The 2021 Futures of Education report calls for a new social contract for education, with recognition of an extended right to education throughout life. It represents an important restatement of the principles of UNESCO, and particularly its historic focus on our shared humanity, the universal right to education and its rich potential in addressing social, economic and political challenges. The need for a formal recognition of a universal entitlement to lifelong learning was also highlighted in the United Nations Secretary General’s Common Agenda report (also published in 2021) and is increasingly an avowed priority of the global development agenda for education, labour, human rights and sustainability.
It is in this context that the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL) advances its strategy for the next eight years. With this new Medium-Term Strategy (MTS), UIL aims to strike a balance between priorities rooted in the challenges faced by the global community and this new and emerging thinking about – and interest in – lifelong learning. The world must embrace lifelong learning if we are to build fairer societies and a sustainable world.