Future Plan of Higher Education ‘Afaq’

The recent global trends indicate that countries, in future, will increasingly will rely on quality of educational achievements and the investment in human resources. As an alternative to material resources, a global competition is expected to take place in the field of knowledge as a main force for economic development. Thus, it was necessary for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to take the lead in the transition to be a knowledge economy. It goes without saying that higher education that is characterized by both: scientific methodology and longtime clear vision may contribute a great deal in building knowledge society. To that end, the Ministry of Education, at the request of the government, set up a future plan for higher education in Saudi Arabia that is based on strategic planning. The aim of this project is to formulate a long-term strategic plan (up to 25 years) that determines clearly the vision, mission, strategic aspects and mechanisms of implementation. The plan called ‘Afaq’ was developed by the Research Center at King Fahad for Petrol and Minerals. The methodology of ‘Afaq’ derived from Islamic teachings and the wise decisions of the government, taking into account a variety of issues including the inclusivity of all matters, the achievement of success requirements, expanding partner’s database, learning from international experience, quality assurance and achieving strategic goals that are evaluated by indicators. The result of that project was a strategic plan characterized by clear and ambitious vision and mission along with a set of executive programs that address current issues and assist in achieving future visions. ‘Afaq’ project aims to formulate a long-term strategic plan (up to 25 years) that determines its vision, mission, needs and fund types. It also intends to develop a 5-year executive plan along with the mechanisms of managing the strategic planning at higher education institutions. There was a constant communication with the Ministry of Education and concerned sectors during the preparation of the plan. The official website of Future Plan of Higher Education ‘Afaq’ http://aafaq.info/