The prototype of open university is basically a lifelong learning institution which addresses the needs, aspirations of higher education of maximum possible number of people. Open university is definitely a futuristic model of university in the 21st century.
Korea National Open University (KNOU) was opened in 1972 with a mission to achieve the goal of lifelong learning of those people who somehow could not join regular universities. Since the beginning, it has made significant contribution in catering to the people's aspirations for higher learning in the country. However, it still remains far from its final goal because of many social barriers such as discriminatory treatment with the open university students due to deep-rooted prejudice, which originally emanates from a gap between the 'haves' and the 'have-nots'. KNOU and its students have to experience discrimination in allocating financial subsidies, provision related to fund raising for research promotion, legislations and administration related to students and so on. Not only private corporations but government also is responsible for these discriminations. Sometimes discrimination is done unknowingly but sometimes it is also intentional too. Without removing these unjust and unequal barriers, the future of distance and lifelong education cannot be bright. So, it is the need of hour that we cooperate, hand in hand, to be faithful to the liberal and social principle of the constitutional law on the national level, and to go further making an international consensus in legal form about the importance of distance and lifelong education, and pave a way for the open and learning society through better education.