Start - Student - ECTS


print as PDF

The growth of student exchange among domestic and foreign institutions was one reason for implementing new strategies of operation and development of schools of higher education. New regulations concern, among other things, creating common principles of honouring diplomas awarded in foreign institutions and also taking into account the full period of studies done abroad.

For that purpose, on the initiative of the European Commission the European Credit Transfer System (known as ECTS) was drawn up. The ECTS allows transparent presentation of the rules for studying and getting credits abroad. The full recognition of studies means that the period during which one studies abroad or in any other Polish school is treated like the same period spent at the “mother” institution (together with honoring all credits and examinations). This is independent of differences in programs of study that may occur.

The basis of ECTS consists of three elements:

  • Information about the schedule of classes and student’s achievements,
  • Agreement between partner schools and the student,
  • Using ECTS to determine how much work the student has done to get certain credits.

The ECTS credit points are measured as a numerical value (from 1 to 60), which is assigned to certain subjects and is proportional to the student’s work input needed to receive credit in a certain subject. The points reflect how much work the student has to do to in each subject compared with the “overall work” that is required to complete the whole academic year in a certain department. The ECTS grading scale takes into account all forms of classes: lectures, laboratory classes, non-laboratory classes, seminars, tutorials, examinations and others.

The ECTS credit points are a relative but not absolute measure of the “amount of work” required from a student because they specify what part of the “overall work” required in a given academic year equals work done in a certain subject in the department that awards the points. The student is obliged to get 60 points during the whole academic year, which is about 30 points for each semester and 20 points for a trimester. ECTS provides reasonable (as regards the required amount of work) selection from the class schedule while studying abroad or in another domestic school. Receiving the appropriate amount of points provides the basis for completing the academic year. ECTS does not eliminate the grade scale which is used to evaluate the quality of the student’s work.

These elements in practice correspond with three key documents:

  • Information package - containing general information about the school, academic calendar, administrative structures and procedures, the description of classes and practical information for students (description of the town, accommodation, health care system, recreation and student life).
  • Learning agreement - an agreement between student and partner schools (the school that is sending the student and the school that is welcoming the student), which is signed before the student’s going abroad. In this agreement the student agrees to take a certain program of classes chosen from the offering of the welcoming school. Under the terms of the agreement the welcoming school is obliged to give the student the opportunity to take part in the chosen classes, while the sending school confirms its agreement to authorize all the student’s credits according to ECTS.
  • Transcript of credits - it describes the student’s achievements before and after the period of studying abroad. In this transcript all subjects taken by the student are listed, together with the amount of points and the marks received. A copy of the transcript should be given to each party, i.e., sending school, welcoming school and the student.

The grading scale with reference to ECTS:


  • A/ Excellent, extraordinary results, minor mistakes only/ 5,5
  • B/ Very good, above average, with some mistakes/ 5,0
  • C/ Good, solid work in general, with a number of mistakes/ 4,0
  • D/ Satisfactory, acceptable but with significant mistakes/ 3,5
  • E/ Sufficient, the work fulfills the minimal criteria/ 3,0
  • F/ Unsatisfactory (failing), credits can be granted when the student thoroughly revises the material/ 2,0

Schools use of the system is based on mutual confidence between cooperating schools.