The contribution of higher education to the development of nations and to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is one of the priority areas for UNESCO IESALC. These resources aim at helping policymakers and higher education institutions to better leverage higher education’s potential towards economic, social and environmental sustainability.


UNESCO IESALC undertakes research on how countries can leverage their higher education systems and international aid for higher education for their national development.

SDG reports and briefs

Analyzing the contribution of higher education to one specific SDG at a time, UNESCO IESALC provides materials for policymakers and HE leaders to identify emerging challenges, trends, gaps and good practice cases.

SET4HEI evaluation tool

UNESCO IESALC has created a free, online tool that allows higher education institutions to self-evaluate their contributions to each of the 17 SDGs, and identify good practices across teaching, research, engagement and management.

Objectives of this line of work

  • Inspire and support higher education institutions across the globe to further promote the SDGs within their capabilities.
  • Identify gaps and good practices in the national and institutional level, related to the contribution of higher education to the SDGs.
  • Guide governments to more effectively support HEIs actions that contribute to SDGs.