Improving quality in higher education institutions in developing countries through strategic planning
Strategic Planning is essential for quality management in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) as it enables stakeholders to work towards a common goal, adjusting institutional operations towards the dynamic quality concept. This paper provides an overview of strategic planning, justifying the need for a Strategic Plan (SP) and how it can be developed and implemented effectively in the HEIs in developing countries for continuous quality improvement. Data were obtained from review of literature and analysed using the narrative synthesis approach. The paper argues that HEIs need SPs as a framework for determining the quality direction the institutions should follow to achieve their desired future. Advantages of strategic planning include; allowing relevant institutional constituencies to participate in governance, synchronising plans towards accomplishing institutional goals; prioritising for efficient allocation of resources; and engaging stakeholders for collective ownership of institutional agenda. SPs should be developed based on internal and external environmental scan for institutional strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats; and then aligned with institutional mission, vision, values and goals. Issues for consideration in strategic planning in HEIs may include academic (teaching, research and extension) matters, institutional governance, finance, physical infrastructure, ICT, human resource, advancement, internationalisation, and recreation. Challenges of strategic planning and implementation in the HEI in developing countries include resource constraints, inadequate expertise and commitment, as well as resistance to change. For effective implementation the SP, there should be an implementation plan that details who should do what at what time, and with which resources. Successful strategic planning and implementation depend on qualified and committed planners, implementers, monitors and evaluators, who should work collaboratively with relevant stakeholders of the institution. Anything short of this, could lead to SPs that are shoddily developed, not implementable or poorly implemented, thus, defeating the intended purpose of quality improvement for institutional effectiveness and competitive advantage.
Justice Mensah. Improving quality in higher education institutions in developing countries through strategic planning. International Journal of Humanities and Education Research, Volume 2, Issue 1, 2020, Pages 17-27