The European Community promotes interuniversity cooperation as a means of improving the quality of education for the benefit of students and higher education institutions, and student mobility is a predominant element of that interuniversity cooperation. The Erasmus programme clearly demonstrates that studying abroad can be a particularly valuable experience as it is not only the best way to learn about other countries, ideas, languages and cultures; increasingly it is also an important element in academic and professional career development.
The recognition of studies and diplomas is a prerequisite for the creation of an Open European area of education and training where students and teachers can move without obstacles. That is why the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) was developed as a means of improving academic recognition for study abroad.
ECTS provides an instrument to create transparency, to build bridges between institutions and to widen the choices available to students. The system makes it easier for institutions to recognise the learning achievements of students through the use of commonly understood measurements - credits and grades - and it also provides a means to interpret national systems of higher education.
ECTS is based on three core elements: information (on study programmes and student achievement), mutual agreement (between the partner institutions and the student) and the use of ECTS credits (to indicate student workload).
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.
For further information about ECTS, please visit the ECTS’ site on the Europe-server:
Recognition of studies