ECTS (the European Credit Transfer System) was introduced by a decision of the European Commission to promote a unified procedure for academic recognition of study periods performed abroad by home universities. The system introduces standards for assessment and comparison of study levels in various academic centres. The system enables also credit transfer between the universities.
ECTS credits are values allocated to certain course units with reference to certain study time cycle. The value involves all aspects of student workload per semester: participation in classes, self-study and passing examinations or other forms of assessment. A certain amount of credits describes a relation between the quantity of work required by each course and the total quantity of work required to complete a full academic year. The system assumes that 60 credits reflect the student's workload during the whole academic year and, consequently, one semester requires the student to obtain 30 credits.
Students participating in the system receive total credit amount for a defined and successfully accomplished period of study in a host academic centre abroad. Obtained credits can be transferred from the host university to the home university on the basis of previously accepted learning agreement, signed by both universities and the student. Upon the student's return, the system guarantees academic recognition of studies abroad. In this way students can continue their education without a loss of time or previously obtained credits.