In the discourse on lifelong education, lifelong education is almost uniformly suggested to contribute finally to the sustenance and improvement of the quality of life. Nevertheless, the concept of the quality of life has not reached any firm definition, either socially or academically. In fact, it seems to be viewed and understood in even conflictual ways. Where there is no consensus on the fundamental goals of lifelong education, the practice of lifelong education, in such situation, may go astray. Such situation can hardly accelerate the embodiment of the ideal of lifelong education. The quality of life thus needs to be elaborated and defined fully enough to guide and support the diverse forms of practice in lifelong education.
This study attempts to generate an overarching theory that critically reviews each major view of the quality of life. First, in the concept of quality of life suggested by the UNESCO, both the individual good and the social good are the primary concepts to be sought for. The aim of lifelong education in such sense is to realize the both noble goods. Second, in the idea of quality of life promoted by most governmental bodies, no other condition than the economy is regarded as the basis of the quality of life. The lifelong education in this assumption is assumed to strengthen overall economic conditions of both individual and collective life. Third, the quality of life defined from the perspective of the individuals, the main ingredient is the level of satisfaction with the everyday living as an experience perceived by the each individual. In this perception, the lifelong education is expected to help increase the felt happiness with the process as well as the outcome of the daily living.
Encompassing these reviews, this study suggest that the quality of life be defined as the concept that consists of three main components, i.e. the basic condition or standard of living, the direction or ideal of life, and the individual or personal participation and freedom of choice. The quality of life in the suggested concept then asks for corresponding theory and practice of lifelong education. That is, the main avenues of lifelong education need to be exploited fully and properly. What is more, the sufficient harmony ought to be pursued among general liberal education, vocational and professional education, social civic education.