The Office for Intergovernmental Support and Coordination for Sustainable Development of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs is preparing the 2020 ECOSOC High Level Segment (HLS) for NGOs in consultative status with ECOSOC that is guided by the theme of the 2020 High-level Political Forum (HLPF) on “Accelerated action and transformative pathways: realizing the decade of action and delivery for sustainable development”.
CEDS Board is echoing this event through the publication of the following written statement made by Florence Gabay and Fouad Nohra on on Implementing the fourth sustainable development goal through improving of the higher education performance.
Implementing the fourth sustainable development goal through improving of the higher education performance
Quality education is an essential part of the sustainable development goals ; investment in education is and investment in human capital and in long range and intergenerational development objectives.
The last report on the Millenium Development Goals performance disclosed a success in achieving universal primary education (more than 80% of African children school enrolment)
Nevertheless, the emphasis on primary education compelled the governments and international organizations to dedicate a growing share of their educational resources to the primary level, therefore affecting negatively the public funding of higher education.
The consequence was everywhere, that higher education systems that are the drive for a high quality education were lacking resources, and this affected the whole educational chain.
Through our cooperation with academic institutions abroad, we realized that international exchanges were slowed down by the lack of public funds.
This was the visible part of the iceberg, as the hidden part is the lack of human and financial resources to undertake the necessary reforms as it has been noticed for instance in some Middle Eastern countries where the highest qualified professors were employed by the state universities from where many students from wealthier social classes were moving away in order to privilege private structures.
The reform of this key sector for a high quality education needs for sure a mobilization of national resources, but also an international support both in terms of expertise sharing and in terms of additional funds allocated within the framework of a detailed reform agenda. The key axis of this transformation are expected to be presented as follows :
1- The share of expertise in order to improve governance and to develop an efficiency oriented administration, supported by the funding for seminars and international meetings for this
2- The share of teaching experiences in order to help students to develop cognitive resources
3- The support for comprehensive studies of the whole educational system in order to develop the complementarity between higher education and teacher training for the lower levels
Improving the quality of teaching and governance in higher education is a drive for the development of human resources and supports the accomplishment of all the other sustainable development goals.