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As it is noted in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), education liberates the intellect, unlocks the imagination and is fundamental for self-respect. It is the key to prosperity and opens a world of opportunities, making it possible for all of us to contribute to a progressive, healthy society. Learning benefits every human being and should be available to all. Education should be a public good, a global common good, a fundamental human right and a basis for guaranteeing the realization of other rights.

Cross-border learning applies to the Sustainable Development Goal 4 “Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all” and to most of its targets and means of implementation, which are the following:


Target 4.3. Equal Access to Affordable Technical, Vocational and Higher Education – ensure equal access for all to affordable and quality technical, vocational, and tertiary education, including university.
Target 4.4. Increase The Number of People with Relevant Skills for Financial Success – substantially increase the number of youth and adults who have relevant skills, including technical and vocational skills, for employment, decent jobs, and entrepreneurship.
Target 4.5. Eliminate All Discrimination in Education – eliminate gender disparities in education and ensure equal access to all levels of education and vocational training for the vulnerable, including persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples, and children in vulnerable situations.
Target 4.7. Education for Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship – ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including, among others, through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship, and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development.

Means of implementation

Increase The Supply of Qualified Teachers in Developing Countries. Substantially increase the supply of qualified teachers, including through international cooperation for teacher training in developing countries, especially least developed countries and small island developing States.
Expand Higher Education Scholarships for Developing Countries. Substantially expand globally the number of scholarships available to developing countries, in particular least developed countries, small island developing States and African countries, for enrolment in higher education, including vocational training and information and communications technology, technical, engineering and scientific programmes, in developed countries and other developing countries.