A website solely dedicated to helping people understand what mission statements stand for defines them as any paragraph that describes an institution’s reason for existence. Thus, a mission statement is likely to include an organisation’s goals, ambitions and philosophies. Considering the importance attached to mission statements in the corporate world, it makes perfect sense to agree with the fact that an organisation operating without a mission statement has a high probability of loosing focus. That being said, let’s consider two institutions and their stated mission statements.
I had my first degree in Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, a research and teaching public university located in the Ashanti region, in the south of Ghana. It is therefore only ethical that my first blog is about my Alma mata! There are currently four main national public universities in Ghana and this university stands out as one of the first with a direct focus on scientific research. Hence, everybody interested in science from the high schools in Ghana has the ultimate dream of being accepted into this university. With Ghana epitomized as the gateway to West Africa, it is very common to see international students from neighboring countries like Nigeria, Gambia, Senegal and Ivory Coast, frequent this university.
The mission statement of the school is expressed in a single statement : To provide an environment for teaching, research and entrepreneurship training in Science and Technology for the industrial and socio-economic development of Ghana, Africa and other nations.
At the risk of being bias because of my association with and strong allegiance to this university, I dare say that this mission statement is very specific in addressing its overall aim without being overly verbose. This mission statement highlights the ultimate goal of the institution and does a good job of indicating how it intends to achieve that goal. Given what I know of this university and having had a first hand experience in the school, I am very certain that they are very much on course to achieving this stated goal.
Another university of interest to me is the Notre Dame of Maryland University. If not for my love of this world and all of its pleasures, I would have been a nun! I remember my earlier years in Ghana when all I wanted was to dedicate my life to the service of humanity via my convention into a catholic sister. I will read my Bible for hours non-stop while counting the beads of my well worn rosary endlessly. At that stage of my life, I would give anything to be enrolled in this university. Now that the world has won me over and succeeded in making me selfish enough to abandon my passion of serving humanity, I think it is prudent that I carefully scrutinize the mission statement of this school that has long held my interest.
‘Embracing the vision of the founders, the School Sisters of Notre Dame, the University promotes the advancement of women and provides a liberal arts education in the Catholic tradition’ is the mission statement of this university located in the Baltimore city of Maryland, in the United States of America. The university can boast of being the only women’s college in Maryland as well as the first Catholic college for women that awards a bachelor’s degree. Established by the School Sisters of Notre Dame, it is deeply rooted in catholic traditions and has a big focus on service to humanity.
Their mission statement however, does them a disservice in that they include another institution in there that compels a reader to have to look up the School Sisters of Notre Dame. Without looking up the objectives of the School Sisters of Notre Dame, it is difficult to appreciate the real goal of this institution and what they stand for. I also know for sure that the school is very emphatic on the student’s social responsibility but this notion is not clearly stated in the mission statement. Thus, the real reason for the school’s existence is not clearly stated or included in its mission statement.
Having had this opportunity to critique the mission statements of these two universities, I would take careful steps in ensuring that the university I end up teaching in, is very clear on what they seek to achieve and how they would like to go about achieving it. The mission statement is the only review that many prospective students might come across and it is imperative that it is concise and accurate.