EOSE is honoured to have welcomed a new member in 2023 – the National University of Ukraine on Physical Education and Sport (NUUPES), located in Kyiv.

Since the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014 and the full-scale invasion of 2022, Ukrainian society has faced massive challenges not experienced by any European country in over 80 years. NUUPES, as the leading sport university, is using its unique expertise to help Ukraine and its citizens through this national crisis.  In the article below, the University’s Vice Rector, Dr Olha Borisova, introduces the EOSE network to NUUPES and its excellent work on veteran rehabilitation, keeping the population physically active, esports and appeals for more opportunities for international cooperation. If you feel you can support NUUPES’s efforts, please contact Olha at borisova-nupesu@ukr.net

About Our University

NUUPES is the main specialized sport university in our country. It combines teaching, advanced training of specialists, fundamental and applied scientific research, aiming to create favourable conditions for educating elite athletes, their training for participation in top-level competitions, as well as public physical activity initiatives. All of these involve multifaceted international cooperation with countries and universities across the world.

Founded in 1930, NUUPES has trained more than 35 000 sports coaches, physical education teachers, specialists in physical rehabilitation, physical therapy, occupational therapy, sports managers, specialists in fitness and recreation, and tourism. Our graduates successfully work in domestic and foreign sport and fitness clubs and many other organisations. Over the years, NUUPES has succeeded in establishing world-famous scientific schools in the field of sports science.

We are especially proud of our students’ and graduates’ sporting achievements, having won 316 Olympic medals, including 131 gold medals. Our university is traditionally the winner of the All-Ukrainian Universiades among all higher educational institutions. In fact, NUUPES students are the largest contributors to the medal tally of the national team at the World Universiades.

Dealing with the Impact of War

Today, Ukraine is facing very serious challenges caused by military actions on the territory of our country, coming very shortly after the COVID pandemic.

Full-scale Russian military aggression caused a rapid increase in the number of war veterans. According to the Ministry of Defence, since 2014, more than 386 000 people have participated in the security and defence of our country. Veterans include not only military personnel, but also volunteers, doctors and those who risk their lives rescuing others. The fortunate ones who return from the frontline face daily challenges adjusting to ‘normal’ everyday life, new working and living conditions and the peculiarities of social and economic life in Ukraine. Therefore, today, one of the key elements for adaptation of war veterans and their family members is their proper reintegration into society, re-establishing social relationships, realising their potential in civilian life and finding decent employment.

NUUPES is now providing essential support to a recent Cabinet Decree, “On the implementation of an experimental project on war veterans’ transition from military service to civilian life on the basis of educational institutions by means of education, sports and rehabilitation” (January 2024). The purpose of the experimental project is to create an effective model for war veterans’ reintegration into civilian life through specialized educational, sports and rehabilitation programmes in educational institutions, including providing for war veterans with special educational needs, supplying them with special textbooks, manuals, in particular printed in Braille.

Our university is also one of the main institutions for training physical and occupational therapists in Ukraine. To implement this process in accordance with international standards, we actively cooperate with our partners under the Erasmus+ program of the European Commission, relevant NATO projects and with support from the Czech government.

Keeping the Nation Healthy

The issue of public health is also a high priority for every Ukrainian citizen, especially in the light of COVID and the current war. As far back as 2019, President Volodymyr Zelenskyi initiated the “Healthy Ukraine” programme, which has become a nation-wide campaign consolidating the nation and uniting the east and west of our country. This programme is designed to provide practical recommendations and initiatives on improving health, preventing diseases and overcoming their consequences, so that people are not left alone with their illnesses, injuries and mental health difficulties which have become much greater since the pandemic and trauma of war began.

In support of “Healthy Ukraine”, NUUPES’s scientific and pedagogical staff took an active part in promoting opportunities under the main provisions of a social project “Active parks – locations of Healthy Ukraine”, launched by Presidential Decree and a resolution of the Cabinet.

Realizing that insufficient physical activity is a major public health challenge, NUUPES is training specialists who can successfully involve citizens in health-improving physical activity during their leisure time. For the first time in Ukraine, we are offering a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree course in “Fitness and Recreation” which has been running for almost 15 years. Graduates work in many organisations in the fitness and active leisure industry. In order to further improve the quality of students’ training in the specified major, we use world-class innovative technologies.

Development of Esports

The COVID pandemic became a significant catalyst for the development of esports, or as it is also called “electronic sports”. Interest in esports has grown in authoritative international federations of football, basketball, ice hockey and others. The International Olympic Committee is also paying significant attention to it. Currently, almost half a billion people are engaged in electronic sports in the world. esports is recognized in Ukraine as an independent sport.

Despite many positive aspects, esports has a significant drawback, i.e. long-term lack of motor activity. In this regard, we substantiated the feasibility of an innovative methodological approach, according to which it is necessary to combine games “in front of the screen” with various types of motor activity, which allows compensating negative consequences of prolonged physical inactivity for cyber athlete’s body. This is an issue of a vital importance that requires further fundamental and applied scientific research. In practical terms, the Federation of Student Sports and the Sports Students’ Union of Ukraine have already started the implementation of the respective pilot projects. Today we are actively cooperating with the European University Sports Association (EUSA) aimed at formation of the European esports ecosystem.

The development of esports at the university is related to the need of creating safe environment for practicing e-sports based on the combination of games “in front of the screen” with various types of motor activity, which in its turn allows to compensate for negative consequences of long-term physical inactivity for athlete’s body; the available technical facilities and highly qualified university staff are able to resolve this issue. One of the priority areas of work at our institution is use of artificial intelligence in educational and scientific activities.

The Department of Esports and Information Technologies was established at the university, which integrates modern knowledge of esports, computer technologies and innovations. In 2020, for the first time in Ukraine, we launched training of Master’s degree students majoring in “Esports”, and later on since 2021 the training of Bachelor’s degree students majoring in “Esports” has been conducted. Moreover, on the basis of the separate structural unit “Olympic Professional College named after Ivan Piddubnyi of National University of Ukraine on Physical Education and Sport” we have introduced specialized esports classes for schoolchildren. This approach will provide an end-to-end system of elite athletes’ training.

University staff members have published a collective monograph “Esports”; what is more, they have designed a project of the curriculum for children and sport reserve, engaged in esports, as well as a number of educational and teaching-methodical resources to facilitate educational process. The department carries out research work on the topic “Theoretical and methodological foundations of esports and intellectual sports development”.

The Immediate Future

NUUPES and Sports Students’ Union of Ukraine will continue to make maximum efforts to involve our citizens in healthy physical activity, to facilitate rehabilitation and reintegration of war veterans to social and economic life, to contribute to Victory and raise the profile of Ukraine on the international stage.


At present, it is very important for us to establish partnership relations and cooperation with international organizations, representatives of embassies of donor countries, foreign and domestic equipment manufacturers, other stakeholders, as well as ensuring access to European programmes and funds for the implementation of reconstruction and the development of sports and education projects in Ukraine and attracting additional investments to support the sports and educational potential of our country.

If you can see opportunities to support NUUPES’s efforts, please reach out to me: