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The vice rector of Development and Quality at King Saud University, Fahad M. Alkolibi inaugurated a seminar on Strategic Planning in Saudi Universities. This seminar was organized by the Salem S. Al-Qahtani Dean of Development and leader of the action team for KSU’s Strategic Master Plan 2030.
The seminar focused on six main subjects: the challenges of the implementation of the strategic plans, Saudi strategic plan, and the problems faced by the Saudi Universities while implementing their strategic plans, the mechanism of the funding processes for the implementation of the initiatives of strategic plans, organizational and administrative problems of strategic planning, transferring strategic planning from a mere phase of awareness to an indispensable necessity, resisting and getting over the changes taking place as a result of strategic plans.
The seminar started with vice rector Alkolibi's welcoming speech where he stressed that Strategic planning is the road-map to the progress of all higher education institutions. He moreover stated that KSU is giving due attention to strategic planning and the process of its implementation which is mainly proceeding thanks to the efforts of the Deanship of Development and the coordination it carries out with different units of the University. He also highlighted that the achievement of a superior stature of higher education through correct strategic planning is one of the most important topical issues as it must be considered the starting point to a better higher education for all Saudi Universities.
In addition, vice rector Alkolibi stressed the fact that this seminar is not held to tribute strategic planning but rather to reach a common vision to face the numerous challenges and difficulties that arise form planning especially throughout the implementation phase.
Dr. Mosafar bin Saud AlSalooly, the consultant of Higher Education Ministry Strategic planning Executive Office (AFAK), said that 14 governmental Universities out of 25 have submitted their strategic plans and that 3 other universities started to put their plans. He also stated that all Saudi Universities shall have clear strategic plans to help the ministry of higher Education to evaluate their progress and the achievement of their set goals and objectives. The seminar tackled a number of important issues; namely:
- The importance of the presence of qualified human resources who are greatly experienced in the field of strategic planning especially that there is shortage of them in the Saudi universities.
- The importance of internal organization of Strategic Planning Executive Departments in the Saudi universities.
- The existence of an accurate, automatic system to evaluate the progress of all strategic plans.
- The importance of the adoption of strategic planning by the top management of all Saudi Universities and the mentorship of the Executive Systems to help provide all the support and follow-up of the implementation of the set goals and objectives.
- Stakeholders’ awareness of the importance of strategic planning and its goals and the awareness of the dangers arising from moving ahead without setting a specific strategic plan especially with the increasing importance of the existence of new funding sources in an age based on knowledge economy.
- The importance of the abidance of all University employees by the promulgated strategic values of each university and to consider them as their guidance.
- The importance of searching for new funding resources along with the support provided by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Fahd bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud.
- The transparency and the clarity of performance indicators to raise the level of credibility and to acquire the support of all societal institutions.
- The cooperation with the private sector and taking the initiative of such cooperation for the benefit it shall provide for strategic planning.
- The importance of relating all strategic plans to the plan of (AFAK) and to the development plan of the Kingdom.
The seminar had a number of recommendations:
- The necessity to convince the top management of all Universities with the importance of strategic planning as a road map towards the future.
- The necessity to continuously disseminate the culture of strategic planning.
- The enhancement of the decentralization trend of strategic planning (Empowerment not Authorization).
- The adoption of the strategic plans by the university’s Council and auditing it on an annual basis.
- University’s strategic planning officials’ participation in setting the budget and submitting it to the beneficiaries and the Ministry of Finance.
- The existence of an accurate, automatic system to evaluate the strategic plans, adopt performance indicators and develop the technological aspect.
- The activation of strategy values of strategic planning.
- Benefiting from media experts through raising the awareness of the importance of Strategic Planning (reading, understanding, application).
- The establishment of a Saudi organization for strategic planning.
- Differentiating between strategic planning projects regarding the funding processes and support.
- The cooperation of the Universities with the concerned ministries to reach a plan of getting the administrative and funding support for development.
- Organizing a number of workshops for the officials of strategic planning.
The bonding of top strategic planning body with the top management of the University (University’s Rector).
At the end of the seminar, the Dean thanked all the presence and wished that all recommendations would be implemented and taken into full consideration.