ECTS - European Credit Transfer System
ECTS, the European Credit Transfer System, was developed by the European Commission to provide common procedures for mutual recognition of academic studies in foreign countries. It is a decentralised system, based on the principle of mutual trust between the participating universities.
ECTS for transparency in Europe
ECTS facilitates transparency, builds bridges between universities and collectively widens the choices available to students. This system makes it easier for universities to recognise the learning achievements of students by using commonly understood measurements, credits and grades, and also provides a means of interpreting national systems of higher education.
It offers a way of measuring and comparing learning achievements so that they can be transferred between universities. The system improves the quality of education to the benefit of students and institutions of higher education.
ECTS provides the following key elements: information on courses offered by universities, mutual agreements between partner institutions and students, information on student achievement, and use of ECTS credits to indicate student workload.
ECTS is a credit system based on student workload. ECTS credits reflect the quantity of work required by the course in relation to the total quantity of work necessary to complete a full year of academic study at the university, e.g. lectures, practical work, seminars, tutorials, fieldwork, private study in the library or at home, and examinations or other assessment activities.
ECTS credits ensure that the programme will be reasonable in terms of workload for the studies to be pursued abroad. In ECTS, 60 credits represent the workload of an academic year of study and 30 credits a semester. It is important to ensure that no special courses are set up for ECTS purposes, but that all ECTS courses are mainstream courses of the participating universities, as followed by home students under normal regulations.
It is the participating universities who apportion credits for the different courses in accordance to the student workload involved. Practical placements and optional courses, which form an integral part of the study programme, are also measured in credits. Non-credit courses may be mentioned in the transcript of records.
Full credits are awarded only when the student has completed the course/programme and has passed the required examinations.