A credit system is a systematic way of describing an educational programme by attaching credits to its components.
The definition of credits in higher education systems may be based on different parameters, such as student workload, learning outcomes and contact hours.
The European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System is a student-centred system based on the student workload required of each to achieve the objectives of a programme, objectives preferably specified in terms of learning outcomes and competences to be acquired.
HOW DID ECTS DEVELOP?
ECTS was introduced in 1989 within the framework of Erasmus, now part of the Socrates programme. 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 enhances the quality and the volume of student mobility in Europe. Recently ECTS is developing into an accumulation system to be implemented at institutional, regional, national and European level.
This is one of the key objectives of the Bologna Declaration of June 1999.