The purpose of this strategic plan is to identify potential entry opportunities and strategies of an educational institute. The study includes a complete overview of the University of Sydney, range of specialisation in research, strengths, weaknesses, threats, and opportunities.
This paper will establish a strategic plan of University of Sydney, its environment, size, location, number of students and financial position. To do so, various models assist in the analysis, including PESTEL factors, porter five forces, and SWOT analysis to draw the key recommendations and conclusions. This oldest university also known as Sydney University, which has established in 1850 and now it has more than 47,750 students among them 9554 students are overseas students.
Background of the University of Sydney
According to the financial report, in 2008, the University’s annual turnover was $1.3 billion, received donation fund $53.4 million, $61.6 million fund from Australian Research Council (Sydney University 2008). It has two hundred and thirty student exchange agreements with more than 30 countries, above 2,750 employees, the governing authority (the Senate), management team, senior executive group, and academic board. To enhance education facilities, university arranges online learning opportunity for 5 million students and it provides scholarship to 4300 students for higher education. Besides educational teaching and research, it concentrates on the current issues such as the global credit crunch, corporate social responsibility, human resource management, human rights, and global warming.
According to the annual report 2008, it mission is to become obvious leader among Australian educational institutes and it tries to see them within the top forty universities of the globe (Sydney University 2008).
The University of Sydney will continue its teaching service and research completely concentrating to its students and employees. Student’s needs are the ultimate focus of its education system and it designs its syllabus as per the need. Here the research process is creative with maximizing the use of its resource and ensure highest institutional spirit. All these activities are the function of inspired and diverse teams where everyone’s contribution has equally respected. Teachers have treated as the greatest resource of the institution and their research and service get highest priority.
To develop strategic planning, University of Sydney has various opportunities and critical issues to compete in the current market environment with high competition. For this reason, SWOT analysis is a best way to focus its strengths and opportunities, which can work as competitive advantages in current market situation. At the same time weaknesses and threats, that can damage institute’s image and profit gaining opportunities that has demonstrated as below:
Thompson & Strickland (2008) said that strengths are internal factors of these university those are helpful to make the company to being successful in the competitive market.
- It is a renowned Australian educational institution for teaching and research, which is a member of “Group of Eight” universities;
- It has positioned within the top 100 universities in the world;
- it has no foreign exchange hedging arrangements;
- there is no sexual or racial discrimination;
- it has huge collection of books in the University library, for example, it has 325,000 e-books;
- important information and latest news are available in university website;
- Audit and risk management committee is to monitor and report to Senate on financial and non-financial risks, fulfilment with laws and regulations;
- Efficient and skilled teachers provide standard teaching service.
- Total revenue and net assets are decreasing from previous years;
- sometimes marketing strategies do not work in new outlets;
- Frequent change of rules and regulations
When the external environment facilitates the Sydney University to obtain competitive advantages more effectively, then these factors will recognise as opportunities for the institution. Some of these factors are:
- it has opportunity to increase educational contract with rest of the world;
- it has bright prospect in cultural programme such as drama and success in sports sector like Olympic games;
- it has strong financial capabilities and reserves for further expansion;
- available job opportunity for students under the programme of Sydney/ Talent;
- The Staff and Student equal opportunity Unit monitors and reports on equal opportunity outcomes.
Kotler & Armstrong (2006) stated that threats are external factors those are hampering the competitive market. Some of these factors have focused in below:
- recession will reflect on future investment and enrolment of overseas students will reduce;
- it has exposure to equity securities price risk;
- the interest rate has increased up to 0.25%;
Johnson, Seholes & Whittington (2006, p.161) argued that PESTEL factors assists managers in organizing and evaluating macro environmental factors and their implications in the decision-making process. The following figure of PESTLE analysis will help to focus on more deeply on it
Sydney University has widely affected by the political factors of the region where it operates. To become a global educational institute, it has to face new political traditions in new countries. Government policies also differ from country to country, for which the education system of this university may also differ.
Recent global recession keeps huge pressure on financial strategy but it had no need to get bailout from government. To solve this problem, Sydney University invests large amount of money to research on this issue and recommend the solutions. However, in many developing countries, economical situations are not suitable for this university to expand its service successfully.
Students come from the different countries and they have different cultures, so, Sydney University has to pay attention to the cultural values of all students as well as staffs. For example, many students can easily match with students of other countries for their well manner, education background, culture of home countries, and social status but few of the students are so dynamic. In this context, University manages the cultural issues with its experiences.
