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European Credit Transfer System (ECTS)

In order to foster transparency and comparability between the different European curricula, the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) is a means to promote understanding and recognition of the academic tracks currently in use in the various higher education institutional networks and academic systems of different countries.
The ECTS system is based on 5 basic elements: the learning contract, credits, student record, student transcript, and academic recognition.

ECTS = Credits

A credit system is a systematic way of describing an educational programme by attaching credits to its components. The European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System is a student-centred system based on the student workload required to achieve the objectives of a programme, objectives preferably specified in terms of learning outcomes and competences to be acquired.

ECTS is based on the convention that 60 credits measure the workload of a full-time student during one academic year. The student workload of a full-time study programme in Europe amounts, in most cases, to 36/40 weeks per year and in those cases one credit stands for 25 to 30 working hours. Workload refers to the notional time an average learner might expect to need to complete the required learning outcome.

Credit is also a way of quantifying the results of learning. Learning outcomes are sets of competencies, expressing what the student will know, understand or be able to do after completion of a process of learning, whether short or long. Credits in ECTS can only be obtained after completion of the work required and appropriate assessment of the learning outcomes achieved.

The student workload in ECTS includes the time spent in attending lectures, seminars, independent study, preparation for, and taking of, examinations, etc. Credits are allocated to all educational components of a study programme (such as modules, courses, placements, dissertation work, etc.) and reflect the quantity of work each component requires in relation to the total quantity of work necessary to complete a full year of study in the specific programme.

The allocation of ECTS credit is based on the official length of a study programme cycle. The total workload necessary to obtain a first cycle degree in France – Bachelor – is expressed as 180 credits, to obtain a second cycle degree – Master – is expressed as 120 credits.

ECTS = Information brochure

The brochure of a given foreign university provides information on the courses offered and the objectives of each programme (duration, level, content, teaching language etc). You will choose your course work according to this information.

ECTS = Learning contract required for study period abroad

In the case of a structured exchange programme with your university, you will prepare your departure based on information provided in the brochures or from the web sites of the host university. You will need to fill in the learning contract, which formalises the choice of course that you wish to follow abroad. Before leaving, your director of studies must validate your choice of course on the learning contract, which you then send to your host university together with your application forms.
When you arrive in the country of your choice, you may be able to modify your contract, and you have three weeks to get it signed once again. After this, the contract cannot be modified for a year.

ECTS= Student transcript

Evaluations enable students to be credited with the ECTS points obtained. Students taking part in an exchange programme follow the same courses and are subject to the same assessment criteria as the other students.
The host university will send your student transcript to your home university in accordance with the local marking system, together with the corresponding ECTS credits, as well as the grades obtained, based on the ECTS scale:

ECTS Grade
Comparative student ranking
TOP 10 %
NEXT 25 %
NEXT 30 %
NEXT 25 %
FINAL 10 %
FAIL- some more work required to pass
considerable further work required

Nota Bene: Only those students who have passed their exams are eligible for the ECTS system.

It should be noted that the ECTS system gives more importance to a student’s assessment in relation to the grades obtained by students from the whole year. In parallel with the local grading system notation, the ECTS system completes this information and facilitates the transfer of grades without prejudice from one country to another.

ECTS = Academic recognition

At the end of your programme in the host university, your grades will be converted to your national system, which will take into account the marking scale of the ECTS system. Your grades will thus be integrated into your home system, thereby ensuring the academic recognition of the knowledge you acquired during your study period abroad. You may then continue your study programme as normal, as validation for your study period abroad will be fully recognised.
Not only will you have acquired a valuable multicultural experience, but your year of studies abroad will be validated in the same way as if you had stayed in your home university.

Charter of ECTS quality in Pdf-format (download: Acrobat Reader) :

 ECTS definition
 Allocation of ECTS credits
 Course prospectus
 Application form
 Student transcript
 Grading scale



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