This third Corporate Strategic Plan builds on the two previous ones (2003-2008 and 2012-2017), and takes cognisance of the experiences and developments in the University, in the country and in the world over the last decade. Among the major internal dynamics that informed the development of this Plan are the adoption of the Collegiate and Directorate systems of governance, expansion of programmes, and the rapidly expanding population and facilities to meet the demands for higher education. During an assessment of the 2012-2017 Corporate Strategic Plan, it was observed that although the plan accomplished its overall goals, some of the targets set could not be achieved. Among them are gender parity among lecturers, staff and students, matching budgets to plans and improving lecture and laboratory facilities. This third plan seeks to continue with aspects of the previous plan which could not be achieved but are still relevant and the introduction of new initiatives.
In 2014 and 2015, the University invited the African Quality Rating Mechanism (AQRM) and the International Association of Universities (IAU) respectively to assess its operations. The main objective of the visits was to provide the University with independent assessments of its operations, and from the results, develop strategies to strengthen its governance, programmes and internationalisation policy.
In its report, the AQRM panel noted that: “The University of Cape Coast professionally and objectively assessed itself and that it is aware of the areas that need improvement for the University to become a world-class institution”.
The University deems it necessary to put measures in place to ensure that it becomes a world-class institution. Similarly, the outcome from the IAU review has informed the internationalisation policy and programmes of the University.
This Plan has been developed at a time that the country is taking a critical look at the role of higher education in national development within the context of Agenda 2057- the 40-year Long-Term National Development Plan. The goal of the Agenda is for Ghana to become a middle-income country at the centenary of independence (2057). UCC's current Plan seeks to position the University to contribute to the achievement of this Long-Term National Goal. At the beginning of the 2017/2018 academic year, Government introduced the Free Senior High School policy. This implies that by 2020, three years into the current Strategic Plan, there will be students seeking tertiary education from the programme. Thus, the Plan seeks to respond to the demands that this policy will create for higher education. At the international level, ranking, based on research output of faculty and staff as well as visibility in virtual space, has become a yardstick for assessing institutions.
This poses both a challenge and an opportunity for the University to chart a path and create niches for itself.
The focus of this Plan, therefore, is to:
- Enhance academic visibility of the University through focused research;
- Strengthen the holistic education provided which is a hallmark of the University;
- Promote and incorporate ethical values in all the activities of the institution;
- Improve administrative and support services of the University;
- Place the University in a competitive position in the country and Africa; and
- Enhance the institution’s contribution to the socio-economic transformation of the country.
Corporate Internal Scrutiny
Developing a corporate strategy requires assessment of the internal capacities and configuration of an organisation. In view of this, a comprehensive value- chain analysis was undertaken to determine the effectiveness and competitiveness of the University's operations. The essence is to identify and consolidate strengths, as well as the required strengths, to mitigate weaknesses. The following strengths and required strengths were identified:
- Running of a broad-based liberal and professional education programmes;
- Vast landed property;
- National and international reputation for academic rigour;
- Excellent setting for scholarly work;
- An equal opportunity institution;
- Skilled and innovative academic and administrative staff;
- Good teaching and learning tradition;
- Active students; and
- Growing institutionalised community service.
Required Strengths (Challenges)
- Institutionalising teamwork;
- Entrenching a culture of research excellence;
- Ensuring reliable ICT infrastructure;
- Instituting mechanism to raise funds internally and externally; 5.Institutionalisingeffectivemonitoringandevaluation systems;
- Institutionalisingeffectivemonitoringandevaluation systems;
- Engaging national and international agencies proactively;
- Strengthening alumni relationship and community engagement;
- Developing robust strategies to deal with encroachment on University lands; and
- Promoting stronger and more dynamic system of supervision and coordination.
Corporate Environmental Scan
Understanding the external factors which have potential impact on the corporate actions of the University is imperative. The factors could be economic, political, socio-cultural, technological and legal. An appraisal of the University identified the following opportunities and threats:
- Increasing demand for higher education within the country and in the West African sub-region;
- Availability of National and International awards, grants and programmes for research;
- Globalisation in academia;
- Increasing movement of staff and students in higher education institutions within the West African sub-region;
- A fledgling oil and gas industry close to the University; and
- Private sector initiatives and involvement in higher education.
- Competition from national and international Universities offering programmes similar to those offered at UCC;
Unstable state of national economy;
Unreliable power supply;
Dwindling/Unreliable subvention from government; and
Global political and economic instability.