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.

ECTS also includes a standard ECTS grading scale, intended to be shown in addition to local (i.e. national) standard grades.

The ECTS grading scale is a grading system defined in the ECTS framework by the European Commission. Since many grading systems co-exist in Europe and, considering that interpretation of grades varies considerably from one country to another, if not from one institution to another, the ECTS grading scale has been developed to provide a common measure and facilitate the transfer of students and their grades between European higher education institutions, by allowing national and local grading systems to be interchangeable. Grades are reported on a carefully calibrated and uniform A-to-F scale combined with keywords and short qualitative definitions. Each institution makes its own decision on how to apply the ECTS grading scale to its system.

The ECTS grade is not meant to replace the local grades but to be used optionally and additionally to effectively "translate" and "transcript" a grade from one institution to another. The ECTS grade is indicated alongside the mark awarded by the host institution on the student's transcript of records. The receiving institutions then convert the ECTS grade to their own system. Higher education institutions are recommended (though not forced) to provide ECTS grades for all of their students and to take into account the ECTS grades awarded by other institutions. A certain amount of flexibility is advised, since the ECTS grading scale was designed to improve transparency of a variety of grading systems and cannot, by itself, cover all possible cases.

This system can be represented in a table, as follows:





10 %

outstanding performance with only minor errors


25 %

above the average standard but with some errors


30 %

generally sound work with a number of notable errors


25 %

fair but with significant shortcomings


10 %

performance meets the minimum criteria



fail - some more work required before the credit can be awarded



fail - considerable further work is required

Since the passing and failing groups are evaluated separately, indicating the percentage of students who failed a course unit/module is not obligatory, but transparency is increased if the percentage failure rate for each course graded is given. It is recommended that these rates be included in the Transcript of Records.

Study Plans – Presentation of Study Programmes





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