The opportunity of having credits transferred is an important element to support lifelong learning and increase the domestic and international mobility. Linnaeus University should have a generous approach to assessing applications for credit transfers.
Order of action for credit transfers
The handling of credit transfers can be summarized as follows.
1. The student fills out the webform application that is to be found at https://lnu.se/en/student/during-your-studies/credit-transfer/applying-for-credit-transfer/ and submits the following documents
- course syllabus from when the course was taken,
- literature list from when the course was taken,
- certified copies of official transcript of records/course certificates.
If the application for credit transfer refers to prior professional or vocational experience the following should be submitted
- certificate showing the professional or vocational experience with information about employment, period of employment/scope.
2. The application is automatically registered and then sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by the registration office
Office of Student Affairs
3. An administrator at the Office of Student Affairs will check that
- the application is complete and
- that the application is from a student at Linnaeus University.
4. An administrator at the Office of Student Affairs will send the complete application on to the contact person/administrator at the faculty in question, along with a decision form.
5. An administrator at the faculty forwards the application to the decision maker/examiner.
6. The decision maker/examiner makes a decision based on the student’s cited merits.
7. If approved, or partially rejected, the information is entered in to Ladok and certified by the examiner.
8. The decision form is sent to the administrator at the Office of Student Affairs.
Office of Student Affairs
9. The administrator at the Office of Student Affairs communicates the decision to the student. Along with the decision they are given an appeal reference.
10. The decision is registered.
In case of appeal
1. The student submits an appeal to email@example.com where the student states which decision they are appealing and how they would like the decision to be changed. Usually the student will also submit additional documents regarding the case.
Office of Student Affairs
2 The administrator at the Office of Student Affairs sends all the documents from the original case as well as the appeal to the decision maker/examiner for a second review.
3. The decision maker/examiner reviews the case which either leads to the decision standing or a change of decision.
4. The decision maker/examiner sends the decision to the administrator at the Office of Student Affairs.
Office of Student Affairs
5. The administrator at the Office of Student Affairs writes a statement of the case based on the decision maker’s/examiner’s decision.
6. The administrator at the Office of Student Affairs sends all documents in the case to the Higher Education Appeals Board for a conclusive decision. The student receives copies of the documents for their information.
7. The documents are registered.
Higher Education Appeals Board
8. The Higher Education Appeals Board reaches a final decision on the case and reconnects with Linnaeus University and the student.
Office of Student Affairs
9. The administrator at the Office of Student Affairs forwards the decision from the Higher Education Appeals Board to the decision maker/examiner either for their information or for action.
Linnaeus University is primarily bound by the following laws, regulations and local ordinance documents.
- Higher Education Ordinance (1993:100)
- The Administrative Procedure Act (2017:900)
- Local regulations for credit transfers in the first and second cycle at Linnaeus University (2019/3480-1.1)
Higher Education Ordinance (1993:100)
Chapter 6, §6-8
§6 If a student at a higher education institution in Sweden has successfully completed a higher education course or study programme, she or he is entitled to transfer the credits awarded for a course or study programme at another higher education institution. This does not apply, however, if there is a substantial difference between these courses or study programmes.
The same applies for students who have successfully completed a course or study programme
1. at a university or higher education institution in Denmark, Finland, Iceland or Norway or a signatory to the Council of Europe's Convention of 11 April 1997 on the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education in the European Region (Swedish Treaty Series 2001:46), or
2. at Nordiska högskolan för folkhälsovetenskap (NHV — The Nordic School of Public Health). Ordinance (2006:1053).
§7 A student is entitled to transfer credits from a course or study programme other than that laid down in Section 6 if the nature and extent of the knowledge and skills cited by the student are such that they correspond on the whole to the course or study programme for which the credits are to be recognised. A student may also be given credit for corresponding knowledge and skills acquired in a vocational or professional capacity. Ordinance (2006:1053).
§8 The higher education institution shall assess whether credits can be awarded for the prior course or study programme or professional or vocational experience.
Credits may only be awarded to those who are students unless otherwise provided by statute or ordinance. Ordinance (2010:1064).
Chapter 12, §2
§2 Appeals may be made to the Higher Education Appeals Board against the following decisions of a higher education institution:
4. a decision on the transfer of credits for courses and study programmes or professional or vocational activities.
Frequently asked questions
How about contract education and credit transfers?
Only students are eligible for a credit transfer. A student is someone who is admitted to and carrying out higher education studies. A person who is partaking in contract education is therefore not a student since they are not admitted to higher education studies and thus cannot be eligible for a credit transfer.
However, the opposite condition is possible, i.e. that contract education credits can be transferred towards higher education studies. However the person in question must be a student.
Can credits in modules in unfinished courses be transferred and how is that documented in Ladok?
Yes, if the passed credits are readily definable within an unfinished course, these can be credit transferred. An approved application for such a credit transfer is entered in to Ladok as subject studies within the main field of study.
How are credit transfers dealt with in regard to optional programme-courses?
