Goal 4: Quality Education

Ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning.

Education enables upward socioeconomic mobility and is a key to escaping poverty. Consequently, to create sustainable futures, there must be educated workers who can support government agencies, private-sector businesses, and other organizations that fuel economic growth. To build an educated workforce, children must be provided the opportunity to learn. Massive open online courses can provide learning that is as immersive and detailed as any classroom experience to thousands of children who previously had little or no schooling.

Rapid innovation is causing exponential socioeconomic changes. According to the World Economic Forum, over 60% of children entering primary school today will eventually have jobs that do not exist yet. More than 250 million children remain out of school, but even when traditional education is available, it has not universally kept pace to prepare youth for the current or future world of work. The World Economic Forum estimates that more than half (54%) of all employees will require significant reskilling by 2022. The World Bank estimates that 60% of the world’s population remains excluded from the ever-expanding digital economy, the new economy. Such exclusion is both unjust and unsustainable. Governments need to create the right conditions, but corporations are in a unique position to contribute – especially companies like SAP.

With more than 437,000 customers in 180+ countries, SAP is connected to 77% of the world’s transaction revenue, 78% of the world’s food, and 58% of UN member governments. In September 2019, SAP announced a partnership with UNICEF to support Generation Unlimited, a global public-private partnership with the goal to prepare 2 billion youth for decent work and active citizenry by 2030.

Learning for Life

SAP’s education and workforce readiness portfolio, Learning for Life is developed through long-term multi-stakeholder partnerships. It leverages SAP’s technology, talent, and ecosystem to effect systemic change in education and workforce readiness, powering opportunity for all people through digital inclusion. Our goal is to help all people attain relevant 21st-century skills to secure decent and meaningful work, including entrepreneurial pursuits, in a digital world. A focus on inclusive, adaptive lifelong learning spurs future innovation, creates a sustainable future, and fuels economic prosperity. SAP Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs work to this end for underserved or marginalized people.

For example,

  • SAP trains young unemployed graduates in Africa, increasing their chances of securing gainful work.
  • The openSAP platform offers 170 massive open online courses and has trained more than 900,000 individuals from over 200 countries since 2013. openSAP is available to anyone in the world interested in learning about the latest technology trends. Courses are offered completely free of charge, and all that anyone needs to sign up is a valid e-mail address.
  • Early College High Schools, a digital literacy program for high school students in New York, Bay Area, Vancouver and Boston provides IT workforce development for low-income students in North America. ,
  • SAP has committed the success of its Learning for Life portfolio to support the Global Alliance for YOUth. Launched at the World Economic Forum, this Alliance, a cohort of 20 international brands, aims to impact six million youth by 2022, helping them build employability skills.

SAP is doing its part

As part of the United Nations High Level Political Forum in New York in July, SAP supported UN Environment and the Higher Education Sustainability Initiative (HESI) program to foster a global movement of higher education institutions working together to teach sustainable development; encourage research and dissemination of sustainable development knowledge; promote green campuses and support local sustainability efforts; and engage and share information with international networks.

CSR at SAP is committed to driving inclusive quality education and powering opportunity for all people through digital inclusion initiatives. We address issues of access, adoption, and the application of 21st-century skills to help people succeed in a digital world. We are empowering Africa’s next generation innovators with technology skills by partnering with academia on the Enterprise Systems for Africa curriculum that has trained over 5,000 students across 13 African countries on SAP software, preparing workforce-ready graduates and reducing youth unemployment.

In Africa, Africa Code Week is a signature initiative where SAP has joined forces with UNESCO to train youth in coding skills for sustained impact. In India, Code Unnati teaches thousands of youth across states how to be proficient in next-generation skills and be workforce-ready. In Middle East and North Africa, Digital Skills for Today conducts rigorous bootcamps and training sessions for youth in refugee camps to empower them with digital skills and ensure that they have decent jobs and happier lives. In 2019, SAP digital skills and coding programs trained 56,000 teachers, engaged 4.5 million young people and spanned 105 countries. Programs include Meet and Code (Europe), Latin Code Week (LAC), Early College High Schools (United States, Canada), Let’s Talk Science (Canada), ASEAN Data Science Explorers (Asia), and Young ICT Explorers (Australia), to name a few.

