Transformation of Korean Higher Education in the Digital Era: Achievements and Challenges


  • Haejoo Lee Korea National Open University
  • Romee Lee Korea National Open University


adult learners, COVID-19, digital divide, digital teaching and learning, higher education institutions, Korean higher education


This essay addresses the transformation of Korean higher education (HE) that has occurred since COVID-19, with a focus on the digitization of teaching and learning. Digitization has impacted both remote and traditional universities and colleges. While remote higher education institutions (HEIs) have been quick responding to the changed situation, traditional universities and colleges have also been searching for various instructional methods in their online as well as traditional classrooms, experimenting for the best methods for learners. National policies have also supported this digital transformation of HEIs which has had results of the engagement of more adult learners in HE gaining credits, certificates, and academic degrees online. While new ways of being ‘learner-centered’ have been intensively explored in these processes, some concerns such as the competency gap of institutions and instructors, and the deepening digital divide among learners have emerged, which needs attention from policymakers, researchers and practitioners in HE.


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Author Biography

Haejoo Lee, Korea National Open University

HAEJOO LEE, PhD, is a professor at Koran National Open University, Department of Education and a Dean of its Seoul Regional Campus. She has been in coworking with adult education scholars in the world including Canada, Mexico, and Ireland regarding the themes in distance education area. Her research also includes civic education and multicultural citizenship education.


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How to Cite

Lee, H., & Lee, R. (2024). Transformation of Korean Higher Education in the Digital Era: Achievements and Challenges. Journal of Comparative & International Higher Education, 16(2). Retrieved from



Empirical Article