IGES Issue Briefs on the SDGs
Access and attainment of education are fundamental for human well-being, and should be a priority of the post-2015 development agenda as education is proven to accelerate achievement of several important development goals. For education to support the sustainable development goals (SDGs), however, an ambitious education goal that moves beyond broadening coverage and rather works to improve overall efficacy of education is essential. Addressing sustainable development through education requires a qualitative turn in how education is viewed and contextualized, as quality improvements produce more significant benefits and often require lower resource costs. An education SDG should include three dimensions: increasing access and attainment, improving educational quality, and inspiring transformative learning. Distinguishing these three dimensions in an SDG can help clarify that education is both essential for human development and achieving social change towards a sustainable future.