About the Programme
ERASMUS programme is devoted to ensuring the quality of higher education, to promoting mobility of students, professors and other staff, supporting multilateral co-operation between higher education institutions and business enterprises, enhancing the quality and developing a European dimension within higher education and vocational training.
In 2007, on completion of the EC SOCRATES program, ERASMUS became part of an officially new Lifelong Learning Programme. Lifelong Learning Programme ERASMUS (further ERASMUS program) seeks to expand its mobility actions and covers new areas such as student placements in enterprises.
The Program is named after the Dutch philosopher Erasmus of Rotterdam (1469-1536), a great European scholar, who studied and lectured in many European countries (Holland, France, England, Italy, Germany, Switzerland and in the territory of current Belgium). ERASMUS program is open to all types of higher education institutions, covers all trends and levels of studies (undergraduate and postgraduate studies) and supports:
- student mobility (SM) and traineeship abroad (TA);
- mobility of professors and other staff (SM);
- Erasmus intensive language courses (EILC);
- multilateral projects: creation and implementation of intensive programs (IP), curricula development (CD), thematic networks (TN);
- co-operation projects between higher education institutions and enterprises.
Higher education institutions willing to participate in ERASMUS actions must have an Erasmus University Charter.
ERASMUS mobility program is participated by the following
EU countries: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Holland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Cyprus, Malta, Bulgaria, Rumania.
Countries of European Economic Area: Island, Norway, Liechtenstein.
Associated countries: Turkey.
Switzerland in the program participates inofficially, as a „silent partner", i.e. EC allocates no means for ERASMUS activities in the country, however, student exchange is carried out according to the rules of the ERASMUS program.
More information is available at: http://www.smpf.lt/index.php?id=24
European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS)
European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) – is a system based on student performance time, required to attain aims defined by study results and competencies which must be acquired by the student. It is a student-oriented system, when the student occurs in its center.
Implementation of ECTS started in 1989 within the framework of ERASMUS program. ECTS is the only system of credits which was successfully verified and applied in the whole Europe.
ECTS facilitates understanding and comparison of study programs for students both at home and abroad. ECTS promotes mobility and academic recognition.
Main features of ECTS
ECTS is based on the agreement that 60 credits (in Lithuania - 40 national credits) reflect the quantity of work each course requires in relation to the total quantity of work required to complete a full year of academic study at the institution. 1 Lithuanian credit = 1.5 ECTS credits
ECTS credits may be awarded only having accomplished study program requirements and having obtained an assessment of learning achievements.
- ECTS credits are a value of workload which includes lectures, practical work, seminars, private work in the laboratory, library, at home, and examinations or other assessments.
- Credit provides also the possibility to assess the quantity of learning achievements. Learning achievements is a collection of competencies revealing what a student will know, will be able to understand or perform at the end of a shorter or longer training period.
ECTS for students:
- ensures academic recognition of studies abroad;
- provides possibility to attend regular lectures together with local students and take part in the academic life of the host institution;
- provides possibilities of further studies abroad.
There are many grading systems in Europe. Student achievements are assessed by local/national grade or point. To help institutions translate the grades awarded by host institutitons to ECTS students, the ECTS grading scale has ben developed. Applying ECTS as a credit transfer system, ECTS grade is written next to the national grade.
ECTS has two subgroups of failure. i.e. FX and F. FX means: “Fail – some more work required before the credit can be awarded ”, while F means: “Fail – considerable further work is required ”. More information on ECTS is available on European Commission website: http://ec.europa.eu./education/programmes/socrates/ects/index_en.html
National concept of European credit transfer and accumulation system (ECTS)
Lithuania is among the last countries in the old continent moving towards a unanimous European credit transfer and accumulation system (ECTS).
Hving implemented the system, Lithuanian institutions of higher education will become more visiblew, it will help them to undertake European academic initiatives, to facilittae acknowledgement of Lithuanian certificates and qualifications, elaboration of joint study programs. It is sought that the national ECTS concept worked out during the project will be applied in all Lithuanian higher education institutions as a method of quality ensurance, international cooperation, more transparent and straightforward academic exchange.
Elaborating and implementing the national concept of ECTS in Lithuanian institutions of higher education, an approved methodics of the „Tuning Educational Structures in Europe“ project will be applied.
At present the applied national credit system performs only one function of the credit system – account of students work time. Based on the accepted on 30 April 2009 Law of Science and studies of the Lithuanian Republic (Žin., 2009, No. 54-2140), this concept should change until 1 September 2011 into another – dualistic understanding of an academic credit, based on students workload and results.
Selected in the project 8 study trends will allow to check the applicability of ECTS methodics in them, as well as in different study levels (professional bachelor‘s, bachelor‘s and master‘s) and different program profiles of these study trends. Thus, along with ECTS implemetation guidelines, the project is seeking to work out demonstrational version of ECTS methodics for each field of studies.
Information on the project is available on www.ects.cr.vu.lt