Mission & Vision

Academic Credit Bank System & Degree Examination for Self-Education System

Promoting alternative ways to access to lifelong education through the Academic Credit Bank System and the Degree Examination for Self-Education so anyone can acquire a degree.

Academic Credit Bank System (ACBS)

Academic credit bank system is an open higher education system which officially recognizes various learning experiences acquired both inside and outside of traditional school settings. These experiences are granted academic credits which can be used to acquire a degree.

Degree Requirements

Type Bachelor's degree Master's degree Note
2 year 3 year
Total credits 140 credits 40 credits 60 credits common
Major credits 60 credits 45 credits 54 credits
Liberal arts credits 30 credits 15 credits 21 credits
A minimum of 18 credits must be from accredited or part-time enrolment courses.
Credits from compulsory major courses must be completed according to the specific requirements of the major. Conferred by the president of university
Credits from colleges 84 credits 48 credits 65 credits Conferred by the president of university
Requirements of each university must be satisfied.

Degree Acquisition process

Degree Examination for Self-Education System (DESS)

Degree Examination for Self-Education System is an open higher education system in which learners with a high school diploma or equivalent can earn a degree through a 4-step exam.

Examination Steps – All steps covered by a single Examination

General Education Recognition Exam – Part A

Evaluates general knowledge equivalent to college general education courses.

Basic Major Course Recognition Exam – Part B

Evaluates basic knowledge and academic skills for each major.

Advanced Major Course Recognition Exam – Part C

Evaluates Specialized knowledge and academic skills for each major.

Comprehensive Graduation Exam – Part D

Evaluates overall accomplishments, knowledge and skills both on a general and a professional level.


Language and Literature, English Language and Literature, Psychology, Business Administration, Law, Public Administration, Domestic Science, Computer Science, Preschool Education, Information / Communication Engineering, Nursing Science and many others.

Support for Universities’ Lifelong Education System

Universities’ Lifelong Education Support Project

It was introduced in order to promote Work First-then to College Policy and set up higher education system that is friendly to adult learners by consolidating and restructuring Lifelong College Support Project and Lifelong Learning Universities Support Project.

Overview of Project

Lifelong Education Model Selected by Network Universities

(Operating Model) Universities will decide operating model among college, faculty, department and consortium. But it is required for them to provide academic degree course.

Operating Model (example)

  • • A separate college is organized with specific majors for adult learners.
  • • An administrative institution is set up for adult learners only within the college.
  • • Adult-learner-only faculties are designated to be consisted of majors (departments) for adult learners.
  • • Universities recruit adult learners by faculty, and the learners will select their major after exploring multiple majors.
  • • Without a separate college, a faculty for adult learners will be organized within existing college.
  • • An administrative system is established to support adult learners.
  • • Adult-learners-only departments are set up within the existing colleges.
  • • An administrative system is established to support adult learners.
  • • Multiple universities form a consortium to operate education programs and provide joint degrees.

Other models not listed are above are also available (Pre-discussions with the Ministry of Education and entrusted institutions are needed.



Regular admission (converting regular entrance quota to adult learner quota*) and special admission (admission for workers) are organized and operated. The number of entrance quota shall be determined by university considering respective operating model.

Regular admission and special admission will be operated by the university in consideration of the operational model.

If a university converts some of its regular entrance quota to adult learner quota in 2018 (for workers and those with discontinued career), it is recognized as quota reduction in the 2nd Universities Reorganization Evaluation (2018-2020 school years). (The ratio of quota reduction recognition will follow the Basic Plan for the 2nd Universities Reorganization Evaluation)

Degree Course (required) Credit Course • Non-Degree Course (optional)
Application period Starting from 2018 school year’s entrance Starting from 2018 school year’s entrance ※ It can be operated from Sep. 2017 given university’s choice and preparation.
Application method Customized screening system for adult learners through document examination and interview instead of CSAT score in accordance with the characteristic of university and major. To be determined by universities
Qualified applicants Workers or adult learners aged at least 20
  • ⅰ) graduated from High School/ Specialized Vocational High School
  • ⅱ) completed vocation education curriculum in general high school (1 year)
  • ⅲ) Those who have worked in company for three years or more and completed vocational education curriculum in lifelong education establishment.
Prevention of illicit admission
  • Establishment of verification system for suspected fraud or illicit admission to prevent illegal entrance and ensure fair admission.
  • Proof of employment (certificate of employment, etc.) should be submitted and confirmed.
  • In case a illegal/illicit admission is found out, the whole adult learner quota or the project itself may be cancelled.

Adult-Learner-Friendly Administration

(Education Course Development)

Developing and operating knowledge / theory or job competence and field-oriented curriculum suitable for adult learners' needs

(Diverse Class Method)

As adult learners have to study in parallel with work, various class methods such as night and weekend classes, online and blended learning can be utilized.

(Flexible Academic Schedule)

Establishing adult-learner-friendly academic schedule such as multi-semester system, flexible semester system, intensive completion system, and no time limit for enrollment.

(Stable Operation and Administration)

Operating the programs in a more stable manner through full-time teaching staff, strict attendance management, and proper grade/ credit management.

Key Functions