Celebrating ECTS and diploma supplement label holders 2009-2013
Work is now far advanced on a European Higher Education Area (EHEA) stretching across the EU and beyond. Ever since 1999, the Bologna Process has been steadily making higher education structures more compatible and comparable across borders. A vital part of that progress is the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS). Launched in 1989 as part of the Erasmus Exchange Programme, it is a way of transferring study credits that students earn abroad into credits that count towards their degrees once they are back home. Based on workloads and learning outcomes, it has now also become... the system for credit allocation in many institutions’ own degree programmes. Of course, once an institution has effectively implemented the ECTS, it wants to make that achievement known. That is where the ECTS Label comes in. Awarded to a number of institutions each year, it gives students confidence that a higher education institution acknowledges student centred learning and follows the principles for the ECTS laid down in the ECTS Users’ Guide. The ECTS helps in the design, description and delivery of programmes, makes it possible to integrate different types of learning in a lifelong learning perspective, and facilitates the mobility of learners by easing the process of recognising qualifications and periods of study. The Diploma Supplement is a document accompanying a higher education diploma, providing a standardised description of the studies completed by its holder. As agreed by higher education ministers, the Diploma Supplement should be routinely issued to all graduates in a widely spoken language and free of charge. A Diploma Supplement Label shows that an institution is implementing the Diploma Supplement correctly. In the framework of the Lifelong Learning Programme, the European Commission awarded Labels to higher education institutions that demonstrated the correct implementation of ECTS principles and/or the requirements of the Diploma Supplement correctly. In the period between 2009 and 2013, 97 higher education institutions obtained the ECTS Label, while 329 institutions applied successfully for the Diploma Supplement Label. This brochure pays tribute to the 26 institutions awarded the ECTS Label in 2013.