Open and distance learning (ODL) today has become an inseparable part of the education system in many countries around the world. The theoretical basis and practical development over the past half century has demonstrated the role and strength of ODL in the learning society. The philosophy of open education is "to open learning opportunities for all", stressing flexibility and versatility of the system, reducing the barriers caused by age, geographic location, time-limitation, economic status, and personal circumstances. Today, the term Open and Distance Learning: ODL is used widely in the world.
In Vietnam, ODL has been operating for over 17 years and has made significant contributions in enhancing people's knowledge, training human resources, and to meet the learning needs of the people. The leading Party and the Government have orientation and direction for the development of ODL. The fact is that ODL has become the organic component of the national education system. This article analyzes and reviews the role of ODL in the education system in theory and practice, to improve ODL in the conditions to ensure quality and sustainable development, contribute to building a learning society.