The teaching method of university has changed due to integration of information technology in education system. The internet is synonymous with technological innovation as it gives the opportunity to read books online and the University has more than 325,000 e-books in library. The University provides e-learning facilities, software, passwords to excess journals and articles.
Annual report 2008 of Sydney University stated that it has own rules and regulations for students and management to regulate the university properly. In addition, it follows the national and international rules such as it is very careful not to violate any copyrights, or equal opportunity rights.
Environmental factors are another important factor, which is holding to maintain the environmental policy and customers’ ecological environment. This was working as corporate social responsibilities for University of Sydney, but now it is one of the essential parts of it because other universities provide enormous facilities.
Shin-who (2008) quoted Mr. Gavin Brown the Vice Chancellor of the University of Sydney and pointed out that this most prestigious university don’t put emphasis on moral principles of education to generate attractive students with uprightness. While most of the global universities have designed their strategic plan of education to encourage the students with good character, the University of Sydney is practising a strategy of all-round development plan.
Shin-who (2008) also added that the university has aimed to improve their performance so far transversely all over the University that, from any consideration, it would be the first in Australia and one of the top five among the Asia-Pacific area. Here the educator’s role is to persuade the innovation in teaching as well as research as well as to support the staff to achieve the aim and objectives of the university.
The University of Sydney has always upheld its social commitment to empower Australia as a nation of persistence endeavour through education, and to ensure sovereignty of Indigenous people. It seems to hear strategically perfect, as it demands its plan, employees, and objectives are tied lower manner. To achieve the objectives it has to design its strategic actions in a way, which will be efficient and effective for the University and its employees.
To get access to the highest level of technology, The University of Sydney has to explore the newer inventions related to the automobile teaching. Use of computer aided apparels and automatic technological systems can be the preferred technological innovation for it with highest technological know how. To make the unique course offerings, it has to differentiate its courses from the competitors. The University can differentiate its courses through the changes in the teaching process, classroom delivery, and course design. It can ensure the cost efficiency of vehicle by designing new type of curriculum.
To attain appropriate information about the student’s preferences, The University of Sydney must design its research and development department with advanced technology based way. Using formulas, techniques, and equipments of modern scientific research methods can help to do it.
This research and development wing not only helps to get consumer information but also help the University to become environmental friendly. Cost effective strategies are another impressive techniques, which the University must follow. Thus, The University must take such strategy, which will ensure highest possible access to the technologies, unique course offering, improved research and development department, cost effectiveness and environment friendly actions.
To implement the strategies discussed above, The University of Sydney has to do certain jobs. It has to establish its own technical lab where eligible engineers and scientists will work together to innovate and implement new technologies and design unique and differentiated courses. Again, it can assist some academician who can explore many technologies and use their innovative ideas.
The quality, price, and classroom delivery are equally important to make differentiated courses. The University of Sydney should introduce the highest possible quality in case of programmes used in the courses. It is necessary to make available the external courses in almost everywhere. The University can do this by joint venturing its programmes and merging with local distributors. In case of price, it should concentrate on cost leadership. Offering lowest level of price can be helpful in this case. After admission, the classroom and academic environment at the time of lectures delivery are two major strategies those emphasized to implement.
All these activities are more or less depend on the effectiveness of the research and development. Therefore, the success of implementation of other strategies has largely depended on the successful operations of R&D and The University of Sydney has to employ eligible researchers to use most effective research techniques. Making questionnaires, addressing survey results, arranging pilot surveys and highest concentration on avoidance of errors must be helpful for the entire University.
To measure the results of the implementation of these strategies, some control mechanisms have designed. Kotler & Keller (2006) argued that the output must measure after implementation of strategies. The performance of the organization could measure by the outputs of the organization that is the profit, reserves, and expenses and so on. The necessary steps have to taken if the set standards cannot be met the problems with the strategies.
- The University of Sydney should require to take into account the US recession and its impact on the Australian market and exchange rates;
- It should reduce financial and market risk by adopting proper strategies;
- It should restructure dividend and pricing policy to increase investment;
- It has to increase promotion cost to create new market and control existing market;
- It should increase budget for the development of sports;
- The outcomes of the research is effective, as a result, it should continue its efforts in all critical situation to help people;
- Relevant data and information should available both for stakeholders and general students;
- It should research competitor’s marketing policy.
After analysing the overall situation, it can conclude that The University of Sydney is in the prestigious position among the global Universities in consideration of number of students, quality education, technologies, and quality classrooms of the courses providers but to face recession, it should go ahead with substantial strategy.
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Shin-who, K. 2008. University of Sydney Seeks Innovation. The Korea Times.
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