An open learning system is one in which the onus of learning is primarily on the students. Despite this, they are formally enrolled in a system which takes in other learners too. Thus, we draw a line of distinction between the above-mentioned category of students and (a) those borrowing books from Libraries and (b) those formally attached to a conventional university where classroom teaching is the principal mode of instruction.
The Open University represents an alternative approach to higher learning. It stands apart from a highly formal, institutionalized and centrally administered system of education. Its philosophy is built around the principles of universality, flexibility and innovativeness. Its ideas and institutions, its methods and procedures are all shaped accordingly. Conceptually, it can be viewed as a system drawing upon the best elements in formal and nonformal education.