The effect of strategic planning on academic performance of students in Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST)
Gwamukama, Paul Karemire
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In modern times, the role of education has been fundamental in society. Of recent, educational institutions have also actively engaged in improving academic performance by strategically adopting planning mechanisms and effectively implementing them. The study wanted to establish how strategic planning affects the academic performance of Mbarara University of Science and Technology. It specifically dealt with establishing the nature of planning, effects of planning and effects of strategic choice on the academic performance of Mbarara University of Science and Technology. A cross sectional study design was used and a total of 120 respondents sampled, consisting of 11 teaching academic staff, 11 administrative staff, and 90 students. These were purposively and randomly selected and studied. The study was largely qualitative. This was found suitable in order to get an in-depth investigation of the problem under study. However, quantitative data was also collected and analyzed into simple percentages. The researcher used semi-structured questionnaires, face to face interviews and documentary review to collect the information required in the study. The study found out that remunerations and fringe benefits such as transport facilities, medical care, and accommodation are critical factors for motivation of employees to enhance academic performance. Strategic intent helped to clearly spell out the field of management at all levels as strategic planning enabled employees to think more clearly about their work in their respective departments. Strategic choice was found to be a basic, but complex management function. The study recommended that the strategic planning focuses on management’s attention to external events, consider long-term perspectives and to adopt a short term focus to avoid making strategic errors. It also recommends the need to develop a workable strategic management system based on monitoring and control systems and to deal with problems that emerge. Various stakeholders should join hands in formulating manpower recruitment policies and procedures in order to have efficient and effective higher education system.