How it started
In 1987, the E.U. launched the Erasmus mobility programme to enable both students and teaching staff to enrich their academic learning, cultural experience and self-sufficiency. After two years, the ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation) System was established as a way of allowing students to have recognition for the courses followed and exams passed during exchange programmes. This makes study programmes easy to read and compare for all students, both local and foreign, and, in addition, facilitates mobility and academic recognition. This renders European higher education more attractive for students from abroad.
ECTS credits are allocated on the basis of a student's workload over an academic course. This includes all learning activities (i.e. lectures, seminars, projects, private study, examinations, research, work placements, etc) and is therefore not based only on the number of contact hours. This means that all types and compositions of courses can be allocated ECTS credits. An average student's workload over the course of an academic year is considered to be around 1500-1800 hours or 60 ECTS credits. This calculates at about 25 – 30 hours of study for 1 ECTS credit. In order to obtain credits, students must complete all the work required for an individual course and be assessed on the learning outcomes (i.e. what they know, understand, are able to do) of a particular course of study.
The CFU system (Unità di Credito Formativo or University Unit of Credit - one CFU is equal to 25 hours of study) is the Italian version of the European ECTS. CFUs, which were introduced for Italian students in order to make studies more student-centred, reducing the gap between official and real length of courses as well as lowering the drop out rate, are used to measure attainment while individual marks assess progress. CFUs are obtained by passing end-of-course exams, independent from the marks attained. The number of credits required depends on the type and the lasting of the chosen programme of study. CFUs take into account, not only final exams, but also independent study and (if necessary) internships/work placements.
One CFU is equal to one ECTS. This makes the Italian University more in line with European higher education programmes and easier to conduct exchanges with a correct and fair consideration.
What does this mean for international exchange students?
Students attending the Università degli Studi di Perugia on a European exchange programme can transfer ECTS credits obtained in Italy back to their Home University to be counted towards their degree (be it a first, second, third cycle). This allows the exchange programme to recognise not only the cultural aspect of such an exchange but also the academic achievement of the student.
Erasmus Students, before arriving in Perugia, will initiate a learning agreement between the coordinators at their home institution and our University. This will detail the student's proposed study programme for the duration of their stay in Perugia (i.e. individual course units and number of related ECTS credits). There will also be space for any changes in the programme. This agreement must be signed by both coordinators and by both institutions' overall Erasmus coordinator, before the student's arrival.
At the end of the stay the student will receive a document called "transcript of records" stating the length of the stay and the records achieved.
In the transcript of records, the grades of the exams are certified with the local grade system, which is a number on a scale from 18 to 30. In the transcript of records, the ECTS exam mark is also indicated, which is a number from 1 to 5, and the relative credits.
|ITALIAN MARKS||ECTS GRADES||DEFINITION|
|30-30 cum laude||1||EXCELLENT-outstanding performance with only minor errors|
|27-28-29||2||VERY GOOD-above the average standard but with some errors|
|24-25-26||3||GOOD-generally sound work with a number of notable errors|
|21-22-23||4||SATISFACTORY-fair but with significant short comings|
|18-19-20||5||SUFFICIENT-performance meets the minimum criteria|
|<18||FX||FAIL-some more work required before the credit can be awarded|
|<18||F||FAIL-considerable further work is required|