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What is ECTS?

 European Union makes a point of collaboration of interuniversity so as to upgrade quality of education and improve sudents? levels of studying at higher education institutes and supports studies about these issues with various learning programmes which have also Socrates/Erasmus programme in them. The success of Erasmus programme has also showed that it?s important to study abroad besides gaining some information about countries? languages and cultures from the view of academic and professional development. The requirement of recognition of studies and diplomas enables students and teachers mobiling throughout Europe without any handicaps. In this sense, ECTS has been improved in Erasmus programme via pilot projects and gradually it has been used in a wider area. ECTS is named as European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System. In Europe, establishing colloboration between higher education institutions with valid and transparent basis is the basic aim of ECTS. ECTS makes connection between institutions and offers students various alternatives. The system facilitates institutes? evaluation of success by making a common platform for success and learning level. Thus, the interpretation of national higher education is becoming easier at international level. ECTS is a learner - centred system for reaching aims of the learning programme which is defined according to the task and workload given to a student. In European system, the aims of learning programme have been defined mostly according to the acquisitions and skills gained at the end of learning process. ECTS enables comparing and measuring among learning processes and provides transferring the estimated credit value from an institute to another one. ECTS credit is a number describing the amount of assigments, studies and charges loaded to a student to complete a course. This number shows with a proportion that course?s study amount with the total amount of study required to be realised in a full term.

What is ECTS Credit?

ECTS credit is a numerical value which shows required student workload to complete course units (between 1 and 60). This value shows workload requiring for each course in a yearly academic study in an institution. Also, it includes practice studies, seminars, branch studies, individual studies, exams in a workload.

ECTS credit should be organised for all selective or required course units. Plus, studies which enclose programmes such as project, thesis, branch study are evaluated in this content.  
There are not only class hours in ECTS credits? content. All studies done by students related to courses out of class hours are added to this credit.

ECTS credits are not definite criteria to measure student workload, but rather relative ones. Credits only show a course that how many workloads are equivalent in an institution.

In ECTS, 60 credits are equivalent to full term and 30 credits to half term workload. Programme expects courses? workload showing coherence to student and institution which are taken abroad.

The Features of ECTS

ECTS forms of three main principles:

  • Stating precisely of course programmes and acquisitions of a student who studies these programmes,
  • The agreement made between attendant institutions and a student,
  • The ECTS credit attributed to courses and displaying student?s responsibility and workload   

These three elements serve by three key elements:

  • Institution Info Package
  • Application Form with Learning Agreeement
  • Transcript of Courses  (course and grade table)

Above all, the elements which make ECTS functional are students, teachers and institutions who view studying abroad as an inseperable part of education.


Institution Info Package,  it is issued in two medium; one electronically in a website and other as a printed form and it is issued in two languages; English and the country?s mother tongue.  It provides students written information about departments, faculties, organisations, the general profiles of staff and course units.

      
Learning Agreement, it includes list of courses which shows a student?s selection of these with related institution academic authority. If credit transfer is to be made, Learning Agreement with institutions should be completed bilaterally before a student leaves for abroad and if it is made a change on the agreement, it should be renewed.


Transcript of Courses, it shows lists of taken courses, local grades for per course and if possible, ECTS grade. If credit transfer is to be made, Transcript of Courses should be given to the student before he/she went abroad by his/her home institution and it should be given him/her during the end of the study period by the host institution.


ECTS facilitates a foreign student to join academic life of a home institution actively. Home institution has the authority to decide host student?s academic performance. The institution also applies course, exam rules and all the rules, which are vaild for their own students, to a host student without making any change in current course structure and evaluation method.


ECTS within itself does not determine content, structure and equivalence of course programmes. These kinds of quality criteria are accepted as cases which institutions designate with their self-evaluation while making bilateral and multilateral agreements. ECTS only offers instruments to these kinds of agreements? actors which will provide transparency and academic reliability.


The use of ECTS bases on willingness,  bilateral confidence of institutions and every institution?s self ? confidence. Every institution chooses institutions to make agreements by itself. 

 

Source and more information: http://ec.europa.eu/education/lifelong-learning-policy/doc48_en.htm

All students of the applicant institution receive a Diploma Supplement automatically and free of charge upon graduation.