Goal #4

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

SDG 4 Quality Education

Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all

UNSW is committed to quality education and demonstrates its commitment through:

  • Vision to improve lives globally through innovative research, transformative education, and a commitment to a just society
  • Strategic goals to ensure education pathways reach more students worldwide
  • Supporting our staff to have access to quality education and lifelong learning
  • Top-tier partnerships which aid marginalised and disadvantaged communities across the globe

Educating for a better world

Many of the injustices that the SDGs target result from lack of access to education. New UNESCO data shows that the global number of out-of-school children has risen by 6 million since 2021 and now totals 250 million.

In Australia, 60% of young people from low-SES backgrounds do not complete high school and while rural and remote Australians make up 36% of the population, they only account for 17% of tertiary students. The underrepresentation of rural Australians in tertiary education is due to differences in location and the costs and other barriers to relocate for their studies compared to their urban counterparts.

In this video, Professor Rorden Wilkinson, former Pro Vice-Chancellor Education & Student Experience at UNSW, breaks down some of the key challenges behind SDG #4.

UNSW Gonski Institute for Education

The Institute brings together scholars, policy-makers and practitioners to conduct research that will help improve academic and wellbeing outcomes particularly for students from low-SES backgrounds and those who live in regional and remote areas.


Read 2023 report

UNSW Strategy in Action 2025

Universities are at the heart of the sophisticated global knowledge system shaping our future and UNSW has a key role to play. We aspire to improve lives globally, through partnerships, innovative research, transformative education and commitment to a just society. 

The 2025 Strategy commits UNSW to:

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UNSW 2025 Strategy Update

This document celebrates the key achievements of the first phase of the 2025 Strategy, highlighting where we have come from and where we are now. It also updates the framework against which we will assess, track and measure existing and new strategic initiatives over the next five years.


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Access & Equity (Student) Strategy 2020 - 2025

The strategy includes building on the recognition and achievements of the well-established Aspire program, aligning it with the broader UNSW Strategy which focuses on creating a ‘just society’, while meeting our key target of increasing UNSW’s low-SES access rate.

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2022 A&E Impact Statement front cover with photo of three students walking and chatting

Access & Equity 2022 Impact Statement

The Impact Statement reports on the progress of initiatives relating to student outreach, access and equity, and the ways UNSW is working to ensure that historically underrepresented groups are receiving equitable access and improved educational outcomes at university.

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Annual Inclusive Education Showcase

Inclusive Education comprises practices that make teaching and learning more accessible to all students. It is framed by the principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) to increase the accessibility of tertiary education to a wider population of students.

Inclusive Education showcases, which have been held as part of Diversity Festival are an opportunity for UNSW educators who teach inclusively to present their work. The showcase is a unique opportunity for the UNSW teaching community and others to learn about different inclusive technologies and practices and how to incorporate them into their teaching and learning to make them more accessible.

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Literature Review on Evidence-Based Practice in Inclusive Education

The NSW Department of Education engaged members of the UNSW Disability Innovation Institute to review literature on evidence-based practices proven by high-quality research to improve outcomes for students with disability.

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A new UNSW Sydney community partnership supports the revitalisation of the Dharawal language within the La Perouse Aboriginal community.

The partnership between the Gujaga Foundation and UNSW uses archival resources to describe the language and undertake language projects in collaboration with Dharawal language knowledge holders and Dharawal Elders. It will help widen use of the Aboriginal language across Dharawal Country and support the community’s rich cultural heritage.

This lecture explored the ‘smarter learning’ initiative, spotlighted reforms required to achieve underpinning next-generation forms of assessment, presented results from several international studies and articulated feasible steps ahead for university leaders and technology partners. The argument driving this discussion is that learning is becoming incredibly valuable, that improving learning hinges on assessment reform, and that such innovation will yield major productivity advances.

This lecture was part of the Scientia Education Academy lecture series, a forum for educators to share thought leadership to enhance the educational experience at UNSW.

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Graduates most employable for 3rd year in a row

UNSW Sydney was been named AFR Most Employable University at the 2022 Top100 Future Leader Awards, with a record 42 students named as most employable students.

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NSW Equity Consortium

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A collaborative partnership between UNSW, UTS and Macquarie University to engage in outreach work which seeks to build student and school capacity for accessing tertiary education and improving post-school learning outcomes.

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Gateway Admission Pathway and Program (GAPP)

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The Gateway Admission Pathway and Program is UNSW's primary initiative to ensure equitable access for under-represented students. It combines a set of curriculum-linked learning experiences with an admission pathway that lifts students’ HSC attainment and ensures equitable access to UNSW.

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New Gateway Equity Target

Two students sitting down in front of UNSW tower

In 2022, UNSW Sydney announced the Gateway Equity Target, which sets out that 25% of commencing undergraduate domestic students will be from low-SES backgrounds and/or socio-educationally disadvantaged schools by 2027. This target is an extension of UNSW’s Strategy 2025 focused on increasing the University’s social impact. 

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UNSW Disability Inclusion Action Plan (DIAP)

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The UNSW Disability Inclusion Action Plan (DIAP) 2022-2025 commits the University to removing the barriers people with disability face when it comes to acessing and succeeding in tertiary education. It also aims to encourage the employment of people with disability at all levels of the University, both in the academic and non-academic spheres. 

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UNSW’s new SHARP (Strategic Hire and Retention Pathways) program is investing almost $900 million over 10 years to attract researchers within the top 5% of their field internationally.

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UNSW Making

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UNSW is creating the largest network of connected Makerspaces and workshops in Australia. A network of genuine collaboration and shared values. These values are centered on the principle of barrier-free access to tools and tech for all students, staff and external partners.

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SDG modules

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Presented in a simple, easy way these modules help academics become familiar with the SDGs, and consider ways that sustainability thinking can be included in their own teaching.

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Lifelong learning

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UNSW believes in lifelong learning to help reach your professional development goals and offers opportunities, course discounts, coaching and study leave.

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A big purple Jacaranda Tree outside Morven Brown Building with UNSW written on the top of the building

On the official YouTube channel for UNSW Sydney, Australia’s global university, you’ll find short-form factual content exploring how the world works and how you can make it better. 

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Shack Tutoring

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Shack Tutoring is a free tutoring program connecting local high school students with volunteer university students as tutors.


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Healthy Universities Initiative (HUI)

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The Healthy Universities Initiative (HUI) aims to promote and improve student and staff self-management, success and wellbeing at UNSW.

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Nura Gili Indigenous Youth Leaders Program

Group photo of students in the Nura Gili Winter School

The Nura Gili Indigenous Youth Leaders Program is a multi-disciplinary program, where students experience University through all faculties and develop leadership skills through a cultural workshop.

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UNSW Sustainable Development Goals 2022 Report

This report outlines UNSW's performance against the SDGs in 2022.


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