||> Important dates
> Allocation of credits
> Grading table
> ECTS institutional co-ordinator
|ECTS was initially set up in 1989 as a credit transfer system in the framework of the Erasmus programme. It aims to facilitate student mobility and inter-university cooperation through an enhanced transparency and comparability of study programmes, course units and individual student curricula. It has become an essential tool for the creation of the European Higher Education Area and ECTS credits have come to be the basic components for elaborating and managing degree programmes. Recently ECTS is developing into a credit accumulation system.
- 1989-1995: Participation of the Institut d'administration et de gestion (School of management) in the ECTS pilot project for subject area 04.0 - Business studies and Management.
- 1996 : European Policy Statement of Université catholique de Louvain: “based upon the positive evaluation of the pilot project running since 1989, the credit transfer system is to be gradually implemented in all the sections of the University”
- General implementation of ECTS at UCL
- December 1999 : decision-taking; analysis of the present situation
- February 2001: the general implementation is launched.
Université catholique de Louvain decides to implement ECTS as a means to reaffirm its policy of pursuing quality and to have a student centred approach of the learning process, whilst reducing academic failure. Enhancing the transparency and quality of the information on programmes, courses and student curricula facilitates:
- orientation of the student within his or her degree programme (choosing of learning activities and outcomes)
- student mobility (both horizontal and vertical) and teaching staff mobility
- management of teaching activities (programmes, contents and evaluation)
- coherence of the degree programmes, taking into account the workload of the student
- academic recognition and inter-university cooperation in Europe and beyond
- March 2004: publishing of the Decree of the Belgium French speaking Community "defining higher education, favouring its integration in the European Higher Education Area and refunding the universities" (Décret définissant l’enseignement supérieur, favorisant son intégration à l’espace européen de l’enseignement supérieur et refinançant les universités), providing the legal context for setting up the new Degree programmes in line with the Bologna Declaration. The Decree imposes the use of the credit, becoming the unit of measure for the overall workload of the student.
- August 2006: UCL is awarded the ECTS Quality Label by the European Commission for applying the system correctly in all first and second cycle degree programmes and organising student mobility in line with the ECTS standards.
Allocation of credits
Each of the bachelor or master course activities is calculated in the form of credits.
Credits are a numerical value which express the total workload that a student needs to accomplish in order to meet the objectives in terms of learning outcomes of a particular subject.
A credit not only represents the contact hours of the subject concerned but also the time spend in apprenticeships, practical work, library research, study and memorisation, laboratory activities, etc. In other words, it covers the total workload that a student needs to complete in order to meet the learning objectives of that subject. The bachelor programmes comprise 180 credits, while the masters count for 60, 120 or 240 credits, divided into 60 per year.
For the French-speaking Community of Belgium, one credit corresponds to a forfait of 30 hours of study activities. One year of studies is estimated at 1800 hours of work, thus counting for 60 credits.
At UCL, all faculties have been invited to respect these basic criteria when allocating credits to course units. It has been stressed that in no way this process could be reduced to a mere conversion of contact hours, but that instead it has to be based on the overall student workload. A posteriori validation and evaluation through student and teaching staff surveys have been scheduled.
UCL uses a single ECTS grading table which is based upon the grades obtained in all programmes during the last five academic years. It is reviewed each year.
% of students awarded the grade
| ECTS grade
ECTS institutional co-ordinator
Prof. Marc Verdussen
Institutional Co-ordinator for Erasmus and Student mobility
M. Bart Stoffels
Place de l'Université 1
For any matter related to courses, ECTS credits and the Learning Agreement, students should contact their departmental ECTS co-ordinator.