than 40 different universities were involved in the fair. Young people from Almaty and its districts were introduced to study programmes in the areas of business, management, economics, medicine, technology as well as first, second and third cycle study opportunities in the field of sport science in Lithuania. Most often, conversations began with questions about grants or scholarships for foreign students offered at the university. The greatest interest was in the study programmes Physical Activity and Lifestyle, Physiotherapy, Sports Management, Sports Recreation and Tourism, Performance Analysis of Sport, Basketball Coaching and Management conducted in the English language. The exhibition was attended by about 1,500 schoolchildren and students. In addition to representatives of higher education institutions, young people and their parents were consulted on studies abroad by various Kazakhstan and foreign agencies and training centres.
On February 16, the academic community of universities visited the Consulate General of the Republic of Lithuania in Almaty, where they celebrated the Centenary of the Restoration of the State. Consul General Valdas Burneika with his family, the Lithuanian community of Almaty and other consulate employees attended the event.
Assoc. Prof. Dr. R. Gruodytė-Račienė also visited Kazakhstan Academy of Sports and Tourism, met with the Rector Zakiryanov Baurzhan Kairatovich, Head of the International Relations Office Dusupova Roza Adilbekovna and the Dean of the Faculty of Tourism Imangulova Tatjana Vasiljevna, who delivered lectures to the Academy students and presented research to the academic community.
Lithuanian Sports University and Kazakhstan Academy of Sports and Tourism have been cooperating since 2013, when the President of the Academy and the Vice-Rector for Studies signed a cooperation agreement with LSU during a visit to the University. In the same year, LSU joined the International Association of Physical Education and Sport Universities. In 2014, the first two exchange students arrived at the University to study in the first cycle study programme Sports Coaching. In 2015, one student from the Academy studied in the second cycle study programme Tourism and Sports Management; in 2017, seven students studied in the first cycle study programmes Physical Activity and Lifestyle and Physiotherapy and in the second cycle study programme International Master in Performance Analysis of Sport. In the academic year of 2017-2018, Prof. Josif Andriuščišin (Kazakhstan Academy of Sports and Tourism) delivered lectures on sports psychology at LSU, and Prof. Antanas Skarbalius (Sports Coaching study programme, LSU) visited Kazakhstan Academy of Sports and Tourism to deliver lectures under the Erasmus+ programme. Prof. A. Emeljanovas and Prof. R. Jankauskienė have also represented LSU in Kazakhstan. This year, Prof. B. Švagždienė is visiting the Academy. The Head of the International Relations Office Dusupova Roza and the Dean of the Faculty of Tourism of the Academy Imangulova Tatjana will take part in the International Week, which will take place at LSU on March 19 – 23. The partnership is expected to be further developed in the future.
Since the launch of the project, four events organized by the representatives of Lithuanian universities to present Lithuanian higher education have taken place in Kazakhstan. In April 2017, an initiative to organize an event in Kazakhstan and to promote Lithuanian higher education and study programmes was carried out by LSU and a scientific-methodological conference on health issues was held in cooperation with Kazakhstan Academy of Sports and Tourism. It is expected that the implementation of the activities of the project will increase the awareness and prestige of Lithuania and its higher education as well as internationalization of Lithuanian universities. The project was launched on 1 September 2016 with the finishing date of 30 April 2020. The European Union Structural Funds and the State Budget of the Republic of Lithuania were allocated for the implementation of the project.