The Bologna Declaration created the European Higher Education Area, a space made up by different countries as a background reference for the educational reforms that most countries would start at the beginning of the XXI century.
The ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) is a credit system for Higher Education in the EHEA that include all the countries that participate on the Bologna Process which nowadays includes 46 countries. The ECTS is the cornerstone of the Bologna Process because most of these countries have adopted the ECTS as their Higher Education law system.
Among its objectives, the Bologna Process pretends to “establish a credit system that may promote the student mobility”. The ECTS helps to achieve other objectives of the Bologna Process:
The ECTS credits are a key element for the Bologna’s Qualification Framework compatible with the European Framework of qualifications for the continuous learning. According to the Bologna’s Qualification Framework, the first and the second cycle have their own credit rank. So, the ECTS credits are used to do the national qualification frameworks for higher education that may have more detailed information about the credits.
The ECTS help institutions to apply the quality guarantee objective. In some countries, the ECTS is a requirement for the accreditation of higher education programs.
By the other hand, institutions from other continents are using the ECTS more often, and that’s why the ECTS are more important for the growing globalization of the Bologna Process.