In this policy brief, IIASA researchers argue that education should be pursued as both an end and a powerful means of development – an argument that is strengthened rather than undermined if the many instrumental benefits that follow from improved education and how they seem to arise are taken seriously.
According to the researchers, general education has a positive role to play in achieving the environmental goals of sustainable development, which supports the claim that investing in good education is key to achieving sustainable development.
Educational equality promotes income growth and reduces income inequality, which in turn leads to more cohesive, stable, and happy societies. It can also increase political knowledge, and promote civic culture and participation in democratic politics.
In short, education is worth investing in, not because it is the elusive ‘silver bullet’ to end all sustainable development problems, but because processes of teaching and learning are a natural and defining characteristic of society. The improvement of education on its own terms is therefore in everyone’s interest.
IIASA Policy Briefs present the latest research for policymakers from IIASA - an international, interdisciplinary research institute with National Member Organizations (NMOs) in countries in Africa, the Americas, Asia, and Europe. The views expressed herein are those of the researchers and not necessarily those of IIASA or its NMOs.
Last edited: 11 September 2018
Read full policy brief
Bengtsson S, Barakat B, & Muttarak R ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0627-4451 (2018). The Role of Education in Enabling the Sustainable Development Agenda. Routledge. ISBN 9781138307957
International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Schlossplatz 1, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria
Phone: (+43 2236) 807 0 Fax:(+43 2236) 71 313