European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS)
In design of Özyeğin University's educational programs, the Bologna process and development of the European Higher Education Area have served as a necessary background and our curriculum development is based on ECTS in course learning outcomes and competences as well as in credit allocation to facilitate mobility of people, transparence and recognition of qualification. Our student academic information system fully supports issuance of ECTS transcripts and Diploma Supplements. Özyeğin University was awarded with the Extended Erasmus University Charter by the European Commission's Executive Agency for Education in 2009 - the first academic year of the University.
The European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System is a student-centered system based on the student workload required to achieve the objectives of a program's objectives which preferably specified in terms of the learning outcomes and competencies to be acquired.
ECTS was introduced in 1989 within the framework of Socrates-Erasmus, which is now part of the Lifelong Learning Program. ECTS is the only credit system which has been successfully tested and used across Europe. ECTS was set up initially for credit transfer. The system facilitated the recognition of periods of study abroad and thus enhanced the quality and volume of student mobility in Europe. Recently ECTS is developing into an accumulation system to be implemented at the institutional, regional, national and European level. This is one of the key objectives of the Bologna Declaration of June 1999.
ECTS makes study programs easy to read and compare for all students, local and foreign. ECTS facilitates mobility and academic recognition. ECTS helps universities to organize and revise their study programs and ECTS can be used across a variety of programs and modes of delivery. ECTS makes the European higher education more attractive for students from other continents.
ECTS is based on the principle that 60 credits measure the workload of a full-time student during one academic year. The student workload of a full-time study program in Europe amounts in most cases to around 1500-1800 hours per year and in those cases one credit stands for around 25 to 30 working hours.
Credits in ECTS can only be obtained after successful completion of the work required and appropriate assessment of the learning outcomes have been achieved. Learning outcomes are sets of competences, expressing what the student will know, understand or be able to do after completion of a process of learning, long or short.
The student workload in ECTS consists of the time required to complete all planned learning activities such as attending lectures, seminars, independent and private study, preparation of projects, examinations, and so forth.
Credits are allocated to all educational components of a study program (such as modules, courses, placements, dissertation work, etc.) and reflect the quantity of work each component requires to achieve its specific objectives or learning outcomes in relation to the total quantity of work necessary to complete a full year of study successfully.
The performance of the student is documented by a local/national grade. It is good practice to add an ECTS grade, particularly in the case of credit transfer. The ECTS grading scale ranks the students on a statistical basis. Therefore, statistical data on student performance is a prerequisite for applying the ECTS grading system. Grades are assigned among students with a passing grade as follows:
A best 10% B next 25% C next 30% D next 25% E next 10%
A distinction is made between the grades FX and F that are used for unsuccessful students. FX means: "fail - some more work required to pass" and F means: "fail - considerable further work required." The inclusion of failure rates in the Transcript of Records is optional.
B+ B B-
C+ C C-
The regular Information Package/Course Catalogue of the institution to be published in two languages (or only in English for programs taught in English) on the Web and/or in hard copy in one or more booklets. The Information Package/Course Catalogue must contain the items of the checklist attached to this document, including information for host students from abroad.
The Learning Agreement contains the list of courses to be taken as well as the ECTS credits which will be awarded for each course. This list must be agreed upon by the student and the responsible academic body of the institution concerned. In the case of credit transfer, the Learning Agreement has to be agreed upon by the student and the two institutions concerned before the student's departure and updated immediately when changes occur.
The Transcript of Records documents the performance of a student by showing the list of courses taken, the ECTS credits acquired, local or national credits, if any, local grades and possibly ECTS grades awarded. In the case of credit transfer, the Transcript of Records has to be issued by the home institution for outgoing students before departure and by the host institution for incoming students at the end of their period of study.
The Diploma Supplement (DS) is a document attached to a higher education diploma aiming at improving international transparency and at facilitating the academic and professional recognition of qualifications (diplomas, degrees, certificates etc.). It is designed to provide a description of the nature, level, context, content and status of the studies that were successfully completed by the individual named on the original qualification to which this supplement is appended. It should be free off any value-judgments, equivalence statements or suggestions about recognition. It is a flexible non-prescriptive tool which is designed to save time and money and reduce workload. The full use of the DS provides "the advantage of improved transparency and flexibility of the higher education degree systems, for fostering employability and facilitating academic recognition for further studies." (The Berlin Communiqué of Ministers responsible for Higher Education, September 2003 (Bologna Process)).
The DS is based on a template developed by the European Commission, Council of Europe and UNESCO/CEPES and adapted by the Higher Education Council of Turkey.
The DS is composed of eight sections (information identifying the holder of the qualification, information identifying the qualification, information on the level of the qualification, information on the contents and results gained, information on the function of the qualification, additional information, certification of the Supplement, information on the national higher education system).
A description of the national higher education system within which the individual named on the original qualification graduated has to be attached to the DS. This description is provided by the National Academic Recognition Information Centers (NARICs) and is available on the website: www.enic-naric.net
It should be noted that the DS is not a Curriculum Vitae, a substitute for the original qualification or a transcript, or it is not an automatic system that guarantees recognition.
The DS offers to students a diploma that is more readable and easily comparable abroad, as it is a precise and objective description of their academic career and the competencies they acquired during the study period. For students, the DS provides an easier access to opportunities of work or further studies abroad and fosters their employability.
From the higher education institutions' point of view, the DS facilitates academic and professional recognition, thus increasing the transparency of qualifications. It protects national/institutional autonomy while offering a common frame which is accepted all over Europe. The DS promotes informed judgments about qualifications that can be understood in another educational context, raises the visibility of the institution abroad, promotes the employability of their graduates at national and international level and it helps to save time since it provides the answers to a lot of recurrent questions posed to administrative services in institutions about the content and portability of diplomas.
New qualifications proliferate worldwide and countries are constantly changing their qualification systems and educational structures under the impact of rapid economic, political and technological change. An increasing number of mobile citizens are seeking the fair recognition of their qualifications. The non-recognition and poor-evaluation of qualifications is now a global issue. Since original credentials alone do not provide sufficient information, it is very difficult to gauge the level and function of a qualification without an appropriate detailed explanation. The DS is a response to these challenges since it promotes transparency in higher education, accommodates rapid changes in qualifications, aids mobility, access and lifelong learning, and promotes fair and informed judgments about qualifications.
Özyeğin University (OzU) is committed to the development of the European Higher Education Area and the Bologna Process. A DS that, following the model developed by the European Commission, Council of Europe and UNESCO/CEPES, is issued in a widely spoken European language (English), and is given automatically and free of charge to every OzU student upon graduation.