This chapter focuses on how education is conceptualized in the discourses of social policy and development. It examines some key issues and debates on education in relation to social issues and welfare. In the studies of social policy, education is treated as a distinct field, due to the argument that correlation between investment in education and equality is debatable. The two, however, share some common attributes such as the way that global discussions shift from access and growth to quality, rights and sustainability, and also to the way global initiatives and priorities influence the local. To analyse the unique nature of education, the chapter highlights a multidimensional perspective on the role of states, global governance, and the influence of social and political factors on the notion of rights. In conclusion, as the implications for practice in social policy and education as well as research, the author suggests the need for a multi-sector approach which also embraces the impact of diversified stakeholders, people’s mobility across state borders, a concept of ‘rights’ in transition economies, and the impact of cultural elements on the concept of education and policy designing.
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