Institutional Planning in Higher Education
Institutional planning provides a direction to qualitative development of an institution in various manifestations. Effective management, efficacious coordination and effective evaluation would help in developing better institutions of higher education. The purpose is to align academic priorities with financial and capital resources in order to ensure the responsible use of all resources. The purpose is also to translate the educational ideal into architectural expression at institutes of higher learning. It is a serious team work which requires team spirit and to ensure participation from all stakeholders including parents, experts, analysts… so as to understand the new opportunities, realities and challenges. The Working Party Report of the UNESCO (1963) quoted, “… institutional planning is not an isolated activity, it must be undertaken in the framework of comprehensive development planning, and must be viewed in the larger context of all the steps required for effective educational development.” The question of quality cannot be neglected; therefore a collaborative effort amongst political leaders, academicians and practitioners is required. In a developing country like India with basic dire needs of water, electricity, housing, employment… a practical blue print and a working plan is required. This working plan should address the data based needs and academic issues, in short, it should be prepared on the basis of felt needs of future and resources available or likely to be available with a view to improving institutional practices.
Keywords: institutional planning, higher education, academic priorities, data based needs, future needs.
Higher education today is faced with unprecedented challenges. Under the pressure of some urgent social needs, priorities in the realm of education have witnessed major shifts from time to time. The course of higher education has undergone a tremendous transformation. How education is being reshaped in India to suit contemporary needs and requirements of our society is a matter which deserves particular attention.
Higher education is recognized today as a capital investment and is of paramount importance for economic and social development of the country. Institutions of higher education have the primary responsibility for equipping individuals with advanced knowledge and skills required for positions of responsibility in government, business and other professions. Quality higher education is a source of great potential for the socio economic and cultural development of the country. The purpose of higher education is not simply to impart knowledge in certain branches of knowledge; it has deeper meaning and objectives. The purpose is multidimensional and may be termed as personal, social, economical and cultural. Education and particularly higher education cannot be divorced from its milieu and social context. In the time of rapid international, political, and economical changes, the institutes of higher education are being transformed.
According to M.B. Buch, “an institutional plan is a set of programmes prepared by an educational institution on the basis of its felt needs and the knowledge of its resources, available and likely to be available, with a view to improve the institute’s standards and practices, and with a view to provide for future development of the institution.”
Higher education institutions clearly need well designed academic programs and a clear mission. Most important to their success however are high quality faculty, committed and well prepared students, and sufficient resources.
Importance of Planning
Planning is of vital importance in education, organization, administration and business. Planning is a major instrument in any social system. An unplanned education system lives in anarchy and fails to achieve its goals. Planning provides direction to educational and national development.
Planning is regarded to be basic in any social activity or programme. It is more or less true of the basic social activity such as education because it involves the growth of nation’s human resources. Further, educational becomes more relevant in a country like India where material resources are limited and the number of beneficiaries is large. Careful planning is required to avoid wastage and achieve maximum benefit. Planning does not simply imply distribution of money but it increasingly implies human support to various programmes.
Phases of Educational Planning in Higher Education:
· To start objectives tentatively based upon educational needs.
· To formulate a specific programme of objectives for the institute
· To determine the present status of education in particular community.
· To determine a course of action necessary to attain the objectives.
· To translate the plan into action.
· To conduct constant appraisals for the effectiveness of the programme.
Aspects of Educational Planning in Higher Education:
1. Objective – There are always definite aims and objectives of a plan. We must know what we want to achieve. The objectives should be crystal clear.
2. Resources – We should know our resources in terms of materials and manpower. We have limited resources; we need to utilize these resources.
3. Approaches – We must classify our action plan to achieve the targets. What should be our methods of work? How should we achieve the best utilization of resources most economically.
4. Evaluation – From time to time, we should do evaluation of our results and monitor it to the lowest worker. Evaluation will make us to know our weakness in time.
5. Research – Research should be conducted along with the process and execution of planning. Its findings will improve and modify our plans.
Characteristics or Principles of Effective Educational Planning:
1. Priorities – Educational planning has to be based on priorities within the various sectors of education. Planners have to decide about the priorities among the various educational activities that might be desirable.
2. Periodic Evaluation – Planners have to do periodic evaluation of the plan.
3. Goal Oriented – There should be well defined goals and objectives.
4. Prospective – Planners should spotlight both the present needs and also the future needs.
5. Broad Based – It should embrace all levels and forms of educational behavior.
6. Reliable Statistics – Educational planning has to be based on reliable statistics concerning the educational system. It should also be related to socio – economic factors.
7. Realistic – Educational planning must be based on the manpower requirements of the country for its economic development
8. Aspects of Education – We should make the educational planning to focus on various aspects of education such as aims of education, methodology of teaching, development of instruction materials, diversification and improvement of curriculum, training of teachers, production of qualitative text books, use of technological aids.
9. Basis – An intelligent survey of the existing educational situations and the future requirements of the society should be able to form the basis of educational planning both in terms of qualitative and quantitative aspects.
