P. Tumbas, O. Sedlak

University of Novi Sad, Faculty of Economics (null)
The Bologna Declaration identifies several primary objectives important for creating European Higher Education Area (EHEA). These are: Determining the joint qualifications framework for an easier diploma recognition and comparison; Implementation of a two cycle education system: bachelor and master; Introduction of the ECTS credit system; Mobility promotion of students, teachers and alumni; Promotion of the European cooperation in providing quality, and Promotion of European contents. Based on the cited objectives, the system of higher education has been completely transformed in the Republic of Serbia. The biggest problem in realizing a new educational system has been to implement ECTS credit system.

ECTS credit system is a student-centered system based on the student workload required to achieve the objectives of a programme. 60 credits measure the workload of a student during one academic year. To calculate the equivalence between ECTS and the working time of students, it is necessary to emphasize that it is supposed that the student works eight hours a day, five days a week and that there are 45 weeks in a academic year. It means that the student workload amounts to 1800 hours per year and in this case one credit stands 30 working hours. Student workload in ECTS constists of the time required to complete all learning activities: attending lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical works, homeworks, preparition of projects, examinations, and so forth.

In order to implement these credits, it has been necessary to develop a change in pedagogical orientation of the teachings, because the ECTS credits are more oriented to the learning and the effort required by this learning than to the teaching. The adaptation of any course of a degree to the EHEA supposes, in a first moment, the adaptation of every subject, transforming the system based in the teaching of professor in a system based in the student's learning. For this purpose, professors are obliged to elaborate rules for every course, which expresses the needed time to overcome the course by ECTS.

At the very beginning of ECTS system introduction, numerous mistakes were done. The ECTS credit determination was done primarily according to the authority of professors. Therefore, courses taught by professors with experience worthy of respect gained more importance in the curriculum by having more ECTS credits, disregarding the learning outcomes and competences for the course. Student workload per course was not in direct dependence of the ECTS credit number. Even with the same ECTS credit number, and because of the absence of rules and standards for determining the scope of student workload, their obligations in some courses were very different.

In order to solve these problems, the Faculty of Economics in Subotica got down working on harmonizing the scope of student workload and ECTS credit number in the standardized and the rule-based way. The standard for student workload was determined. Based on the set of rules and standard, the Internet-oriented application was carried out, by which all obligations, students have in the course, were filed before the beginning of the term, so their workload and coordination with the ECTS credit number could be confirmed.

The work describes the identified rules in detail, i.e. the accepted standards for determining student workload and the supposed importance, as well as the gained effects by the implemented solution.