Sunday, 30 September, 2012

Thousands of EU Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) active in student exchanges are at present using unfair grade conversion systems, mostly based on direct and subjective procedures that neglect outstanding academic performance in traditionally low marking areas, but also advancing mediocre students who are marked highly in their exams within inflated education systems where the majority of students receive high marks and the minority of excellent students receive only slightly higher marks.

A direct aim of the EGRACONS consortium is to achieve a simple and unified interpretation and implementation of the ECTS grade conversion tables as recommended in the EC’s ECTS User’s guide since 2009. This ambitious project requires a thorough prior study of the variety of grading habits at the EU Higher Education Institutions, careful selection of data and an identification of a conversion algorithm to enable compatibility of the input and output data.


The ultimate objectives of the EGRACONS project are:

  • To improve the implementation mechanisms of ECTS at European universities and understanding of grading cultures in Europe
  • To identify the main critical factors influencing the use of the ECTS grading tables and their conversion to national/institutional systems through sampling of a group of European students and comparing grading systems
  • To enhance mobility flows in Higher Education institutions and their commitment to recognize periods of studies based on transparent and clear criteria.
  • To match the needs of students, academic and administrative staff through an awareness raising campaign about the advantages and mechanisms of ECTS implementation.
  • To remove obstacles to mobility by working out a concrete and common methodology to convert marks obtained abroad.


This is intended to be achieved by the following outputs of the project:

  • Country reports on grading systems in Europe
  • Production of uniform Grading Tables and Templates for data collection
  • Development of the Electronic Grade Conversion Tool
  • Reports after testing Pilot Phases I, II and III
  • Formulation of recommendations on the effective use of grading tables across Europe
  • Preparation of a manual on how to introduce the grading tables in a HEI, to collect the necessary statistical data and implement the system in terms of e.g. the Diploma Supplement
  • Promotion of the tool at dissemination and exploitation events: two seminars and one conference to a wide spectrum of stakeholders in the mobility programmes
  • Sustainability Strategy to maintain the tool available to HEIs across Europe for voluntary use

By no means is the EGRACONS tool intended to be used to assess educational quality of universities. On the contrary, the proposed system will not show statistical data collected from individual teachers. Instead, the system will be based on broader data categories, grouped under aggregation levels computing data from several academic years at once. This is necessary to obtain robust data samples needed for objective conversions.

Consortium: Ghent University, UNICA, Santander Group Association, University of Liège, Sapienza University of Rome, University of Rouen, University of Leon, Vilnius University, University of Gothenburg, University of Essex, The University of Lausanne, Justus Liebig University Giessen, Stichting Hoger Onderwijs Nederland, University of Warsaw

Contacting Authority: European Commission: Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA)

Project status: 
Completed Projects
UNICA as Partner