Even if the ECTS exists already since 1989 when it was introduced within the ERASMUS- mobility program of the European Commission, it really became effective with the signing of the so-called “Bologna Declaration on the European Space for Higher Education” by 29 European ministers of Education in the year 1999.
The objective of ECTS is to facilitate international mobility of students by the procedure that study performances are validated by a certain number of credit points which are determined by the respective workload necessary to complete the required academic achievement. Thanks to its Europe-wide distribution and acceptance this system allows easier and more reliable recognition of academic achievements earned abroad at the home university which enhances the attractiveness of stays abroad during the studies.
Within the reforms of the study system in Germany as part of the “Bologna process” all courses of study have to be subdivided into modules which are validated with a certain number of credit points following the ECTS-model. One ECTS-Credit point corresponds to an average student workload of 25-30 hours. In the course of a year about 60 ECTS-Credit points should be acquired. At Chemnitz University of Technology normally 180 ECTS-Credit points are scheduled for a Bachelor and 120 ECTS-Credit points for a Master degree.