How to Set Up a University

Setting Up a University can seem daunting, but with the right planning and preparation it can be a relatively easy process. Here are tips to help you get started: 

Get organized

Get organized – start by creating a timeline and mapping out your goals for setting up your university. Make sure to account for everything from registering students to setting up office space.


Research – Start by researching what type of university setting is best for you and your students. There are many different types of universities to choose from, including public, private, for-profit, and nonprofit institutions.

Mission and Goals

Establish clear goals for your university. What do you want it to achieve? What values will be central to its operations? How will you know when you’ve reached your goals? Once you have a good idea of what you’re after, focus your efforts on attaining those goals.

Size and Structure

Decide on the size and structure of your campus. When deciding where to attend college, many students consider factors such as location, cost, and proximity to friends and family. Another important factor is the type of institution. There are three main types of universities in the United States: public, private, and religious. Public universities are funded by taxes while private universities are either privately funded or have commercial affiliations. Religious universities are affiliated with a specific religious denomination.


Plan a budget You’ll need to come up with a plan for funding your university. How much money will you need? What sources of revenue are available to you? Will you have to seek out private funding? What about grants and scholarships?


Find a location for your university What do you want to see? Where do you want it to be? Are there any existing facilities that will make it easier to run the school, such as an old store or a warehouse? It’s also important to consider how the school fits into the community.

Advice from Consultants and Associations

Get advice from your regional or national association of colleges and universities (NACU) or the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO). Contact consultants like Darlo Higher Education to talk through the process of registration and setting up your organisation.

Application for Registration with Regulators

Register for state licensing requirements in all 50 states. Understand their regulations and standards. Most accreditation bodies have frameworks and standards that are set for all registered organisations to follow. Most can be downloaded from a website.


Now that you have a location and a budget, it’s time to get to work. You’ll need to find a space, make sure that it’s secure and safe, set up utilities and furnishings, build out the curriculum, and develop an admissions policy.

Business Plans

Develop a marketing plan It’s important to put together your marketing plan before you begin your school. This will help you grow and make sure that the school is running smoothly.


Create a timetable. Estimate how much money you will need to set up the institution and make sure you have enough funds available.

Policy Manual and Governance

Create a policy manual and appoint a president/director.

Teaching Schedule and Semesters

Teaching Schedule and Semesters. Decide on your teaching schedule and semesters. Which classes are you going to offer. Which disciplines? Are you going to offer generalist degrees or specific degrees?


Staff. Think about the workforce. Who are you planning to employ? Where are they going to be based?


Fees. Setting the fees for higher education can make or break your institution.

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