One of the most important aim of the Bologna Reform is to enhance the . formation of an open educational European space, in which students and teaching staff can move without obstacles The accreditation of studies and their academic degrees is the fundamental condition for the . For this reason, the Erasmus programme has adopted the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS), in seeking to enhance the recognition of studies abroad.
The European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System is a student-centred system based on the student workload required to achieve the objectives of a programme. Students will obtain credits by fulfilling the prescribed academic requirements (class attendance, course work, term papers, or final examinations).
ECTS credits take the form of a numeric value (ranging from 1 to 60). One credit corresponds to 25-30 hours of work.
In the ECTS system 60 credits is the total amount for one academic year, 30 credits for one semester and 20 for a trimester (or term). Instead of an absolute measure, the credits consist of a relative quantification of students' work load. They represent the work load required by a subject in relation to the total annual work load of a degree curriculum offered by an institution or a department. ECTS credits take into account the student's overall performance, and are not based only on class attendance.
ECTS credits are valid for all available courses, be they compulsory or elective.
The level of difficulty of a course bears no relation to the ECTS system, and cannot be attested by the ECTS credits.
Students are credited with ECTS points only after they have successfully completed a course and fulfilled all its evaluation requirements. In other words, students are not awarded credits simply by class attendance or by taking part in a study-abroad period.
For more information regarding the system (ECTS) please visit the website of the Rectors' Conference of the Swiss Universities (CRUS).