An essential first step in any strategic planning process is to assess the current situation. We used a comprehensive SWOT analysis, to our mind the most appropriate tool, to appraise he operations of both UM5A and UM5S in their internal and external environments.
Internal factors : Strengths & Weaknesses
- Human assets- a steadily growing student body coupled with an extensive teaching(2428) and administrative (1643) staff
- Student to faculty ratio : 26 to 1
- Wide array of disciplines : Medicine-Pharmacy, Engineering, Physical Sciences and Technology, Education Sciences, Humanities and Social Sciences
- Comprehensive and diverse academic offerings
- University with the largest scientific output in the nation
- A frontrunner : history, excellence, reputation
- Size: the most institutions in the nation (19)
- Numerous partnerships which create outside funding sources
- Enhanced training and research opportunities as well as international prestige thanks to an active cooperation policy.
- Quality infrastructure which includes national historical landmarks.
- Distinguished faculty-highly decorated, well established,internationallyrenowned and nationally influential (policy makers, decision makers, academicians, members of royal committees, royal advisors etc.)
- Dynamic extra-curricular activities and an efficient student center for welcome, information, orientation and follow-through
- Poorly performing open admissions institutions : less than 20% of students obtain their Bachelor’s Degree in three years, the normative period of study
- Low employability rates for LEF graduates because curricula and student outcomes are not attuned to job market needs-students acquire knowledge but few job skills
- Massive retirement waves starting in 2016 due to the University’s age : threatens to significantly
- impact the student to faculty ratio
- Lack of engagement in University life by some faculty
- Lack of mechanisms to monitor and evaluate teaching
- The structure of the institutions is extremely heterogeneous : student bodies ranging from 0 to 15 000 and faculty from 5 to 700 per institution
- Poorly trained administrative staff leading to administrative delays
- Some governance and management tools are outdated : lack of an integrated information system (finances, assets, HR, research, library resources)
- Spread out campuses : institutions have several annexes which complicates matters
- for students
- Balancing physical space limitations and enrollment growth : a major infrastructural challenge
- An inefficient university council- resulting in unengaged and absent socio-economic representatives.
- Underperforming centers for doctoral studies : PhD theses are rarely completed in the normative period of study
- Few shared University resources and facilities
- Inconsistency between the vocation and the activity of some institutions : for instance the FSE offers programs that are unrelated to educational sciences and restricts admission to LEF programs.
External factors : Opportunities & Threats
- Capital city’s university : proximity to public administrations and centers of decision making
- Pleasant living environment: Mâamora Forest, several lakes, coastline, river, marina, historical and archeological sites, numerous festivals, leisure activities…
- Accessible student transportation: the institutions are well-served by the tramway
- A rich surrounding university environment:teaching hospitals, research centers, the CNRST’s UATRS facilities, national library, IMIST,several university residence halls…)
- Galvanizing socio-economic environment : favorable industrial location (Technopolis, Tamesna, Ain Al Borja) creating new jobs (Offshoring, High-Tech, Services) for enhanced student employment and research commercialization opportunities.
- Major regional development projects that provide opportunities for contract research
- Large international student body (over 2000) which attests to the University’s global vision and reputation
- University’s negative and erroneous perception as a sure path to unemployment
- Industry and business are hesitant to engage with the university due to a lack of trust
- Academically unprepared background of students entering open admissions institutions
- Many entrants to open admissions institutions are not particularly motivated to study which leads to a high first-year attrition rate
- Precarious situation of doctoral students : lack of a doctoral student “status”, limited remuneration options, poor supervision
- Lack of engagement by some faculty members : more attractive private sector pay, grade-promotion delays
- The student to faculty ratio at some institutions is much higher than the University average:130to 1 in law, economics and management
- An organizational chart that has yet to be validated by the Ministry of Finance which negatively impacts the administrative organization and staff motivation as there are no responsibility bonuses.
- Burdensome a priori financial checks that impede the University in the performance of its duties
- Delays in the transfer of the government funding allocation which negatively impacts University functioning
- All institutions, regardless of size, have the same number of representatives on the council which is irrational; also the council is overmanned
- Limited enrollment space at selective admission institutions despite large faculty bodies : the Faculty of Medicine has a record low student to faculty ratio at 5 to 1