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ECTS – European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System

ECTS – European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System

European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) is a standard for comparing the study attainment and performance of students of higher education across the European Union and other collaborating European countries. For successfully completed studies, ECTS credits are awarded. One academic year corresponds to 60 ECTS-credits that are equivalent to 1500–1800 hours of study in all countries irrespective of standard or qualification type and is used to facilitate transfer and progression throughout the Union.
The ECTS will be complemented by the European credit transfer system for vocational education and training (ECVET) which the ministers responsible for vocational training in 32 European countries agreed to develop in the Maastricht Communiqué of 14 December 2004.

What are the key features of ECTS?

· 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 complete the required learning outcomes.

· Credit is also a way of quantifying the outcomes of learning. Learning outcomes are sets of competences, expressing what the student will know, understand or be able to do after completion of a process of learning, 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 allocation of ECTS credits is based on the official length of a study programe cycle. The total workload necessary to obtain a first cycle degree lasting officially three or four years is expressed as 180 or 240 credits.

· Student workload in ECTS includes the time spent in attending lectures, seminars, independent study, preparation for, and taking of, examinations, etc..

Source: http://www.uni-marburg.de/, wikipedia

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