Republic of Korea: Second National Lifelong Learning Promotion Plan, 2008‒2012, issued in 2008

© Flickr / Republic of Korea

Rationale of the Strategy

The second National Lifelong Learning Promotion Plan builds on the achievements of the first five-year plan, which was implemented between 2002 and 2006. The Ministry recognized the need to reorganize lifelong learning support functions and to provide guidelines for the introduction of related systems and regulations. The Ministry sought to address the lack of links between programmes and projects identified in the first plan and to develop a more holistic and organic system that would ensure higher effectiveness in the way lifelong education is delivered.

Concept of lifelong learning

The vision of the second National Lifelong Learning Promotion Plan entails a description of lifelong learning as a process that releases the innate creativity of individuals, helping them to solve problems and find genuine pleasure in the process of self-realization. Lifelong learning helps people to shape their own future and stay prepared for all challenges in life. Lifelong learning is the ultimate tool to counter low fertility rates, population ageing, social polarization, poverty and other new risks. It provides links between study, employment, welfare and culture, and helps people gain a deeper understanding for others, thus promoting diversity and co-existence.

Main challenges

The second plan seeks to address the limitations of the first National Lifelong Learning Promotion Plan, which include the following:

  • Lack of an integrated and systemic approach for programme implementation
  • Lack of a continuous, circular study model
  • Insufficient budget for effective lifelong learning promotion
  • Low rate of lifelong learning participation and widening gap between different educational attainment levels

Main targets and measures

The plan puts an emphasis on the learning processes of adults aged 20 and older. It covers general and vocational education and focuses on learning that takes place in formal settings. There are references to all sectors of the education system except early childhood education. The following major policy tasks are defined in the plan:

  • Nurturing creative learners across each stage of life

  • Strengthening adult lifelong learning by promoting universities dedicated to lifelong learning
  • Developing lifelong learning programmes for older people
  • Strengthening links between work and schools through junior colleges
  • Maximizing the potential of private teaching institutes to provide lifelong learning opportunities and vocational education training for employed people
  • Fostering the role of primary and secondary schools as regional community centers for lifelong learning promotion
  • Establishing and facilitating a lifelong learning system for military servicemen
  • Encouraging the participation of lifelong learning organizations and fostering institutional links in order to promote social cohesion

  • Increasing lifelong learning opportunities for low-income families and the disabled
  • Establishing a lifelong learning safety net for new underprivileged groups

  • Providing systemized education to help adults acquire basic academic competencies
  • Strengthening regional communities through grassroots democratic citizenship education
  • Facilitating lifelong learning service networks at central and local government levels
  • Establishing a lifelong learning infrastructure and promoting networking activities

  • Reorganizing the national lifelong learning implementation system
  • Enhancing the professional expertise of lifelong learning educators and increasing the number of appointments
  • Increasing the number of lifelong learning cities and improving their quality
  • Drawing a ‘national lifelong learning information map’ for better provision of services and information
  • Linking the national qualifications system with the learning account system to ensure appropriate recognition of education, training, qualifications and degrees
  • Building international partnerships for lifelong learning exchange and cooperation
  • Embedding lifelong learning in people’s everyday lives

Particular feature of the strategy

One of the major policy tasks defined in the plan is ‘Building international partnerships for lifelong learning exchange and cooperation’.

The following tasks are defined:

  • Sharing with the international community: focus on exchanging personnel and fostering joint research projects with China and Japan; establishing ties with Northern European countries
  • Globalization and localization – ‘glocalizing’ lifelong learning festivals: encouraging local governments to organize lifelong learning festivals that respond to regional contexts
  • Networking between lifelong learning cities: sharing information on lifelong learning programmes and outcomes with lifelong learning cities and associations across the world
  • Development assistance in lifelong education: increasing official development assistance in lifelong education, for example by inviting lifelong learning personnel from developing countries to attend training programmes in Korea and dispatching Korean experts abroad

Relevant documents that the strategy refers to:

  • Republic of Korea. 2002-2009. Framework Act on the Development of Human Resources
  • Republic of Korea. Ministry of Education. 2007. Basic Act on Human Resources Development
  • Republic of Korea. Ministry of Education. 2007. Basic Act on Qualifications
  • Republic of Korea. Ministry of Education. 2007. Law on Private Teaching Institutes

Stakeholders involved in the development of the strategy:

Further readings and web links:

Keywords: formal education; general education; vocational education; adult education; university extension; elderly; private education; educational cooperation; armed forces; educationally disadvantaged

Issuing Body

Ministry of Education, Science and Technology