Espousing an unquenchable thirst for education among the people has been one of the greatest inspiring developments in Nepal by the turn of the last century. Despite much progress made in basic education, the World Bank data indicate that the access to higher education in the country is still severely limited with the overall low gross enrolment rate. Especially alarming is the fact that the bottom two-fifth of the country’s population is recorded to share less than two percent gross enrolment rate. The expansion in higher education intake has taken place mainly in the private sector. This trend is likely to further widen the gap of educational access between those who can pay for higher education and those who cannot. Further, the quality of higher education in Nepal is inconsistent across the colleges. The public campuses often have fared worse than their private sector counterparts. This demands for a systemic arrangement for quality control and accreditation, and mechanisms to uplift the quality of publicly managed higher education. One of the approaches to enhancing the universal access, enrolment rate and quality in higher education is the open and distance education system, which can complement the campus-based conventional education. Open education is also necessary to remove the manifold barriers, and thus to help bring higher education particularly to the disadvantaged.