The Academic Credit Bank System (ACBS) is an open educational system which recognizes diverse learning experiences gained not only in-school but also out-of-school. When a learner accumulates the necessary ACBS-approved credits, he/she can be awarded a degree.
The Academic Credit Bank System, a central agency for continuing education, aims to provide all citizens with greater access to a variety of educational opportunities and to foster a lifelong learning society. It seeks to innovate, diversify and maximize the educational opportunities for both students, studying at post-secondary institutes, and adults, seeking additional education and training.
In the long run, the Academic Credit Bank System will raise the overall standards and status of the non-formal education sector, as a vital means for promoting educational self-achievement and guaranteeing the global competitiveness of the korean population.
Previously, non-formal modes of higher education were not given official recognition or credit, since higher education was understood as the sole domain of the formal school system. Such a belief placed inordinate demands on the university system and created excessive competition among students. Moreover, the value and power of non-formal education was greatly underestimated.
The Presidential Commission on Education Reform (PCER), in May 1995, presented an innovative vision of a new education system which promotes the development of an open and lifelong learning society. The introduction of the Academic Credit Bank System was proposed by the PCER as a tangible means of realizing this vision.
On the basis of this proposal, the Academic Credit Bank System gained government endorsement through a legal act, ratified by the Act on Recognition of Credits.etc on January 13, 1997. Between May and December 1997, the accreditation system and standardized curriculum were developed and the first proposal for accreditation of educational institutes and curricula were evaluated. In March 1998, with effective of Enforcement Degree and Regulations of the Act on Recognition of Credits.etc, the first stage of implementation was begun.