New USP Strategic Plan 2019-2024

SP 2019-2024


The current Strategic Plan (SP) will end in December 2018. Given that a strategic plan guides all work of the University and the inextricable link between the strategic plan, UGC triennial funding, and new development partnerships, it is vital that the University has a follow-on strategic plan to be approved by the November 2018 Council. Any break in a follow on plan, or in the UGC cycle, or our Development Partnerships with Australia and New Zealand pose very significant risks for the University and should be avoided at all costs so as to maintain the excellent momentum that the University has developed as a result of its current SP, and to leverage the goodwill and support that will be generated by our 50th Anniversary celebrations in 2018.

With this in mind, and after discussions with the Pro-Chancellor, this paper is presented to allow the Council to provide its approval for the timelines, processes—especially for the crucial process of the widest possible inclusion and consultation (and therefore ownership)—and perhaps ideas that might help in the development of the new plan. One of the major successes of the present plan was precisely its inclusive development and therefore ownership of the plan by all stakeholders of the University. In particular, the Council was involved intensely in the process with workshops, review of drafts at regular intervals, and detailed consideration of the final draft. 

All the strengths of the current SP, especially the process of its inclusive and transparent development will be maintained and enhanced in the development of the new SP.

Given the tight timelines and the need to run the development of the new SP almost in parallel with the preparation of the UGC submission and the finalisation of our development partnerships, a project manager will be recruited for this task.

The Approach

At least eighteen months are required for the development of the Strategic Plan 2019-2024. The current SP has received praise for the fact that its development was inclusive, it was ambitious and transformative, and it included measurable objectives and KPIs. 

The next SP must be even better. In order to achieve this, there must be a clear vision of USP in 2024, and USP in 2028, its 60th Anniversary year. The SMT will take advice from the Council as to how USP at 60 should differ from USP at 50, and the SP designers will be asked to challenge themselves to devise ways of keeping the SP flexible so that USP can respond to changing technologies and evolving social and geo-political conditions. USP needs to as great an extent as possible, to future-proof its plans, ensuring that these can be changed but are fundamentally strong; in that way, variations can be made to plans as needed, without causing major upset or breaking momentum, and the original overarching goals can still be achieved.

The new SP is proposed to be for six years as is the case with the present plan. This gives both a long-enough horizon for the University and the ability to make changes mid-term. Two complete triennia will ensure that our funding cycle is aligned to the SP. Australia has already agreed that the new partnership will also be for six years to align with the new SP, as is the current situation.

The Mid-Term Review of the SP 2013-2018 recommended increased communications and engagement with staff and students due to the rapid and wide-reaching changes at the University. Thus, the development of the new SP will feature structured and strengthened engagement with staff and students and early and clear communication about the process and its outputs.  

In order to make certain that the process is neatly bound by timelines, the engagement process will be fair, transparent, and carefully organised. The development of the SP will be highly collaborative and not controlled by any one group, Campus, or Faculty; the SP will belong to all and serve the future plans and interests of the entire USP Community. Staff directly involved with the development of the new SP must be enthusiastic champions of the process and should be responsible for promoting it with their internal contacts in order to protect staff morale.  

The development of the Strategic Plan 2019-2024 will be led by the Planning Office under the direction of responsible SMT and the Vice-Chancellor and President. The duration of the process will be approximately 18 months; it will commence in June 2017 after the Council endorses the process at its May meeting and must be completed by October/November Council meeting in 2018 to allow for the University to have an approved SP before the current one ends in December 2018. 

The SP 2019-2024 approved by the Council should be launched as the final event of the USP 50th Anniversary celebration in November 2018. This can coincide, as well with the launch of new Partnership Arrangements with Australia and with New Zealand. These events will hopefully “secure” USP’s future in the short and medium term. 

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