SDG4: Quality Education

Education is imperative to equip everyone in society with the vital knowledge and skills needed to build a sustainable future. We are committed to delivering quality education to all regardless of socioeconomic factors to develop both our educators and students through teaching and partnerships.

school children with sdg4 logo overlaid

Key facts for how we are achieving SDG4

  • World-class in teaching and research with 92% of Sheffield’s research internationally excellent or world-leading (Research Excellence Framework)
  • Over 1,000 students starting a degree in 2022 who are first generation in their family to go to university
  • Five time winner of the Queen’s Anniversary Prize, the highest national honour recognising outstanding contributions universities and colleges make nationally to intellectual, economic, cultural and social life


Women in engineering 

The University of Sheffield Women in Engineering Society is a student led group focused on inspiring the next generation of engineers.. They achieve this through a range of engineering and STEM- related community outreach activities including one-off visits to schools, hosting a local community group activities, and longer term volunteering projects such as school STEM clubs. The Women in Engineering Society have also worked to create outreach resources, including two children’s books about engineering and a Virtual Reality game for use at events. 


Extra opportunities 

Built within every degree we offer at Sheffield are more educational enrichment opportunities to develop the individual further, giving opportunity for once in a lifetime experiences, acquiring new skills, deepening knowledge and expertise which will ultimately boost the employability of our students. This is done through accreditation of our degrees, industrial placements, study abroad, field trips and volunteering work. 


The majority of our degrees at Sheffields are accredited by official institutional bodies or societies, equipping our students with valuable, transferable and employable skills for after university. 

Career service 

Alumni of the University have life-long careers support; with access to career advisors and mentors providing tips on writing applications,CV’s and even mock up interviews. There are networking events and careers fairs available to current and graduated students. 

Women in Engineering

The University of Sheffield Women in Engineering Society is a student-led group focused on inspiring the next generation of engineers. They achieve this through a range of engineering- and STEM-related community outreach activities including one-off visits to schools, hosting local community group activities, and longer-term volunteering projects such as school STEM clubs. The Women in Engineering Society have also worked to create outreach resources, including two childrens’ books about engineering and a Virtual Reality game for use at events.


Arts and Humanities outreach

In the faculty of arts and humanities, most outreach activity is tailored towards secondary school students. Activities offered include:

  • Taster events at the University of Sheffield
  • Visits to schools
  • Study days
  • Teacher conferences
  • Classrooms resources
  • Mentoring from students
  • Competitions for school pupils 

Individual departments run their own subject-specific projects and events tailored to different year groups, but all aim to inspire secondary age students to engage in arts and humanities.

Lessons from Zebrafish

The Bateson Centre Zebrafish Facility is always looking for opportunities to get involved in outreach and broadening learning opportunities. They frequently take part in events where members of the public can learn about their work, including the role of zebrafish in genetic engineering. The Bateson Centre has even organised a fish themed art exhibition as part of Festival of the Mind. In addition to public outreach, they offer work experience placements and training opportunities for students to gain key genetics research skills alongside their studies. 

Exploring Chemistry

The Chemistry department at The university of Sheffield are engaged in a wide range of outreach activities, targeted at several different audiences. A level chemistry students can sign up for lab taster events; local colleges can bring students to the Kroto Schools Laboratory to develop practical skills linked to the A-level syllabus in a state-of-the-art lab environment. Resources centred around Sheffield alumnus Sir Harry Kroto, including videos and practical kits, can be delivered by schools to help secondary age students learn about atoms and molecules, and Buckminsterfullerene. The Edible Experiments video series helps members of the public to engage with chemistry using items from their own kitchen.

Lifelong Learning

Sheffield’s Department for Lifelong Learning works to support adults of all ages in discovering their options for and accessing higher education. They offer support for prospective mature students  struggling to work out what courses they might want to do, offer foundation year options and a 2 year part-time HECert access course, and help applicants determine what courses they are eligible for regardless of whether they have relevant typical formal qualifications. The Department for Lifelong Learning also offers free monthly online information sessions, and frequent part-time short Discover courses where participants can find out about different courses, explore what it’s like to study at university, and get individual career guidance. 

Access to Sheffield Programmes

For students who meet our Realising Opportunities widening access criteria, we offer a wide range of opportunities so that they can explore the University of Sheffield and their options around higher education.

We work with Year 7 and Year 8 students from selected schools to develop knowledge and awareness of the benefits of Higher Education, graduate employment and introduce them to the University of Sheffield. By taking part in our activities, students will be provided with a foundation of helpful knowledge, to guide crucial decisions about their educational journey.

Access to Sheffield Year 9 to Year 11 allows you to sample different subjects and find out about the courses that all five of the University faculties have to offer - from Social Sciences, Arts & Humanities and Engineering, to Science and Medicine, Dentistry & Health.

Access to Sheffield Year 12- Year 13 has been tailor made to give you the experience of what it is like to be a student at Sheffield. We have five subject and career pathways so that you can apply to the one that best suits your interests.

Our sustainability strategy

We have set the principles and direction for our sustainability strategy