ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) is an important element of the Bologna process, meant to help international students make the most of their study abroad experience. Initially, the ECTS was directed towards Erasmus students, as a tool for acknowledging courses and programmes they studied while abroad.
The ECTS credit system makes degree programmes and student performance more transparent and comparable all across European Union countries. ECTS replaced or complemented the different local (national) standards within Europe.
The top benefits of ECTS for students include:
You can study a Bachelor in an EU-country and a Master in another EU-country, as if you studied both in the same country;
Find work in any EU country you want, as your studies
will be easily recognised;
If taking a joint-degree, studying a semester abroad, or an Erasmus study experience, it will be easy for your home university to keep track of the study hours, with the help of ‘credit transfers’;
Simplified academic paperwork;
Easier to estimate the complexity of a study class, seminar, internship, thesis, etc., based on the number of credits it offers upon completion;
Less differentiation between local and international students in universities.
Even if you drop out of a programme, ECTS credits help you prove your academic achievements, so you don't have to take the same courses all over again.
Your degree will have the same number of credits, no matter what academic discipline you pursue.
European Higher Education Area is structured around three cycles, where each level has the function of preparing the student for the labour market, for further competence building and for active citizenship.
(The Bergen Communiqué, 2005)