Building a learning society is a core vision that has always been included in the lifelong education policy of the Republic of Korea. It was proclaimed as the vision for both the first (2002~2006) and the second (2008~2012) National Plans for Lifelong Education Promotion. The second National Plan for Lifelong Education Promotion explains the rationales for the designation, which are changes in 1) the socio-economic paradigm, 2) the demographic paradigm, 3) the welfare policy paradigm, 4) the education paradigm and 5) the global paradigm.
Regarding the socio-economic changes, the Republic of Korea has shifted and enhanced its industrial focus from the tertiary sector of industry to the creative and knowledge industries. Such a structural change accompanied changes in labour demands and a strong need for knowledge workers. Accordingly, to invigorate creation, exchange and utilisation of knowledge, the aim has been to arrange a learning environment at work and establish a flexible lifelong education system.