SAP’s Social Sabbatical initiative encompasses a portfolio of pro bono volunteering programs, where highly diverse teams of SAP employees solve strategic challenges of nonprofits and social enterprises, focused on bridging the digital divide. Starting with the flagship program in 2012, SAP has partnered with PYXERA Global to expand this initiative rapidly, and to date more than 1,250 SAP employees have built significant capacity for more than 400 organizations across 50+ countries impacting many lives across the world.

SAP’s largest global volunteering initiative is Global Month of Service. For 15 years, employees have volunteered for different projects during the month of October. To keep pace with changing community needs globally, SAP CSR has shifted its support model to enable and encourage volunteers to get involved when and where the need arises.

In lights of the SARS-CoV-19 pandemic, millions of students were no longer able to attend school or university. To prevent education from taking a backseat in this already challenging time, SAP launched a New Digital Learning Initiative to offer innovative and interactive educational content for students, professionals, and anyone wishing to continue to educate themselves. The offering also includes a 90-day access to four selected learning journeys. It addresses students interested in preparing digitally for a career in the SAP ecosystem and studying at one of the over 3,800 member universities in the SAP University Alliances program.

Women: transforming communities – and nations

SAP is committed to ensuring inclusion in education and to educating men and women equally. Africa Code Week sees more than 46% female participation. In Code Unnati, we encourage women and girls, especially in rural communities, to learn computer skills and become employable. Together with Karlie Kloss, an international supermodel and entrepreneur, SAP aims to increase access to STEAM opportunities for young women. Karlie and her coding organization – Kode with Klossy – are helping to drive meaningful experience by bridging the technical skills gap. She’s encouraging and enabling the next generation of innovators to pursue their passion within science, technology, engineering, arts, and maths (STEAM) in a technology-driven world.

SAP Denmark is a founding member of the Coding Class concept and this year, as part of SAP’s efforts to keep education going in challenging times due to COVID-19, Coding Class has been offered virtually for the first time. One of the themes was Code for Climate, where students were asked to develop a solution that makes us better at looking after the climate, such as through an app or game that supports recycling or helps avoid food waste.

These are just a few of the many ways in which SAP is putting people and education first – at the heart of digital transformation, as are the following activities:

  • Through activities like the SAP Young Thinkers program’s Go Digital Nights and college courses, Snap!, a blocks-based open source programming language, has completely transformed coding and programming from an individual experience to a collaborative one. It’s also helping to make the subject of computer science more inclusive as a whole. To help learners get started, a free Snap! online course is available on the openSAP platform.
  • Calliope Mini is a small device which is used in schools in Germany to start children with coding. SAP worked with the Calliope Mini team to produce a course, in German, to help teachers get up to speed with lessons for the Calliope Mini.
  • As a partner of the We Are Family Foundation, SAP is supporting its Three Dot Dash global teen leader initiative. Every year, about 30 global teen leaders who are positively changing their communities are being identified and connected to mentors, policy makers, industry leaders, and educational influencers who can help them access global networks and partners. This year, the theme of the International Youth Day was “Transforming Education”, and the point was to make education more relevant and inclusive for all youth. The education-focused global teen leaders and the We are Family Foundation support Learning for Life.
  • Step Up for Students is a nonprofit organization, focused on providing scholarships to low-income and special-needs students. But the way to their funds can be tedious. The process can be lengthy, and it comes with heavy administrative burdens, which ultimately can result in students missing out on potential opportunities. Together with SAP Ariba solutions, Step Up for Students went digital and developed the MyScholarShop platform, which grants students much quicker access to their funds to customize their education path and helps them reach their goals.
  • Tuition costs to study at Purdue University, one of the Big Ten schools, are currently lower than they were in 2012 (in inflation-adjusted dollars), which enables students to graduate debt-free. By implementing SAP S/4HANA, the university was able to address America’s college affordability crisis by optimizing its administration processes, which cut their paper forms by more than 600,000 and reduced cycle times, making it more cost-efficient.

Goal 5: Gender Equality