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Within the EU, education policy supports national education and training systems. The Europe 2020 Strategy for growth and jobs includes an education target to reduce the rates of early school leaving below 10% and to ensure that at least 40% of 30-34 year-olds complete higher education.

The European pillar of social rights underlines everyone's right to quality and inclusive education, training and life-long learning, while the EU Cohesion Policy invests in people's skills and competences. For best practice exchange and support to policy reforms, the EU has set up the Strategic framework – Education and Training (ET 2020). Between 2014 and 2020, the Erasmus+ mobility programme funds 4 million young students, trainees, apprentices and volunteers.

Beyond its borders, the EU provides support to education in the framework of the European development policy, the European Neighbourhood Policy and the Enlargement policy. By 2020, Erasmus+ funding in third countries will support the exchange of around 150,000 university students and staff, 1000 capacity building projects on higher education and 27,000 master degree scholarships across the world.

A full list of EU policies and actions supporting Goal 4 is available below.

EU actions

Sorted alphabetically.

EU Actions supporting Goal 4.

EU Actions supporting specific Goal 4 targets.

4.1 - By 2030, ensure that all girls and boys complete free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education leading to relevant and effective learning outcomes

4.2 - By 2030, ensure that all girls and boys have access to quality early childhood development, care and pre-primary education so that they are ready for primary education

4.3 - By 2030, ensure equal access for all women and men to affordable and quality technical, vocational and tertiary education, including university

4.4 - By 2030, substantially increase the number of youth and adults who have relevant skills, including technical and vocational skills, for employment, decent jobs and entrepreneurship

4.5 - By 2030, 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

4.6 - By 2030, ensure that all youth and a substantial proportion of adults, both men and women, achieve literacy and numeracy

4.7 - By 2030, 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

4.a - Build and upgrade education facilities that are child, disability and gender sensitive and provide safe, non-violent, inclusive and effective learning environments for all

4.b - By 2020, 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

4.c - By 2030, 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