9 Change Management Strategies for Higher Education
The higher education stage is a defining phase of students’ educational journey. It’s the educational platform that acts as a major stepping stone towards their goal of becoming professionals. According to the U.S Department of Education, employees with a bachelor’s degree can earn a lifetime salary of $1million more than employees with a high school or vocational educational attainment. That said, the student enrollment rate might increase in the education industry for the purpose of having a good career and a secure financial future. Your university might even receive students from that influx of enrollment rates. However, changes in your university can hinder its student success rate, which can also affect its goal of producing quality graduates. The best counteraction to handle the effects of such changes is to manage them. So, here are nine change management strategies for higher education that you can execute as counteractions.
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9 Change Management Strategies for Higher Education
Formulate a Comprehensive Business Plan
Implementing changes into the structure of your university is a significant business move that can cause a chain reaction throughout campus. So beforehand, you need to formulate a business plan. A business plan will allow you to map out whatever changes that’ll be made on campus, without affecting the education quality and university ranking. You certainly need the assistance of other university stakeholders in creating a business plan.
Establish a Clear Vision and Goal
Before indulging in something important, we have to know what sort of purpose it’ll serve. Integrating changes into your university is not a small thing indeed. So before you go for it, you need to set a clear vision and goal. Make sure that the vision and goal you’ll set will benefit the university and students in the long term. If otherwise, it’s basically fruitless to integrate changes. It’ll be a waste of investment and effort.
Gather Enough Useful Data
In making changes to your university, you need references and resources to shape them. To achieve that, you must gather enough data that can support the credibility of proposed on-campus changes. You also need to analyze or do a feasibility study about the possible impacts of the changes, both from a business standpoint and an educational standpoint. Use advanced data analytics and automation tools in order to acquire accurate supporting data.
Communicate and Collaborate with Other Stakeholders
Technology trends could be the reason why changes might be prompted in your university. We all know for a fact that technology is constantly an evolving entity, which makes it quite complex to understand. In that case, you have to communicate and work together with other university stakeholders in managing the changes prompted by technology trends. Side by side, come up with plans, such as marketing strategies and student retention programs, to keep your university’s excellency despite major changes caused by technology.
Understand the Institution’s Culture and Environment
The culture and social environment of the university can either react positively or negatively to possible changes on campus. Of course, as much as possible, you want it to be on the positive side. For that to happen, you must understand the already embedded culture and environment around campus. In doing so, you’ll acquire useful information on how to implement changes in the university without affecting its positive culture and environment.
Understand the Possible Changes in Campus Personnel’s Role
Deans and faculty members play a vital role in the operations of your university, which is to guide, nurture, and teach the potential minds and capabilities of the students. With changes bound to happen on campus, their roles as educators might or will change significantly. That can either bode well or otherwise. So make sure to understand how certain changes will affect the job of the university’s educators. Remember that they’re important people who directly maintain the education quality of your institution. Deans and professors are the primary personnel who share knowledge and teach useful skills to the students.
It’s a general unwritten rule that changes will always involve risks. In making changes in your university, the long lists of possible risks are too many to mention one by one. These risks, if left unchecked, can cause significant damages to your university, especially to its reputation and credibility as an institution for learning. So before you make plans to implement changes, you need to calculate the potential risks first. In other words, perform comprehensive risk assessment procedures. Study each sector and branch in your university and identify how certain changes put them at risk.
Inform and Involve Students
The students have a right to know if there are upcoming changes on the campus. After all, they’re the ones who might feel the effects of the changes, which can also potentially affect their learning morale and work ethic. You can give them a heads-up of the upcoming changes through email, social media, or general on-campus student assemblies. Make the students feel that the changes are for their benefit as learners and aspiring professionals. In that way, their trust and loyalty to the university will stay intact.
Facilitate and Regulate Costs
Implementing changes in your university involve large sums of money without a doubt. Even more so if the changes are colossal and will reshape the landscape of its educational system. Of course, none of us want to spend too much money on anything. The funds of your institution can also be used for other purposes other than for implementing changes. With that in mind, make sure to facilitate and regulate costs as much as you can. You have to ensure that every expenditure is necessary and beneficial for the school. Find alternative resources as well that don’t require you to take money from the university’s pocket.
In general, implementing changes is good so that your university can innovate its standards and keep pace with shifts in the global industry. However, you need to keep an eye on many things in order to achieve those feats. And more importantly, never forget the main focus of your educational institution, which is to provide excellent education and produce competent professionals for the next generation.