30 November 2021 20:29

Why Strategic Planning is vital to the resilience of Research and Teaching

Strategic planning holds the key for making future goals that are enabled by the people to have local, regional, national and global influences.

The last two years have been trying times for the students and Universities under the impact of COVID-19. The compelled transition from face-to-face to online/blended mode of teaching has taught new lessons to not just students but to the entire academia.

There has been the closure of schools and tertiary institutions that has made to think towards adjusting teaching pedagogy and research craft.

During the course of these pandemic restrictions, the schools and universities around the world must be making strategic plans to show their resilience in terms of research and teaching that can make a meaningful difference in the years to come. This op-ed discusses the importance of Strategic Planning among Universities.

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Strategic Planning

“Strategic planning is a management technique that helps organizations set future goals and objectives to achieve more stable and predictable growth” (Hall, 2013). This planning establishes the future roadmap by identifying the strength and weaknesses of the current institution to grow and excel in the future.

The provides a strong sense of directions and outlines the measurable goals. This includes strategic thinking to assess the constraints and evaluate the institution’s vision as well as a mission to strengthen the current practices to achieve your goals.

Recently, I got the opportunity to be a part of similar strategic planning at my employer’s platform. This was the College of Humanities and Education Workshop, [Fiji National University] co-sponsored by Civic leaders for Clean Transaction (CLCT)- Integrity Fiji. The relevant theme was “Facilitating Integrity in Research and Teaching & Learning predicated on Humanities and Education”.

This was only made possible by the thinking tank of the college’s Dean Prof. Unaisi Nabobo-Baba’s farsighted vision to get together with all academic leaders of college with HOS, HODs, and prominent leaders in their respective expertise to get together to discuss the issues of past researches profile and teaching and learning framework to lead the future years in line with FNU 2021-2026 strategic planning. Integrity Fiji reflected the values of CHASE: Care, Honesty, Authenticity, and Sincerity, led by Dr. Joseph Veramu to enlighten the constructive work done by their organization.

The opening remark was given by the Minister of Education, Heritage, and Arts [MEHA] Hon. Premila Devi Kumar on the theme of working together on “Quality Education and the Integrity of Teachers. MEHA’s expectations of the CHE, FNU and areas of mutual collaboration”. 

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Hon Excellency set the platform vision for the university to work in partnership with the ministry to mutually coordinate among each other as long-term strategic planning. Issues of quality teaching, Curriculum management, transition towards digital world, focus areas of research and teaching, versatile programs constructive discussion were held.

This shows the leader of the nation coming down to the University level to show their support towards the vision and mission of Fiji’s National University.

These workshops may be held in most of the institutions in Australia, the Pacific and across the world, they are finding new pathways for future academic growth. In regard to research profile, the researchers have not held back during a pandemic but they have transformed themselves into online data-based research where physical fieldworks were not possible.

They have used webinars, online research forums, e-conferences, and discussions to adopt a vision for research. Similarly, in teaching and learning, the tertiary institutions have developed their new curriculum without compromising on the quality. This has been a change from quantity to quality teaching and learning. These changes have set a milestone and made the world understand the life does not take a pause, it is always clicking.

Conclusion

A pandemic may have made things slow and halted the research, teaching, and learning processes, but strategic planning holds the key for making future goals that are enabled by the people to have local, regional, national and global influences.

Author: Dr Sakul Kundra, A.HOD Department of Social Science, College of Humanities and Education, Fiji National University.

Dr Sakul Kundra; Picture Source: Supplied
Dr Sakul Kundra; Picture Source: Supplied

Disclaimer: The views expressed are his own and not of The Australia Today or his employer. For comments or suggestions, email. [email protected]

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