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ECTS or how to guarantee the recognition of studies and qualifications

To study abroad

The ECTS system helps universities to organize and revise their study programs. also used as an effective means of academic recognition, the credit system has greatly promoted student mobility by helping to enhance the attractiveness of European higher education.

Par Julie Milk

ECTS, which stands for European Credit Transfer System, or "European Credit Transfer System and accumulation of credits," aims to give greater transparency to the curriculum, to facilitate recognition of study abroad and thus encourage student mobility. Became one of the central elements of the harmonization of European higher education process, it is the only credit system tested and used successfully across Europe.

Benefits of the system

Credits are capitalized, compensated and transferable in all European universities. Warning: ECTS does not determine the content or equivalence of programs, it only identifies a teaching module on a European scale. Thus the teaching modules that you will study in a Spanish or Belgian university will finally be recognized and accounted for graduation! This is also where lies the only real advantage of ECTS: International.

What there is to know…

The credit is actually a unit of measurement of joint diplomas to all participating countries. ECTS credits represent, in the form of a numerical value between 1 and 60 assigned to each course unit, the volume of work that the student is required to complete each of them. workload which results in different ways, such as attending classes, attend seminars, prepare and submit to examinations, etc. So one academic year is 60 credits: the student a workload enrolled in a full-time study program in Europe is, in most cases, a period of about 1 500-1 800 hours per year, the value of a credit represents about 25 to 30 hours.

To take advantage

The first advantage, already mentioned: you can build your degree at your leisure, choosing from a range of materials that will allow you to earn the credits needed to obtain your degree in passing from one institution to another, from one stream to another, even from one country to another. Additional advantage: repetition disappears! As long as you do not have more than a half of delay, you can continue your progress in the upper half. If you lack funds, leaving it to you to recover sooner or later to get your degree. Finally, if you want to get into the workforce and return to school later, it is possible, since all validated credit is granted for life.

How to proceed ?

If you want to study abroad, you must follow certain steps. Before you leave, you set with the help of the head of international relations department of your university or school, the courses you will take in your chosen university. At the end of the semester or year, the university will welcome you issue an official transcript showing the titles of the courses and credits assigned to each, according to the results you have stored. It is the establishment of origin to recognize the number or not obtained by student loans.

A label is awarded to institutions that have implemented the ECTS system and who use it appropriately and with transparency. The list of accredited institutions and a guide for the user and ECTS counselors coordinates on the website

Note: This table is intended to give similar diplomas to French diplomas. They are not equivalent. For example, a foreign degree similar to the French license is not necessarily equivalent. For more details on the equivalence of diplomas for each country, check with the NARIC network ( that will answer all your questions.

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