TQM and SDGs for Erasmus+ Programme—Quality Education, Reducing Inequalities, Climate Change, Peace and Justice
- Governance—the incorporation of the principles of the SDGs into governance and institutional culture.
- Management—fostering sustainable campus management and university operations.
- Teaching and learning—training students to implement and assess the SDGs.
- Research—promoting responsible research and the creation of alternative pathways for the future.
- Partnerships and community engagement—fostering the well-being of communities and creating new partners for change.
“showed that the most notable objectives in the curriculum units as a whole were SDG 5—Gender Equality, and Goal 10—Reduced Inequalities, aspects that teachers in the School of Social Sciences consider to be able to work from the curricular units for which they are scientifically responsible. Also highlighted were Goal 8—Decent Work and Economic Growth and Goal 16—Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions. Less mentioned were Goal 11—Sustainable Cities and Communities and Goal 3—Good Health and Well-Being. All other SGDs were less represented and Goal 6—Clean Water and Sanitation was not identified in any courses.”
“This Communication is an invitation for closer cooperation between countries and actors of the higher education sector within the European Education Area (EEA), the European Re-search Area (ERA) and the European Higher Education Area (EHEA, Bologna process). Synergies are needed in areas such as transnational cooperation and the institutional transformation of universities, support for fundamental academic values and scientific freedom, developing academic careers, innovative and interdisciplinary learning, teaching and research, as well as the interconnectedness between these, knowledge circulation, international cooperation with partners beyond the EU and the contribution to the United Nation’s SDG’s.”.
2. Materials and Methods
3.1. Total Quality Management and Sustainability
3.2. Erasmus+ Programme’s General and Specific Objectives
“Investing in learning mobility for all, regardless of background and means, and in cooperation and innovative policy development in the fields of education and training, youth and sport is key to building inclusive, cohesive and resilient societies and sustaining the competitiveness of the Union, and is all the more important in the context of rapid and profound change driven by technological revolution and globalisation. Furthermore, such an investment also contributes to strengthening European identity and values and to a more democratic Union.”
3.3. SDGs 4, 10, 13, and 16 vs. Erasmus+ Programme
3.3.1. SDG 4—Quality 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.4.7 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.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.”
3.3.2. SDG 10—Reduced Inequalities
“10.3 Ensure equal opportunity and reduce inequalities of outcome, including by eliminating discriminatory laws, policies and practices and promoting appropriate legislation, policies and action in this regard.”
3.3.3. SDG 13—Climate Action
“13.3 By 2030 improve education, awareness-raising and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning.”
“Reflecting the importance of tackling climate change in line with the Union’s commitments to implement the Paris Agreement adopted under the United Nations Frame-work Convention on Climate Change and to achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, the Programme is intended to contribute to mainstreaming climate actions and to the achievement of an overall target of 30% of Union budget expenditure supporting climate objectives. In line with the European Green Deal as a blueprint for sustainable growth, the actions under this Regulation should respect the ‘do no harm’ principle without changing the fundamental character of the Programme. During the implementation of the Programme, relevant actions should be identified and put in place and reassessed in the context of the relevant evaluations and review process. It is also appropriate to measure relevant actions that contribute to climate objectives, including those intended to reduce the environmental impact of the Programme.”
“The Programme shall be implemented so as to ensure its overall consistency and complementarity with other relevant Union policies, programmes and funds, in particular those relating to education and training, culture and the media, youth and solidarity, employment and social inclusion, research and innovation, industry and enterprise, digital policy, agriculture and rural development, environment and climate, cohesion (…)”
3.3.4. SDG 16—Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions
“16.2 Strengthen relevant national institutions, including through international cooperation, for building capacity at all levels, in particular in developing countries, to pre-vent violence and combat terrorism and crime.” (by 2030)
4. Discussion and Final Considerations, Limitations, and Future Research Proposals
- SDG 4—Quality education. Targets 4.3—equal access to affordable technical, vocational, and higher education; 4.4—an increase in the number of people with relevant skills for financial success; 4.5—the elimination of all discrimination in education; 4.7—education for sustainable development and global citizenship; 4.b—the expansion of higher education scholarships for developing countries; and 4.c—an increase in the supply of qualified teachers in developing countries.
