Causal Loop Diagram (CLD) As an Instrument for Strategic Planning Process: American University of Nigeria, Yola

  •  Apollos Goyol    
  •  Bolchit Dala    


American University of Nigeria (AUN), was established in 2005 and has emerged as Nigeria’s most preferreduniversity. Located in Yola, Adamawa State, North-eastern Nigeria, the university was conceived in response tothe need for a world-class university in sub-Saharan Africa. The university offers an American-style educationmodeled after the curriculum of American universities with corresponding approaches to teaching and assessingstudents. Nigeria with a population of over 160 million. It is estimated that 3 million students graduate fromhigh schools every year. With 124 universities with less than 1million enrollment spaces. The implication is thatthere is a serious shortfall in the number of students that wants to further their education. With this prevailingsituation every university must do everything possible to provide prospective students with placement.

Therefore, the main objective of this study is to take a critical look at the possible ways that the university canstrategically adopt to attract this huge number of high school graduates using the Casual Loop Diagram (CLD)for identifying, managing and utilizing Critical Performance Indicators (CPIs) in tackling existing problemsthrough coordinated partnership and collaboration towards appropriate policy recommendations. The mostuseful tool for identifying the causes of problems is a cause-and-effect diagram, also known as a Fishbone orIshikawa diagram which is very similar to the CLD. The results of the survey that was administered to aconvenient random sample of AUN students (N=369). The results indicated that a large percentage believes thatthe university has a very good prospect of achieving its set goals as a development university if the standardsand institutional characteristics can be sustained and improved upon. To better understand the KPI in relation tothe results, the Casual Loop Diagram (CLD) was used to analysis the relationships between the results the KPI.This would assist in better approach in the recruitment process.

Given that this is a pilot study, the results are only preliminary and merely indicate how to improve policy andprogram decisions especially for AUN as a development university. The short time outcome and impact of thestudy has provided some insight into the college choice process of choosing a college using the CLD. Also it isimportant for admission professionals understand the factors that shape the college decision-making process andthe stages students move through as they make decisions.

The flexibility of the design allows for adaptation to any institution’s unique structure and mission.

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