The first chapter introduces the book by making a case for the need to understand quality from a human development perspective. Because the dominant conception of quality in the literature at an international and regional level is based on the human capital approach, this chapter argues for the alternative that human development provides. Given that the book makes an argument for a human development informed notion of quality, the chapter also examines other quality perspectives, such as the human rights and social justice approaches, and how they influence conceptions of quality as well as their limitations. The chapter will also introduce the major tenets of the capabilities approach used in the book and proffer a new conceptualisation of quality, informed by Barnett’s critical being and Bonvin’s capability for work. The chapter ends by giving an outline of the aim and structure of the book.