Under the Constitution, “the government is responsible for promoting lifelong education," the drive to instill the importance of education and learning throughout society, the government strives to provide the general public with the opportunity to receive continuing education and to engage in on-going enhancement of one's potential. The Lifelong Education Law, established in August 1999 under the Social Education Promotion Law, provides strong support for related education institutes.
Lifelong education is defined as all forms of education, with the exception of school education, which constitute the system of lifelong education. The lifelong education programs that are offered in Korea are categorized as para-school education, occupational and technical education, and general or liberal education.
Para-schools are excluded from the main school ladder in the sense that they do not require day-long attendance in an institution. Belonging to this category are civic schools, civic high schools, industry-attached schools (middle and high), evening classes offered at schools (middle and high), open high schools, accreditation programs for self-study, credit bank system, Korea National Open Universities, distance learning universities, company-attached universities and industrial universities.
Air and Correspondence High Schools*, first established in 1974, started with eleven public branch high schools. As of 2016, there are 42 Open High Schools.
*Air and Correspondence High School was renamed as Open High School since Open Middle Schools were established in 2013. Open High Schools and Open Middle Schools are now part of Open Secondary Schools.
A wide range of students attend this school; in particular, those who were not able to attend high schools due to diverse situations and disadvantaged backgrounds including teenagers, students with disabilities, individuals with multicultural background, and so forth. A total of 230,000 students who graduated from this school are now members of the society in many different work places, and currently approximately 10,000 students in this school are devoted to academics.
In 2013, Open Middle Schools were established in order to provide learning opportunities for individuals who want to pursue a middle school diploma, and there are about 3,000 students enrolled in 20 Open Middle Schools as of 2016.
Korea National Open University, which started off as a two-year college in 1972, underwent restructuring in 1981 by reorganizing its program into a five-year bachelor’s program, and then turned into a four-year program in 1991. The program has expanded to include 13 regional campuses with 22 majors at the bachelor's level and 19 master's level programs. The size of the student body also grew to 290,728. Duration of the program is four years with no age limit for joining the programs.
Korea National Open University provides one-on-one education through distance learning media including satellite TV, internet and mobile, allowing students to benefit from education without space constraints. Students take advantage of the wide range of learning materials and opportunities and take the initiative in setting goals and utilizing the learning materials. Students of Korea National Open University, in a sense, are self-directed learners armed with determination.
The Educational Broadcasting System (EBS) was launched in December 1990, affiliated with the Korean Educational Development Institute (KEDI), in order to support school education, expand the opportunity for lifelong education, and contribute to the national development of education. In March 1997, EBS became independent from KEDI and was re-established as the Korean Educational Broadcasting System, having a full responsibility of its own programming.
EBS (http://www.ebs.co.kr) currently operates six channels, such as EBS TV (ground wave), EBS FM (radio), EBS Plus 1 (high school), EBS Plus 2 (elementary and middle schools as well as vocational schools), EBS English (English education), and EBS America (the Americas). It provides diverse educational contents, strives to enhance public education, and helps reducing private education expenses.
The Educational Credit Bank System is established for persons who have not been educated at the college level to obtain academic credits and degrees through completing programs and course work at civic education training institutes, part-time registration in universities, acquisition of various vocational licenses, or passing tests under the self-study system.
Based on the Act on Granting Credit (January 1997), around 502 education service providers including lifelong education centers at universities, learning centers, and vocational training centers offered 22,969 courses as of April 2004. The Credit Bank system is currently under the direction of NILE (National Institute For Lifelong Education).
Distance university education has been adopted in the context of recent developments in information and communication technology.
The development in hi-tech information and communications technology has made cyber-learning a viable learning medium. Universities offering distance learning programs have grown into higher education providers and, at the same time, lifelong education providers by awarding degrees (associate degree or bachelor's degree) to students for their online scholastic achievement. Through distance university education, students receive educational services unrestricted by time and space via the Internet. It is possible for adult workers to adapt themselves quickly to the changing environment by engaging in re-education on the web, particularly in the knowledge-based society in which existing knowledge becomes outdated very quickly.
