BRUSSELS – The European Students’ Union took part in the first meeting of the ad hoc working group on modifying the ECTS Guide, following up on recommendations from the meeting of the 47 Education Ministers involved in the Bologna Process in Bucharest in 2012.
The ECTS system, or the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System, makes teaching and learning more transparent among higher education institutions in Europe and facilitates the recognition of all studies. The system also increases flexibility of study choices and student mobility, as harmonised rules make it easier for students to switch institutions or study fields.
A new guide introduced in 2014
The participants in this first meeting, taking place on the 25th of February 2013, focused on creating a plan of work for the group. They also agreed on its structure in order to improve its efficiency. It was also decided to divide the group into four sub-groups with specialised tasks, namely: Programme design; teaching, learning and assessment; mobility, recognition and grade conversion, and; links to transparency and recognition tools.
These sub-groups will prepare in-depth material for each of these four topics that will be coordinated by the participating countries. A structure for the ECTS Guide will also be discussed in the next meetings. The first draft of it will be presented in September this year and finalised in the next three meetings thereafter. Few people will draft the new guide, taking in inputs from the sub-groups. Additional experts might also be included in the assignment.
This work will be done in close cooperation with the Structural Working Group of the Bologna Follow-Up Group (BFUG). Once the document will be finalised, it will be presented to the BFUG and hopefully adopted by midyear 2014.
Fourteen countries involved
Facilitated by the European Commission, the working group will focus on reviewing the ECTS Guide to reflect the most recent developments in higher education in Europe, but the document was last revised in 2009. To start with the work will focus on accumulation of ECTS credits both between and within institutions as well as the transfer and the recognition of credits in cross border mobility. Representatives of fourteen countries will be involved in the work as well as four organisations: ESU, ENQA, EUA and EURASHE.
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The European Students’ Union, headquartered in Brussels, is the umbrella organisation of 47 national unions of students from 39 European countries. ESU represents and promotes the educational, social, economical and cultural interests of students at the European level. Through its member unions, ESU represents over 11 million students in Europe. To find out more about ESU, follow us on Twitter @ESUtwt, check out or Facebook page or visit www.esu-online.org. ESU celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2012.