10. Country’s Overall Plan – Educational planning should be fully combined with the country’s overall plan to achieve economic and social development.
11. Implementation – Educational planners must have a strict watch on the plan implementation. They must suggest ways and means to remove any problems arising out of the execution of the plan.
12. Financial Resources – Educational planning s more or less based on the survey of financial resources and administrative support likely to be available for promoting educational endeavours.
Few Principles of Effective Planning:
1. Using Resources – Educational planning should be held on the basis of the principles of utilization of material and human resources available within the country.
2. Co – operative Affair – Educational planning is more or less a cooperative affair. It is a collective effort of experts belonging to wide variety of subjects and fields.
3. Special Responsibility – Educational planning is mainly the responsibility of the local government and specially the ministry of education.
4. Operational Steps – Educational planning should be split up into fragments or special steps so that it is easy to implement it, monitor it and rectify any problem.
5. Efficient Machinery – Suitable efficient administrative machinery should be arranged to implement in the plan. A fourfold division of responsibility is almost essential:
· To do division between public and private institutions.
· To do division of responsibility between the centre, the state and the local bodies.
· To do division of responsibility among the various ministries.
· To do division of responsibility occurring in a single ministry, between Head Quarter offices and field offices.
6. Joint Responsibility – As educational planning is a joint responsibility of various bodies, it means that there must be close interaction between these bodies and those agencies responsible for its implementation.
7. Directive Based – The educational development plan should be prepared on the basis of accurate directives from the responsible political authorities.
8. Continuous Process – Educational planning is a continuous process which needs a series of plans. Each plan is based on the results of plan that precedes it and the new demands. The drawbacks of the preceding plan should be removed.
Institutional Planning for Higher Education
The higher education systems in developing countries are under great strain. They are chronically underfunded, but face escalating demand – approximately half of today’s higher education students live in the developing world. Faculty are often under qualified, lack motivation, are poorly rewarded. Students are poorly taught and curricula underdeveloped. There are notable exceptions, but currently, across most of the developing countries, the potential of higher education to promote development is being realized only marginally.
Institutional Planning is a unique answer to four problems:
1. Giving freedom to teacher
2. Making teaching effective
3. Involving every teacher in formulation and implementation of planning
4. Effective work by monitoring resources
Modern education, particularly higher education is confronted with three major challenges viz excellence, equity and efficiency of the systems. Our major concerns while planning should be maintenance of quality, equalization of educational opportunity, improvements of efficiency and effectiveness in the system of higher eduation.
Meaning and Importance of Institutional Planning
The Education Commission 1964 – 66 has aptly said, “no comprehensive programme of educational development can ever be put across unless it involves every educational institution and all the human factors connected with its teachers, students and the local community and unless it provides the necessary inducements to put in their best efforts.” Both quantitative and qualitative improvement of education is aimed at through institutional planning. All concerned teachers, students, parents and the public are involved in the planning process meant for development of an institution.
The advantages of institutional planning:
1. Institutional planning is realistic and need based. In the past, planning was done for an area or an institution from a distance without relating it to the actual needs.
2. It is economic and cost effective. Because while planning, the available resources are taken into account and locally available materials are likely to be utilized. The programmes which are beneficial to a large majority are planned and executed, so these are cost effective.
3. Institutional planning gives scope for large participation. The persons who matter and those who are affected are consulted and involved from the very beginning. That is why it is participatory and democratic.
4. It is related to different aspects of an institution – academic, administrative and financial, short term and long term according to the nature of the programme. Hence it becomes comprehensive, more practical and feasible.
5. Since, it is a grass root planning, it gives psychological satisfaction of sharing and belongingness, which contributes to success in implementation.
6. Institutional planning is flexible and dynamic. As it is locally planned, changes can be done easily in response to local needs and demands.
7. It is freedom oriented and initiative based. Teachers, students and parents are at liberty to plan and implement the programmes which they feel useful and practicable.
The Objectives of Institutional Planning:
1. Instruction or the teaching learning process is to be improved.
2. Infrastructural facilities need be developed
3. Resources of all kinds – material, human must be utilized to the optimum.
4. Community and local resources must be utilized for improving the institutions.
5. Local talents and expertise need be harnessed fully.
6. All kinds of co – curricular activities need be organized.
Nature and Characteristics of Institutional Planning:
1. Need based
3. Optimum Utilization
4. Augmentation of human efforts
5. Goal oriented
6. Co – operative
9. Community supported
Institutional planning should be comprehensive and should embrace the whole educational system with all aspects of institutional life. It should be integrated with the plans and programmes of broad economic and social development.
Mohanthy, J. (2000). Current Trends in Higher Education. New Delhi, India: Deep& Deep Publishers
World Bank / UNESCO. (2000) Higher Education in Developing Countries: Peril and Promise. Report of the Independent World Bank / UNESCO Task Force. Washington, DC, USA