There are a total of 21 universities, licensed by the government and opened as of 2016, which offer 18 bachelor's degree courses and three associate degree courses. It is likely that the establishment of distance universities will increase in the future. Distance learning universities utilize a diverse format in lectures: 1) Text (+ Image), 2) Text (+ Image) + voice, 3) Text (+ Image) + Image, 4) Flash + Text (Flash), 5) Image (Windows Media Player), 6) Plug-ins (Eduware producer, Active Tutor, Virtual Studio, GVA, Penda, etc.). Active interaction and discussions between learner and instructor, as well as among learners are also possible.
Student supervision by distance universities varies from one institution to the other; however, in general, it includes web-based attendance score, on-line participation in quizzes, evaluation of student's written work, scores on chatting and discussion, and evaluation of the mid-term and final examination.
|No||Korean Name||English Name||Address||Home Page|
|1||건양사이버대학교||Konyang Cyber University||158, Gwanjeodong-ro, Seo-gu, Daejeon, Korea||www.kycu.ac.kr|
|2||경희사이버대학교||Kyunghee Cyber University||26, Kyungheedae-ro, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul, Korea||www.khcu.ac.kr|
|3||고려사이버대학교||The Cyber University of Korea||106, Bukchon-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul, Korea||www.cuk.edu|
|4||국제사이버대학교||Gukje Cyber University||490, Gyeongsu-daero, Paldal-gu, Suwon-si, Gyeonggi-do, Korea||www.gjcu.ac.kr|
|5||글로벌사이버대학교||Global Cyber University||11, Apgujeong-ro 32-gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, Korea||www.global.ac.kr|
|6||대구사이버대학교||Daegu Cyber University||201, Daegudae-ro, Jillyang-eup, Gyeongsan-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do, Korea||www.dcu.ac.kr|
|7||디지털서울문화예술대학교||Digital Seoul Culture Arts University||60, Tongil-ro 37-gil, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul, Korea||www.scau.ac.kr|
|8||부산디지털대학교||Busan Digital University||57, Jurye-ro, Sasang-gu, Busan, Korea||www.bdu.ac.kr|
|9||사이버한국외국어대학교||Cyber Hankuk University Of Foreign Studies||107, Imun-ro, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul, Korea||www.cufs.ac.kr|
|10||서울디지털대학교||Seoul Digital University||320, Dongmak-ro, Mapo-gu, Seoul, Korea||www.sdu.ac.kr|
|11||서울사이버대학교||Seoul Cyber University||60, Solmae-ro 49-gil, Gangbuk-gu, Seoul, Korea||www.iscu.ac.kr|
|13||세종사이버대학교||Sejong Cyber University||121, Gunja-ro, Gwangjin-gu, Seoul, Korea||www.cybersejong.ac.kr|
|14||숭실사이버대학교||Korea Soongsil Cyber University||23, Samil-daero 30-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul, Korea||www.kcu.ac.kr|
|15||열린사이버대학교||Open Cyber University||461, Samil-daero, Jongno-gu, Seoul, Korea||www.ocu.ac.kr|
|16||영남사이버대학교||Youngnam Cyber University||780-9, Namcheon-ro, Namcheon-myeon, Gyeongsan-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do, Korea||www.yncu.ac.kr|
|18||원광디지털대학교||Wongwang Digital University||460, Iksan-daero, Iksan-si, Jeollabuk-do, Korea||www.wdu.ac.kr|
|20||한양사이버대학교||Hanyang Cyber University||220, Wangsimni-ro, Seongdong-gu, Seoul, Korea||www.hycu.ac.kr|
|21||화신사이버대학교||Hwashin Cyber University||1, Gobun-ro 191beon-gil, Yeonje-gu, Busan, Korea||www.hscu.ac.kr|
|17||영진사이버대학||Youngjin Cyber University||35, Bokhyeon-ro, Buk-gu, Daegu, Korea||www.ycc.ac.kr|
|19||한국복지사이버대학||Corea welfare Cyber College||746-10, Namcheon-ro, Namcheon-myeon, Gyeongsan-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do, Korea||www.corea.ac.kr|
|12||세계사이버대학||World Cyber College||90, Taejae-ro, Opo-eup, Gwangju-si, Gyeonggi-do, Korea||www.world.ac.kr|