Strategic planning for higher education: a novel model for a strategic planning process for higher education

Akram Jalal, Alan Murray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
142 Downloads (Pure)


In the 21st century higher education institutions must not focus solely on educating and tutoring students, but they should also generate strategies which match the organization’s skills and resources to the opportunities and associated risks in its environment (Grant, 1991). Today, higher education institutions face fierce competition in the market both in terms of recruiting highly qualified academics and also attracting students. There is also considerable pressure for universities to enhance their reputation and develop their credentials. With this in mind educational institutions adopt strategic planning as a method to improve quality, solve problems, and to overcome common challenges. Strategic planning can be described as a process applied by organizations to develop strategies and provide the right atmosphere for making meaningful future decisions which build a strategic position for the organization in the marketplace to ensure future viability (Ansoff, 1984; Crisp, 1991; Hunger and Wheelen, 2003). If Universities are to survive the challenging times ahead then a clear focus on strategic planning is essential (Kotler & Murphy, 1981).
Strategic planning is a well-researched field however there is a gap in the research around the application of strategic planning within the field of higher education. A comprehensive investigation of the literature was carried out and an overview of the nature of strategic planning and the core concepts is provided. This article provides considerations for a regular strategic planning process, and has value for higher education leaders and the professionals who support them who are involved with developing strategic planning. This leads to the proposition of a novel model for developing a strategic plan for higher education institutions. This model will assist leaders to develop their perceptions of strategic planning in higher education, discussing the difficulties they may face during the process of developing their plans, and outlining the key steps of the development planning process. This work is limited in that it focuses on a single social field and the findings cannot be immediately transferred to other fields
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Higher Education Service Science and Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 6 Sept 2019


  • Strategic planning
  • Strategic planning process
  • Higher education
  • Model of strategic planning process


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