SDG Observatory

Goal 4: Quality Education

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


Quality Education Globally

The ability to obtain a quality and equitable education can set one up to achieve many of the other Sustainable Development Goals. Education can reduce poverty, improve the likelihood someone can obtain Decent Work, and increase the amount of people concerned about combatting climate change. Unfortunately, across the world, education is not accessible to all.

Sustainable Development Goal 4 reaches across all aspects of one’s education, from preschool to tertiary education. It includes reducing discrimination in education, increasing adult literacy levels, and focusing specifically on education for sustainable development. Although the United States is ahead of much of the world in providing an education to all citizens, our system remains one built on inequality.


Quality Education Locally

Dallas is an educational hub, home to some of the best schools in Texas. According to a 2023 Niche rating, DFW [Dallas / Fort Worth] school districts accounted for seven of Texas’ top ten best school districts. The Dallas metropolitan area is also home to over 30 colleges.

Founded in 1969 by the founders of Texas Instruments, UT Dallas was built on an entrepreneurial spirit. The University had an initial goal of attracting bright minds to the metroplex to work at the company. Since then, UT Dallas has grown as a renowned research university of the South-Central United States. With 31,570 students currently enrolled and a growing network of 132,000 alumni, UT Dallas brings Quality Education to many.



Comet Scholars Program

SDG 1: No Poverty
SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities
A group of Comet Scholars and UTD staff.

Students in the Comet Scholars Program

Introduced in 2010-2011, the Comet Scholars Program works to increase the representation of underrepresented groups in the student population at UT Dallas. Students that demonstrate financial need and have a history of academic excellence can qualify for this $5,000 scholarship to assist them in paying for tuition, housing, or other University costs.

The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion also offers a variety of other programs to effectively prepare students for UT Dallas, including College 101 Workshops and the G-Force Mentor Program. Though these programs, UT Dallas strives to make Quality Education accessible to all.


Green Office

SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production
SDG 13: Climate Action
A Green Office participant holding up her certificate and mug.

A Green Office participant holding up their certificate and “I Make UTD Green” mug

Introduced by the Office of Sustainability, the Green Office program is a fun, user-friendly, and engaging tool to help assess how “green” we are operating on a department, office, and individual level. Offices can rank as platinum, gold, silver, or bronze based on the sustainable practices they have implemented by the department. Certified Green Offices also receive regular newsletters, which help provide education to improve campus sustainability and help to build a culture of stewardship on campus. The contact listed on the Green Office Certification application will also be designated as a Sustainability Ambassador, or the point of contact between the Office of Sustainability and the certified office. The ambassador will share sustainability news, information, and education material with their office and other employees on-campus. Each ambassador attends at least one training provided by The Office of Sustainability per academic year. The focus of the training is to learn more about the Green Office Certification Program, how to effectively educate others on how to be more sustainable in the workplace, and to share best practices in raising awareness for sustainability programs. Since its introduction in 2018, over 14 campus offices have been certified as Green Offices. This program prepares others to continue sustainability education outside of our office.


UN Regional Centre for Expertise

SDG 3: Good Health and Well-Being
SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals
Members of the North Texas RCE

Members of the North Texas RCE [Regional Centre for Expertise]

The North Texas Regional Centre for Expertise was founded in 2018 with the partnership of the University of Texas at Dallas and the University of Texas at Arlington. The RCE [Regional Centre for Expertise] is a network of multidisciplinary stakeholders, including higher education institutions, businesses, nonprofits, community associations, and local, regional, state and federal government agencies. The RCE [Regional Centre for Expertise] works to promote sustainable development through these partnerships and through education. In order to center our work through the RCE [Regional Centre for Expertise] , the RCE has identified 5 main SDG [Sustainable Development Goal] s as priorities for the growing North Texas region: Zero Hunger (SDG 2 [Sustainable Development Goal 2] ), Quality Education (SDG 4 [Sustainable Development Goal 4] ), Industry Innovation and Infrastructure (SDG 9 [Sustainable Development Goal 9] ), Sustainable Cities and Communities (SDG 11 [Sustainable Development Goal 11] ), and Climate Action (SDG 13 [Sustainable Development Goal 13] ). Most recently, the RCE held its first in-person Annual Summit in fall 2022 to educate attendees about sustainability work in the area and facilitate action and collaboration. In educating the greater community, UTD’s partnership in the Regional Centre for Expertise is essential in extending our reach.


Sustainability Literacy Assessment

SDG 13: Climate Action
SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals
UTD students participating in a Campus Cleanup program.

UTD students participating in a Campus Cleanup program

The Office of Sustainability administers a Sustainability Literacy Survey every three years in line with our annual AASHE [Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education] STARS [Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System] report. Sustainability Literacy surveys from other institutions were referenced to assist with developing questions, and new questions were developed to assess campus-specific sustainability knowledge. Using the data collected through this literacy assessment, the Office of Sustainability has worked to improve programming and increase the reach of our office across campus.


Goals / Future Work

  • Improve the Comets to the Core program to be more engaging for students
  • Increase engagement in the Green Office program and other forms of Sustainable Development Education for employees
  • Involve UTD students more heavily in work of the UN Regional Centre for Expertise
  • Introduce more courses focused on sustainability education


Learn More

Compliance with Texas Senate Bill 17
The information on this page predates the signing into law of Texas Senate Bill 17 (SB17Senate Bill 17), and as such, should be considered an obsolete historical document which will either be changed or purged from this site in a future iteration, following the guidance of The University of Texas System.