All universities need an integrated plan to chart their path through these turbulent times and amidst the changing expectations of higher education. This is especially true for universities in developing countries. Such universities operate with very scarce resources and limited depths of expertise, but still seek to respond to surging demand. The result is a strain on these universities and a threat to quality. This article introduces the processes and concepts of planning and development for universities in developing countries, focusing mostly on the African context. Our premise is that the basic planning processes and concepts that work in North America and Europe are still valid for universities in developing countries, even if the nature, content, and resulting strategies are very different. Therefore, this article draws from published work in planning applied in the context of the authors’ experience in higher education in East Africa. We conclude that good strategic planning is necessary for universities in developing countries, as is operational planning for programs, resources, and capital. The information in this article is more fully explored and explained in the authors’ book Planning and Resource Guide for Higher Education in Africa.
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