The European Community promotes study abroad as a means of improving the quality of academic co-operation, thus bringing benefits to students and higher education institutions. ECTS is a part of the larger reconstruction of the education systems within Europe. The European Commission has developed a European Credit and Accumulation Transfer System (ECTS), which provides a way of measuring and comparing learning achievements, and transferring them from one institute to another.
The ECTS guarantees full academic recognition and ensures that no time will be lost in completing a degree. This is achieved through the use of a common ECTS credit and a common ECTS grading scale. Already more than 1 200 institutions are using the ECTS for their student exchanges. The few rules of ECTS, concerning Information (on courses available), Learning Agreement (between the home and host institutions) and the Use of ECTS Credits (to indicate student workload) are set out to reinforce this mutual trust and confidence. VAMK is using the ECTS system within all its education.
ECTS Credits are a numerical value allocated to course units to describe the student workload required. They reflect to the total quantity of work required in order to complete a full year of academic study. This includes lectures, practical work, assignments, seminars, self-study, laboratory work and exams.
In ECTS, 60 credits represent the workload of one year of study (1600h). One ECTS credit is worth 27h of work from the student.
More information and the ECTS Users' Guide on the Europa website of the European Commission: http://ec.europa.eu/education/tools/ects_en.htm