The European Credit Transfer System

One of the prerequisites for Ukraine's entry into integrated European and World educational system is the introduction into the Higher Education System of Ukraine the main ideas which formulated by the Bologna Declaration of 1999.

The main goal of the process that has begun in higher education of the most European countries and has been named in the above-said declaration is the consolidation of the scientific and educational community and Europe’s governments efforts to significantly increase the competitiveness of the European scientific system and higher education in the global universe, as well as to enhance the role of this system in social transformations.

The Bologna Process at the State level was kicked off on 19 June 1999 in Bologna (Italy) with signing by the 29 Education Ministers on behalf of their governments and the document called the "Bologna Declaration". With this act the member countries agreed on common requirements, criterions and standards for national higher education systems and agreed about the creation of a single European scientific and educational system.

What is ECTS?

One of the goals of the Bologna process is to create a credit system which corresponding to promote as much as possible student mobility.

The European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) is a student-centered system for credits accumulating and transferring, based on the translucid of  educational outcomes and training processes. Its purpose is to promote the planning, ensuring, grading, recognition and validation of qualifications and training modules, and the promotion of student mobility. ECTS is widely used in formal higher education and can be used for lifelong learning and other types of activities.

How did ECTS develop?

ECTS was introduced in 1989 under the Erasmus program to transfer credits which received by students who studying abroad, to credits which recognized by national universities, where students returned to continue their training activities. Over time, it began to be used not only for transferring credits based on the study load and the educational outcomes, but also for the accumulation of credits provided by Credit Steps Program of educational institutions. ECTS helps to prepare, describe and implement curricula, helps to integrate different types of studying into a lifelong learning perspective, and improves students mobility by facilitating the process of recognizing qualifications and periods of study. ECTS can be applied to all programs, irrespective of how they are implemented (classroom training, organization-based training, distance training) or student status (full-time / part-time student), and to all types of educational context (formal and informal).

What are the main features of ECTS?

ECTS is based on the principle that 60 ECTS credits correspond to the study load of the full year of formal education (academic year) and associated with educational outcomes. In most cases, the student's load is from 1500 to 1800 hours per school year, correspondingly, one credit corresponds to 25-30 hours of work.

ECTS credits are based on the study load as required for students to achieve the expected results of training.

The results of the study load describe what is expected to be known, understandably can make by student after the successful completion of the training process. They are associated with descriptors of national and European qualifications frameworks.

Study load in ECTS involves all types of training activity, such as lectures, seminars, projects, practical classes, individual work and exams.

Credits are divided into all educational components of the program of training (modules, disciplines, internships, qualifying paper, etc.) and reflect the quantity of work which required to perform each component in connection with the total quantity of necessary work to complete the full training year under this program.

Student success is characterized by local / national marks. Especially, it's desirable for the case of the credits transformation, there is an additional ECTS marks. Grading scale ECTS ranked students on a statistical framework.

Distribution of marks among students who received more satisfactory mark, looks like this:

А – excellent (first)10 %
B – very good (next)25 %
C – good (next) 30 %
D – satisfactory (next) 25 %
E – sufficient (next) 10 %

There are FX and F for unsuccessful students. Between them there is a difference that consists in the fact that FX means: "fail – some more work required before credit can be awarded” and F: "fail – considerable further work is required." The inclusion of FX and F in the decoding of marks is optional.

Dictionary of basic concept definitions

Course Catalogue (information package) – contains an in-depth, a user-friendly, the most up-to-date information about the educational environment in the institution (general information about the institution, its resources and services, and academic information about programs and individual educational components), which must be available for students in admission to the university and during the whole training time, in order to make it possible to make a correct choice and as efficiently as possible to use their time.

Credit (ECTS) - a quantitative method the scope expression of training, based on the load of students necessary to achieve the expected results of the studying process at a defined level.

Credit Mobility - mobility of student by exchange, who is in the institution that he receives, during some period of time, and he / she  attends some types of activity, for which are established the special credits, that in the future recognized by the institution, which sent the student to study.

Credit Accumulation - the process of credit accumulation established for the achievement of the results of training educational components in formal contexts and for other educational activities that are implemented in informal contexts.

Transfer – the credits recognizing process, assigned in one context, in the other contexts in order to obtain qualifications.

Formal training - training, which is typically provided by an educational institution, structured (in terms of learning goals, time of training and support training) and leads to obtaining a certificate. Formal training is an own choice from viewpoint of the person who is studying.

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