ECTS Credit Allocation
The Bologna Process, launched with the Bologna Declaration, of 1999, is one of the main voluntary processes at European level, as it is nowadays implemented in 47 states, which define the European Higher Education Area (EHEA). Members of the Bologna Process are the 47 countries, together with the European Commission, and the consultative members, namely the Council of Europe, UNESCO, EUA, ESU, EURASHE, ENQA, Education International and BUSINESSEUROPE.
As the main objective of the Bologna Process since its inception in 1999, the EHEA was meant to ensure more comparable, compatible and coherent systems of higher education in Europe. Between 1999-2010, all the efforts of the Bologna Process members were targeted to creating the European Higher Education Area, that became reality with the Budapest-Vienna Declaration of March, 2010. (http://www.ehea.info/)
The Bologna Process has always been concerned with making the diversity of the EHEA more transparent. Quality assurance, qualifications framework and recognition, together with the tools designed to facilitate their implementation, such as Diploma Supplement, ECTS and Lisbon Recognition Convention, have contributed substantially to this goal. The ministers noted in Leuven/ Louvain-la-Neuve (2009) that, besides the above mentioned instruments, "there are several initiatives designed to develop mechanisms for providing more detailed information about higher education institutions across the EHEA to make their diversity more transparent". Such mechanisms, including those helping higher education systems and institutions to identify and compare their respective strengths, should be developed in close consultation with the key stakeholders. These transparency tools need to relate closely to the principles of the Bologna Process, in particular quality assurance and recognition, which will remain our priority, and should be based on comparable data and adequate indicators to describe the diverse profiles of higher education institutions and their programmes. (http://www.ehea.info)
The European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) is a student-centered credit system based on the student's workload. The term defines all the tasks (theoretical courses, practice, seminars, individual studies, examinations, research assignments etc.) the student has to perform in order to be able to complete a course successfully. This system, initially formulated for credit transfer, is nowadays used as a credit gathering system at different institutional, regional, national and European levels. The ECTS, developed by the European Union to facilitate student mobility and the academic recognition in his/her own country of a student’s studies in a EU country, assists higher education institutions in the development of curriculum programs and enables the comparison of the programs more easily at national and international levels.
ECTS credits are based on the workload students need in order to achieve expected learning outcomes. Learning outcomes describe what a learner is expected to know, understand and be able to do after successful completion of process of learning. They relate to level descriptors in national and European qualifications frameworks. (/Http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/education_culture/documents/publications/key-features_en.pdf)
Başkent University has been using ECTS credits as its only credit accumulation system starting 2012-2013 academic year. The ECTS credits have been determined according to the necessary workload by taking students’ learning outcomes. It is a figure based on the workload that comprises all the tasks required of a student. This figure indirectly reflects to what extent a course comprises the whole workload required for the completion of an academic year as well. Learning outcomes describe a student´s achievements, knowledge, understandings and abilities after the course completion. Learning outcomes are identified according to the study programme level in relation to the descriptors contained in the European Qualification Framework (5th level for Associate’s degree, 6th level for Bachelor’s degree; 7th level for Master’s degree and 8th level for Doctorate degree programmes).
One ECTS credit has been described as 25-30 hour at our university and the student workload is between 1500-1800 hours in a whole academic year. A student is required to complete minimum 30 ECTS in order to complete a term (a total of 16 weeks including the 2 weeks examination period). The ECTS board of each department has calculated the ECTS credits of each course in this respect according to their discipline. Students and lecturers have been asked to take part in evaluation surveys at the end of each term. The ECTS credit is identified as 30 per term (a workload of 750 to 900 hours) and 60 per year (a workload of 1500 to 1800 hours). Başkent University offers 4 degrees at numerous disciplines and sub-disciplines like humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, formal sciences, professions and applied sciences. Especially at medical sciences, health care and arts disciplines student workload for 30 ECTS per semester may differ.
Student work load includes all the learning-based activities aimed at the achievement of the assumed learning outcomes. These are namely lectures, seminars, tutorials, independent work, laboratory sessions, individual projects, case studies, self-study and preparation for exams and so forth. On contrary, the study load is not influenced by the level of study (Associate’s, Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctorate), the course type (compulsory, elective), and the course significance or by the intensity of face to face lecturer-student interaction.
The performance of the student is documented by a local grade including local and ECTS credits achieved. In addition to local credits and grades, ECTS credits and grades are entered in the mobility student’s transcript. It is good practice to add an ECTS grade, in particular in case of credit transfer. ECTS credits and grades are entered in the student’s transcript. At the end of the exchange period students’ final grades are converted according to the table below:
|ECTS Grade||% of successful students normally achieving the grade||Definition (only of failing grades)||ECTS Grade Conversion|
|A||10||EXCELLENT - outstanding performance with only minor errors||A|
|B||25||VERY GOOD - above the average standard but with some errors||B+|
|C||30||GOOD - generally sound work with a number of notable errors||C+|
|D||25||SATISFACTORY - fair but with significant shortcomings||D+|
|E||10||SUFFICIENT - performance meets the minimum criteria||D|
|FX||-||FAIL - some more work required before the credit can be awarded||F1, F2 |
|F||-||FAIL - considerable further work is required||F1, F2|
Başkent University Information Package is published in two languages English and Turkish. It contains the items indicated in the checklist taken from the ECTS Users' Guide and also included under section 2.1 of the ECTS Label 2013-2016 Application Form.
Başkent University has been awarded Erasmus University Charter in 2003 and since then has been participating in the Erasmus program. Starting with 2005-2006 academic year, diploma supplement is being issued automatically and free of charge to all Başkent University graduates of short, first, second, and third cycle programmes. At second and third cycle diploma supplement's section 4 "Information on the Contents and Results Gain" is documented as 60 ECTS per academic year.