| || |
Credits and grades
A reform of the degree structure, relating to the Bologna process, became effective on 1 August 2005. As a result of this, higher education institutions in Finland adopted a new credit system, European Credit Transfer and Accumulation system (ECTS). ECTS was developed by the Commission of the European Communities in order to provide common procedures to guarantee academic recognition of studies abroad. It provides a way of measuring and comparing learning achievements, and transferring them from one institution to another. This is achieved through the use of a common ECTS credit unit and a common ECTS grading scale. ECTS also facilitates access to information on foreign curricula.
ECTS makes use of two important documents: the information package, which provides general information on the host institution, as well as detailed descriptions of the degree and non-degree programmes and courses available; and the transcript of academic record which indicates the courses completed by the student abroad and the number of ECTS credits earned. The transcript shows both the local and the ECTS grades assigned to each course. These documents are used by the institutional and departmental ECTS coordinators, appointed by each university to deal with the administrative and academic aspects of ECTS. It is their role to advise students concerning ECTS.
The Finnish national credit allocation and accumulation system is equivalent to the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS). This means that credits (opintopiste) are the same as those in the ECTS. One year of full-time studies requires about 1600 hours of work and corresponds to 60 credits (30 credits per semester). Lectures, exercises, seminars, independent studies as well as examinations have been included in this estimate of required work load of a student.
Grading of courses at the University of Eastern Finland follows two basic practices: 1) Pass or Fail, or 2) applying a numerical scale with grading from 0-5 (maximum) for passed courses.