Universal education is the principle that people from all backgrounds, genders, ethnicities, and levels of ability should have equal access to and opportunity for education. Universal education is the main principle that drives the advancement of free and compulsory education in low- and middle-income countries. From 2000 to 2015, universal education was promoted through the United Nations (UN) Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Education for All (EFA). Starting in 2015, the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) expanded and changed the context of universal education to focus on the long-term social, economic, and environmental development of a country. This entry summarizes the history of the universal education movement and suggests some economic, social, and health barriers that must be overcome before the goal of global universal ...

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