Importance of SDG 4 in higher education

Sustainable development is more vital than ever for the global community today than when the UN introduced the all-encompassing Agenda 21 global action plan in 1992. It guides social, environmental, and economic growth. Climate change and other environmental threats underscore the need for a coordinated strategy for sustainable development that balances social, environmental, and economic factors. Goal 4 is crucial in higher education because it ensures everyone has access to high-quality education and fosters lifelong learning. To reach this goal, all children must get free primary and secondary education by 2030. It also aspires to eliminate gender and economic imbalances and give universal access to quality higher education. One in every five of those 59 million kids is out of school, and recent trends indicate that two out of five will never enter a classroom. The Sustainable Development Goals must overcome this gap, addressing quality and equity in education. Without a strong educational foundation, it will be impossible to attain the Sustainable Development Goals. Higher education as a policy instrument helps people become more self-sufficient, enhances economic growth by boosting skills, and improves lives by increasing chances for better lifestyles. To achieve the 2030 SDGs, we must ensure that all young people have equal access to high-quality higher education and technical and vocational training. Improving access and quality will require policy changes, removing fundamental barriers, including gender discrimination, food scarcity, and violent conflict.  

Status of the Goal 4 in India 

With improvements in the enrolment and completion rates for female students in higher education, great progress has been made in India to pursue the universalization of higher education. At the time of the survey, net enrolment in higher education for both boys and girls was 100 per cent, while the national youth literacy rate was 94 per cent for males and 92 per cent for females at the time of the survey.  Universalism in high-quality education and lifelong learning are two aims that the new National Education Policy and Sustainable Development Goal 4 have in common. Aiming to provide universal, high-quality education to all Indians, the government’s main program, the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, is supported by several focused programs, including nutritional support, higher education, and teacher training.  

Let’s see some targets.

  • Assure that all girls and boys finish equitable and high-quality higher education by 2030.
  • Ensure equal access to quality technical, vocational, and tertiary education, including university, for women and men by 2030.
  • Commit to increasing the number of teenagers and adults with necessary skills (technical and vocational) by 2030.
  • Eliminate gender gaps in higher education by 2030 and ensure vulnerable groups, such as disabled people, indigenous peoples, and children, have equal access to all levels of education and vocational training.
  • Incorporate reading and numeracy into all youth and adult male and female education by 2030.
  • Guarantee, by 2030, that all students have the knowledge and skills necessary to promote sustainable development, such as education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promoting a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship, and appreciation of cultural diversity and culture’s contribution to sustainability.
  • By 2020, significantly increase the number of scholarships available to developing countries, especially LDCs, SIDS, and African countries, for higher education, vocational training, and technical, engineering, and scientific programs in developed and developing countries.


At Poornima University, SDG 4 guarantees everyone accesses to a high-quality education. Goal 4 aims to reduce gender and economic disparities and provide universal access to quality higher education. We follow the government’s flagship program, the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, which aims to provide universal, high-quality education to all Indians. All genders have an equal net enrolment in all fields of higher education. We look forward to equally participating in achieving SDGs and doing our best as an institute!
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