Main characteristics of ECTS

The ECTS system is based on three core elements: information, mutual agreement, and the use of ECTS credits. These three core elements are made operational through the use of three key documents: the information package, the application form/learning agreement and the transcript of records. Most of all, ECTS is made operational by students, teachers and institutions who want to make study abroad an integral part of the educational experience. In itself, ECTS in no way regulates the content, structure or equivalence of study programmes. These are issues of quality which have to be determined by the higher education institutions themselves when establishing a satisfactory basis for cooperation agreements, bilaterally or multilaterally. The code of good practice called ECTS provides those actors with tools to create transparency and to facilitate academic recognition.

Full academic recognition is a conditio sine qua non for student mobility in the framework of the Erasmus and Socrates programmes. Full academic recognition means that the study period abroad (including examinations or other forms of assessment) replaces a comparable period of study at the home university (including examinations or other forms of assessment), though the content of the agreed study programme may differ. The use of ECTS is voluntary and is based on mutual trust and confidence in the academic performance of partner institutions. Each institution selects its own partners.

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