If the programme syllabus contains optional courses, then these credits generally do not have to be transferred. However, Linnaeus University is always bound to consider a submitted application. If, during the course of the administration, it becomes apparent that the student wishes to withdraw their application, since the credit transfer is obviously unnecessary, the case can be dismissed (at the student’s request) by the administrator at the Office of Student Affairs.
How are credit transfers dealt with in regard to selectable programme-courses?
If the programme syllabus contains selectable courses, then these credits may need to be transferred, depending on the requirements for the selectable courses. If there is any uncertainty, a degree officer can be contacted to sort it out. However, Linnaeus University is always bound to consider a submitted application. If, during the course of the administration, it becomes apparent that the student wishes to withdraw their application, since the credit transfer is obviously unnecessary, the case can be dismissed (at the student’s request) by the administrator at the Office of Student Affairs.
How are credit transfers dealt with in regard to courses that do not have a valid course syllabus?
Completely new courses, that do not have a valid course syllabus, cannot be considered for credit transfers until the course plan is valid. If the course syllabus states that it will be valid from Spring semester 2020, then a credit transfer for the course cannot be approved until Spring 2020. Rejected applications need to state clearly phrased motivation that the course does not exist yet and a time for when applications can be accepted for the course, which in the case above would be the start of the Spring semester 2020.
What is the difference between credit transfer, validation and recognition of prior learning?
Credit transfer is a regulated authority decision based on the Higher Education Ordinance, taken by the higher education institution. Only three types of merits can be transferred to credits according to the Higher Education Ordinance: 1) Higher education with a passing result, 2) other education if the knowledge and skills cited are of such a nature and of such a scope that they primarily equate the education for which the credits are planned to be transferred to, and 3) corresponding knowledge and skills which have been acquired through work experience.
Validation is a process/method which amounts to a structured assessment, evaluation, documentation and recognition of knowledge and skills which someone has, regardless of how they have been acquired, within the formal education system or in a different way, in Sweden or abroad, recently or long ago.
Recognition of prior learning is a way to gain eligibility if the formal eligibility is missing. An assessment can be made both for general entry requirements and for specific entry requirements. Knowledge and skills are evaluated to assess if there is corresponding eligibility and if the collective competence is sufficient relative to the requirements stated by Linnaeus University and the education for which someone is applying.
Only someone who is a student is eligible to apply for a credit transfer. Do you have to be an active student right now?
No. The Higher Education Appeals Board has defined a student as someone who is admitted to and conducting higher education. That may sound as though the student has to be taking a current course, but the Higher Education Appeals Board had several times ruled that one can be considered a student even though one has finished one’s final course. (Example decisions from the Higher Education Appeals Board can be found below.)
Can the same credits be used for several credit transfers?
Yes, they can be, although two different courses credit transferred from the same merits cannot be included in the same degree.
Do students have to be admitted to the programme to be able to apply for a credit transfer of courses within the programme?
No. Linnaeus University has a duty to always consider a received application for a credit transfer, as long as the applicant is a student. Admission to, and potential fulfillment of pre-requisites for the course is irrelevant. It is thus only the merits cited and nothing else that may form the basis of the decision.
A student has applied to have credits transferred for a course which isn’t scheduled in their programme until many terms from now, how is the application handled?
Linnaeus University has an obligation to always consider a submitted application for credit transfer. In certain cases it is not possible to register an approved credit transfer directly in to Ladok, only when that course is currently offered. In these cases Linnaeus University will register the approved decision as soon as possible. The faculty will notify the Office of Student Affairs/credit transfers when a decision can be entered in to Ladok. The Office of Student Affairs will set a reminder in the registry. When the reminder is activated the faculty is notified that it is time to register the decision in Ladok.
Is an approved decision on an application for credit transfer a promise to have the credit transfer included in a degree?
No. Decisions on credit transfers and decisions on degrees are two different authority decisions, without relation to each other. The decisions are made by different decision makers in different departments. Credit transfers are decided according to local regulations by the affected examiner and degree decisions are delegated from the vice-chancellor to the individual degree evaluation officer. An application for a credit transfer should be considered independently regardless of whether the purpose is to apply for a degree containing the transferred credits or not.
Examples of decisions from the Higher Education Appeals Board
- Question about rejecting an application for credit transfer with reference to that the cited education has been part of the qualifying education. To the decision (only in Swedish).
- Question if a Higher education institution can reject an application for credit transfer for a specific education with reference to the student not being admitted to that education. To the decision (only in Swedish).
- Question if a Higher education institution has the right to demand that students conduct additional tests or other assignments when applying for a credit transfer. To the decision (only in Swedish).
- Question if an application for a credit transfer only can be considered towards a degree. To the decision (only in Swedish).
- A Higher education institute always has to conduct an individual consideration of an application for a credit transfer, based on the student’s knowledge and skills in regard to the education the student is applying for a credit transfer for. There is no room for rejecting an application for credit transfer with reference to general positions of the institution or local regulations. To the decision (only in Swedish).
- The applicant submitted an application for credit transfer in November 2017 to X University. X University rejected the application on the grounds that the applicant is not a student at X University. To the decision (only in Swedish).
Additional examples of decisions from the Higher Education Appeals Board can be found on the Board’s website, www.onh.se.