University of Eswatini

Strategic Plan

Strategic Plan

Strategic Plan 2016 - 2022

UNESWA CONTEXT FOR STRATEGY AND CHALLENGES

The Chancellor requires of the University to:

  • transform,
  • increase financial self-sustenance, and
  • strengthen the global benchmarking of its programmes.

The UNESWA Council highlighted some key issues in creating context for the strategy. These include:

  • The Government subvention has been progressively shrinking over the years,
  • The need to grow student enrolment despite a declining subsidy,
  • The need to counteract adverse spill-overs from national economic challenges,
  • There is a need for a higher sense of urgency in addressing issues that are affecting and impacting on UNESWA, and
  • Transform to compete in the Region and abroad.

There is a need for higher commitment, values to be in place and institute performance management to return the University of Eswatini to its former glory and beyond. The University is to embark on a transformation journey. Some of the areas identified internally which further concretised the context for the strategy are: ensuring quicker decision making, repositioning of the UNESWA brand and image, implementation of succession planning, advancement in technology, review of policies, processes and procedures, review of organizational structure and roles, and finally instituting and bedding down the University’s values. Some of the challenges facing UNESWA are that given where the University is at now, there is no choice but to transform. The change and transformation efforts and initiatives will require funding in some instances. UNESWA needs to confront the current status quo and make hard decision in order to reposition itself especially given a declining ranking. The situation hampers ability to attract funding, and in itself presents greater opportunities to rejuvenate and embark on a structured transformation journey to improve its reputation, attract more foreign students and be more relevant to the world of work.

VISION
The University of Eswatini’s vision is to be “The University of Choice in Africa”

MISSION
“To be responsive to national and international needs through excellence in teaching and learning, research and innovation, entrepreneurship and community engagement through our people for sustainable development.”

CULTURE AND VALUES
Culture is a word for people’s ‘way of life’, meaning the way groups do things. In building an organisation, leadership has to bear in mind the type of culture they would like to build. The definition of culture includes the ways the organization conducts its business, treats its employees, customers, and the wider community. This includes the values of the organisation which become part of the core philosophy. Values are the foundation of the organisation and underpins processes, systems, procedures, culture and all aspects of the entity.
The desired culture includes the following:

  • International appeal performance driven culture and excellence across all stakeholders,
  • Having a sense of belonging, self-belief, ownership, patriotism (African identity) and unity amongst Students, Management and Council,
  • Commercialsation, innovation and entrepreneurship,
  • Ethical, professional, care, empathy, responsibility and living our values,
  • Transparency and two-way communication,
  • Embrace cultural diversity,
  • Visionary and academic culture, and
  • Independence, adaptable and good corporate governance.

VALUES
The consolidated values for UNESWA are:

  • Autonomy,
  • Performance, Professionalism and Integrity,
  • Transparency, Communication and Accountability,
  • Excellence, Innovation and Quality,
  • Relevance,
  • Differentiation,
  • Diversity, and
  • Community Engagement.

DESIRED FUTURE FOR UNESWA
The following were seen and captured as the desired future for the University of Eswatini. These influenced the basis for strategic focus areas and action planning.
The desired future for UNESWA as expressed by Council, Management and Students includes and is not limited to being amongst the leading Universities in the SADC region. The other descriptors are:

  • Implementation of a quality management system,
  • Promotion of research and development,
  • Responsive and relevance to the needs of the economy (market) and community (society),
  • Adoption corporate governance,
  • Commercialisation is in place and sustainable,
  • Financial prudence and sustainability,
  • Visionary leadership,
  • Great infrastructure,
  • Good sports and recreation resulting in greater student experience,
  • Modern teaching facilities and technology,
  • Greater information flow and improved relationship between an effective Student, Representative Council, Management and Council, and
  • Top end access to books and online material.

KEY FOCUS AREAS
The balanced scorecard elements of Finance, Customer Service, Internal Efficiencies and People were used as a guide for the key focus areas.

OVERVIEW ON STRATEGIC FOCUS AREAS
The key strategic focus areas took cognisance of the current expectations and desired future state UNESWA from the stakeholders as well as the environment it currently operates in. The vision was one of the elements taken into account and formed the basis for the strategic focus areas.  Envisioning the future involved an ambitious view of the institution given some of the current challenges which include finances.  If the University of Eswatini continues its current state, its relevance into the future could be under question. To position itself for the future, UNESWA has also taken advantage of the opportunities presented by the change in the name from the University of Swaziland to the University of Eswatini coming from the His Majesty the King’s pronouncements during the 50/50 celebrations. Leading towards turning 40 years in existence, this has also inspired the view for the future.

The process of repositioning itself for the future includes:

  • Aggressive commercialisation,
  • Constant and effective communication to all stakeholder for marketing, branding and improving the image of the institution and through executing the marketing and branding plan,
  • Launch name change and strategy and encourage all members of UNESWA community to be ambassadors for the institution,
  • Offer diversified programmes,
  • Modernised – infrastructure and teaching methods,
  • Benchmarking against best institutions, and
  • Implement change management initiatives to drive culture change.

UNESWA and its brand is recognised in Eswatini and this bodes well for any efforts to reposition and partner with and improve relations with stakeholders in and outside of the country.  The benefits of taking advantages of opportunities identified above will expand on UNESWA’s relevance and positioning amongst its peers and beyond. 

Below are summaries of the key focus areas and objectives.

Finance

Key Focus Areas

  1. Commercialsation of University assets 
  2. Cost containment 
  3. Budget rationalization 
  4. Other sources of income 
  5. Student fees and scholarships 
  6. Fund raising 
  7. Subvention 

Customer Service

Key Focus Areas

  1. Programme diversification 
  2. Internationalisation 
  3. Marketing, branding and image 
  4. Stakeholder relations 
  5. Community service 
  6. Student growth
  7. Student experience
  8. Research 

People

Key Focus Areas

  1. Human capital development 
  2. Career and succession planning 
  3. Performance management 
  4. Recruitment and retention of high calibre people 
  5. Recognition and reward 
  6. Staff wellbeing 

Internal Efficiencies

Key Focus Areas

  1. Quality Assurance 
  2. Controls 
  3. Corporate governance 
  4. Infrastructure 
  5. Research, teaching, learning, innovation, entrepreneurship and community engagement resources
  6. Processes, procedures, practices, policies and systems 
  7. Information communication technology  
  8. Programme mode of delivery 
  9. Innovation