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ATAFOM Philosophy and ECTS Principles

Within ATAFOM University International, the graded study structure of the European student – oriented system for the transfer and accumulation of study achievements based on the transparency of learning outcomes and learning processes “European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System” (ECTS) is used.
ECTS is a credit system for higher education that is used throughout the European Higher Education Area and also increasingly by institutions in other continents.
With its location in the Central African Republic, ATAFOM University International is making a decisive contribution to expanding the scope of the Bologna Process on the African continent. As a world university, ATAFOM University International offers education without borders for as large a group of people as possible, regardless of their origin, skin color, class, gender and religious denomination. Our goal is to bring children from all over the world together, to train them according to the best educational system and thereby to make a major contribution to world integration and to create “Our Same World” for humanity.
The name of the university itself arose from the idea of uniting a fusion of all cultures across the borders of all continents in a place of education, meeting and integration and placing an emphasis on the continent which it deserves in a special way. Therefore, ATAFOM stands as an abbreviation for Atlantic African Oriental Multicultural.

An integrative education – “Education for integration” – understanding other cultures through learning – has the highest priority for us. It is an education that integrates instead of marginalize and in which only the young person’s intellectual abilities are decisive, regardless of their origin, skin color, culture or religion. With ECTS as an instrument for the design, description and implementation of programs as well as for awarding university degrees, we have developed sustainable, multicultural, cross-denominational and cross-gender, integrative educational concepts. For all types of programs – regardless of the learning context (study or further education) and the status of the students (full-time or part-time) – ECTS is used at ATAFOM.

ATAFOM University International is the first and so far, the only university in Africa that is oriented on the ECTS system and thus places high demands on the modern, dynamic and holistic concept of education for the lifelong development process of every student.

In accordance with ECTS principles, we focus on expanding intellectual, cultural and practical life as well as personal and social skills. By using ECTS in conjunction with results – oriented qualification frameworks, our programs and qualifications are more transparent and the recognition of qualifications is simplified. In this spirit, we as pioneers actively contribute to successful integration and equal opportunities for people from all over the world.

Workload and ECTS-Credits

The ECTS credits are based on the amount of work required by the student to achieve the expected learning outcomes. The learning outcomes describe what the students should know, understand and be able to do after successfully completing a learning process. They relate to descriptors for the reference levels in national, European and global qualification frameworks. The workload indicates the time that students typically have to spend on all learning activities (e.g., lectures, seminars, projects, practical work, including the time for preparation and follow-up of events, self-study and exams) in order to achieve the expected learning outcomes.

The scope of a course is no longer measured in terms of the number of hours per week completed in the course during the (online) attendance time, but in the amount of the student workload. With ECTS credits, ATAFOM University International determines the relative proportion of the workload associated with the individual study achievements. The determination of the ECTS points to be awarded for a course is usually initially estimated by the lecturer, but should be continuously evaluated through empirical studies and adjusted if necessary. At the institutional level, we will enable our students with the study regulations and program requirements developed by us to make progress within a so-called speci fi c study cycle in order to acquire a certain quali fi cation.


The following ranges of ECTS credits apply to the first two Bologna cycles:

  • Qualifications in the first cycle generally comprises of 180 to 240 ECTS credits (Bachelor degree). Such an undergraduate program forms the basis of a degree. It is a prerequisite for a postgraduate course.
  • Qualifications of the second cycle usually comprise 90 to 120 ECTS credits, whereby at least 60 ECTS credits must be awarded at the level of the second cycle (Master degree). This type of qualification as a postgraduate degree is also known as postgraduate studies or “graduate studies”.

Each academic year comprises 45 weeks, divided equally between the winter semester and the summer semester, namely 22.5 weeks each. The student working time (time in hours) is then divided into 22.5 weeks per semester.

1 credit corresponds to  a minimum  of  25 and a maximum  of  30 real hours of 60 minutes each of the student’s actual workload. In each year, the total number of credits is 60. This corresponds  to  an actual workload of at least 1,500 (45 weeks for  33.33 hours per  week or 25 hours per credit) or a maximum of 1,800 hours (45 weeks for 40 hours per week or 30 hours per credit). The total number of 60 credits per academic year is spread over two semesters, so that as a rule 30 credits must be acquired per semester. In this case, the actual workload per semester is at least 750 hours (22.5 weeks for 33.33 hours per week or 25 hours per credit) or a maximum of 900 hours (22.5 weeks for 40 hours per week or 30 hours per credit).

In every bachelor and master degree course, one credit point per lecture per week and one credit point per week for two or partial tutorials for laboratory or internship are assigned. The curriculum of each semester should generally contain a mixture of theory and practice.

The credits are calculated from the estimated time and the estimated workload that is required on average to complete individual courses. The workload is made up of all learning activities that belong to a degree and are measured using a performance evaluation. In addition to participating in courses such as lectures, exercises and seminars, self-study (library work or term paper), exam preparation, final theses and final exams also contribute to the acquisition of credits. Credits are only awarded if the course has been completed and all study and examination achievements have been passed in accordance with the examination regulations.

At least 180 and a maximum of 240 credits must be acquired in order to be awarded a bachelor degree at ATAFOM University International.

Modules in the ECTS credit system

Module (M) are learning units, typically consisting of two to three courses in different forms (e.g., lecture (L) and exercise (E) or seminar (S)), the content of which is designed in such a way that it goes together. A module can also consist partly of an internship (PC – practical course) or entirely of a thesis (B – Bachelor thesis).

For each module, a certain number of hours per week per semester – called semester hours per week or weekly semester hours (WHS) as a unit of measurement for the attendance time – must be completed and a certain number of credits. The WHS can be converted into ECTS as follows:

 1 WHS corresponds to approx. 1.5 ECTS credits.

The lecture period is 16 weeks in the winter semester and 14 weeks in the summer semester.

1 hour of lectures (1 WHS) last 45 minutes. 2 SWS last 90 minutes.

For 16 lecture weeks, this means 16 lectures with 2 WHS, i.e., a total of 32 WHS and therefore earns 3 ECTS credits within the framework of the respective module.

At ATAFOM University, students can expect:

Well informed in and through your studies


A study guide

in which the curriculum as well as the expected learning outcomes and the individual components, including the assigned ECTS credits, are clearly listed;


Assessment procedures

that correspond to the expected learning outcomes and the workload involved;



on these assessment procedures, which will be provided in advance;



of the ECTS credits provided for each educational component after the required assessment procedure has been successfully completed;



in the regular control and revision of the estimated workload and thus the credit allocation;



of student representatives in the process of ECTS introduction, revision or updating;



for advice and support;


The right to challenge

academic decisions if no credits are awarded for successfully completed components