- SDG 10—Reducing inequalities. The selected target was 10.3—ensuring equal opportunities and ending discrimination.
- SDG 13—Climate action. The target was 13.3—building knowledge and the capacity to meet climate change.
- SDG 16—Peace, justice, and strong institutions. The selected target was 16.a—strengthening national institutions to prevent violence and combat crime and terrorism.
Institutional Review Board Statement
Informed Consent Statement
Data Availability Statement
Conflicts of Interest
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|Critical Success Factor||Description/Characterisation|
|Leadership||The top management, who are responsible for defining the quality; social responsibility; sustainability and environmental policies; and mission, vision, and values of the institution. Commitment to the organisation is crucial for an eventual change in the adoption of practices and communication promoting the empowerment of workers and their involvement, including in decision making.|
|Education and training||HEIs have a mission very focused on teaching and research, and therefore education and training are part of the core business of the institution. It is only through these factors that people gain skills and knowledge to carry out their activities.|
|Involvement of all employees||Being involved means actively participating in the institution’s activities and decisions. We refer to a level of involvement associated with attitudes, participation, teamwork, and cross-functional interactions, which should be provided by the top management. Only through the involvement of the workers will they know the true value of the products or services they provide.|
|Evaluation, measurement, and control||Evaluation, measurement, and control are fundamental for a HEI to understand whether it is achieving the objectives and targets set. The use of measurement tools and the establishment of adequate key performance indicators are relevant and fundamental for the institution to redirect focus when needed, redefine policies, and adopt preventive and/or corrective measures regarding its performance.|
|Other stakeholders||The other stakeholders correspond to all those who demonstrate that they have needs, demands, and expectations that the HEIs have to manage and meet.|
|General objectives||1. To promote the educational, professional, and personal development of people in the fields of education and training, youth, and sport in Europe and beyond, thereby contributing to sustainable growth, quality jobs, and social cohesion, driving innovation and strengthening European identity and active citizenship through lifelong learning.|
2. To function as a crucial instrument for building a European Education Area.
|Specific objectives||To promote:|
(a) The learning mobility of individuals and groups and cooperation, quality, inclusion, equity, excellence, creativity, and innovation at the level of organisations and policies in the field of education and training.
(b) Non-formal and informal learning mobility and active participation among young people and cooperation, quality, inclusion, creativity, and innovation at the level of organisations and policies in the field of youth.
(c) The learning mobility of sport staff and cooperation, quality, inclusion, creativity, and innovation at the level of sport organisations and sport policies.
|European added value||1. Only those actions and activities with potential European added value that contribute to the attainment of the programme’s objectives will be supported.|
2. The European added value of the programme’s actions and activities will be ensured, for example, by their:
(a) Transnational character, particularly with regards to learning mobility and cooperation aimed at achieving a sustainable systemic impact;
(b) Complementarity and synergies with other programmes and policies at the national, Union, and international level;
(c) Contribution to the effective use of Union transparency and recognition tools.
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Nogueiro, T.; Saraiva, M. TQM and SDGs for Erasmus+ Programme—Quality Education, Reducing Inequalities, Climate Change, Peace and Justice. Soc. Sci. 2023, 12, 123. https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12030123
Nogueiro T, Saraiva M. TQM and SDGs for Erasmus+ Programme—Quality Education, Reducing Inequalities, Climate Change, Peace and Justice. Social Sciences. 2023; 12(3):123. https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12030123Chicago/Turabian Style
Nogueiro, Teresa, and Margarida Saraiva. 2023. "TQM and SDGs for Erasmus+ Programme—Quality Education, Reducing Inequalities, Climate Change, Peace and Justice" Social Sciences 12, no. 3: 123. https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12030123