The Universidad Andrés Bello has gained extensive experience in strategic planning. This is particularly evidenced by the successful evolution of UNAB from an “educational project” supervised by the Board of Governors for Education (currently known as the National Council on Education) to a Fully Autonomous Institution (1999).
Independent of this, strategic planning, which is related to resource allocation and management, is a crucial element for the successful growth and ranking of a private institution, which does not have guaranteed access to external resources.
In 2003, UNAB was invited to and voluntarily participated in the initial accreditation process governed by the National Commission for Undergraduate Accreditation (CNAP, Spanish acronym). During this process, strategic planning was key for effective institutional management and adequate program performance.
Following the normal evolution of institutional strategy, a plan for continuous improvement was established. In 2008, this led to the successful renewal of accreditation by the National Accreditation Agency (CNA, Spanish acronym).
A five-year plan (2009-2013) was then instituted, after which the results were analyzed in the context of both internal and external realities. This analysis formed the basis for the 2013-2017 Institutional Strategy Plan.
The execution of this Plan implicates the participation of: 1) the Academic Board (i.e. faculty, school, department, and program managing teams, as well as directors of pertinent central units), which is overseen by the Academic Vice-Rector and is complimented by other institutional actors; 2) the Board of Governors (Pro-Rector, Vice-Rectors, General Secretary, and Deans), which is overseen by the Rector; and 3) the Board of Directors, which finally reviews and approves the Plan, with posterior communication to the UNAB community. This process necessarily involved a number of meetings on specific aspects or subjects, including expert consultations.
These distinct governing bodies collaborated to: 1) analyze the fulfillment of achievement indicators established in the 2008-2013 Plan; 2) evaluate relevant external and internal elements to identify primary strategic focusses, leading to a renewed institutional Vision and Mission; and 3) define four new strategic objectives, each with specific aims, indicators, and goals.
The objectives for the 2013-2017 Strategic Plan are:
Provide relevant, integrated, excellent, and quality education
- Consolidate implementation of the UNAB Educational Model, seeking always to improve instructional efficiency and effectivity.
- Fully achieve excellence and quality standards for UNAB and all of its programs, with references being the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) and criteria of the CNA.
- Diversify the formats offered for undergraduate degrees (e.g. Advanced Undergraduate, distinct hours and campuses, on-site vs. partly on-site), in addition to increasing postgraduate offerings as needed.
- Increase the quantity of instructors with postgraduate credentials.
- Continue to strengthen the academic faculty through continuous training and other initiatives that promote development.
- Continue improving infrastructure and installations to provide expanding services at a standardized level.
- Promote and facilitate training students for a globalized world and encourage the recruitment of international students.
Promote the generation of new knowledge.
- Strengthen the offerings of doctorate programs.
- Establish joint doctorate programs with other national and international higher education institutions.
- Increase the number of publications in mainstream journals.
- Increase the number of patent applications.
- Develop projects in collaboration with businesses.
Consolidate UNAB’s standing in the social, economic, productive, and cultural spheres.
- Direct the outreach initiatives of each unit to ensure alignment with institutional policy.
- Continue increasing University practices of excellence in sustainability.
- Generate greater community access to the artistic, cultural, and educational activities hosted by UNAB.
- Develop didactic diffusion strategies for University research projects with high impact potential for the community and environment.
- Continue promoting diffusion of the disciplines taught by the University through outreach activities.
- Manage larger, transversal Social Responsibility projects, with emphasis on the environment.
Consolidate a management model that maximizes the effective and efficient use of institutional resources in pursuit of UNAB’s Mission.
- Advance towards the full implementation of a student service program that will facilitate integrated and effective attention at a single station.
- Completely implement an online control panel with relevant strategic indicators.
- Continue quality control adjustments for internal processes, promoting a high-performance culture.
The Universidad Andrés Bello clearly understands the need to continue expanding on and internalizing these planning processes, which have been in development for some time. In fact, institution-wide internalization was first facilitated at the end of the 1990s, with the creation of the Office for Institutional Planning and Analysis. Currently, the Office for Institutional Analysis provides support in gathering and analyzing information.
Considering the above, UNAB will successfully transition to a model with greater participation by the distinct institutional levels. Based on alignment with global initiatives defined by the Board of Directors, new ideas will be reviewed, validated, and shared with the respective units responsible for execution, in particular, the academic units.