ISLAMABAD: USAID’s Higher Education System Strengthening Activity (HESSA) partner universities gathered in Islamabad this week for a workshop to kickstart strategic planning on their respective campuses. The event was led by the University of Utah. Senior administrators and faculty members from sixteen (16) HESSA partner universities participated, including; Fatima Jinnah Women University, UET Lahore, NUST, IBA Karachi, Lahore College for Women University, University of Peshawar, Sardar Bahadur Khan Women’s University, Karakoram International University, Women University Swabi, Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan, Peoples University of Medical Sciences, BUITEMS Quetta, Sindh Agriculture University, NUTECH, University of Swat, and Mirpur University of Science and Technology.
Despite its importance in sustaining university operations, strategic planning is not yet an established practice in the public higher education sector in Pakistan. This initiative by HESSA will support partner universities to adopt this practice by engaging with experienced planning experts with a successful track record of working with numerous American universities.
The workshop laid the groundwork for the continuing process of strategic planning. On the second day of the event, a case study of strategic plan development at the University of Utah was presented by professors at the University of Utah; Dr. Michael Barber (Principal Investigator HESSA) and Dr. Aslam Chaudhry (Chief of Party HESSA).
Extensive follow-up training for the university planning teams is scheduled for later this year. The training will be followed up by regular consultative sessions to ensure that each university develops a draft strategic plan as an outcome.