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If you go on a study exchange with a partner institution abroad (or in the French-speaking community of Belgium), that exchange semester or year will be recognised in your Howest curriculum: the course units you take up abroad will replace course units at Howest. Since your exchange will count towards your Howest diploma, you will not incur any study delay, and, after the exchange, you will continue with your Howest study programme with no interruptions related to having been abroad. Your study exchange will also appear on your Diploma Supplement as a part of your Howest curriculum.

Howest fully recognises the results obtained at the partner institution and determines the final scores for the course units done abroad. Your host institution provides us with a Transcript of Records mentioning the (exam) scores you obtained there, and as a part of the recognition procedure Howest will transfer those results to Howest scores. We recommend mobile students inform themselves via their international coordinator and prior to departure about which one of the 4 methods below will apply for the recognition of their results.

Grade conversion based on Grade Distribution Tables

Ideally, grade conversion is determined through the use of “Grade Distribution Tables,”, as recommended by the ECTS Users’ Guide (an official document in the framework of the "Bologna process).

Such a table offers an overview of all exam scores (only the passing grades) and the percentage of students that obtained a certain grade, for each of the passing grades. On the basis of this information, one can easily calculate cumulative percentages, which are also mentioned in the grade distribution table.

When putting together these tables of the sending and receiving institutions, it becomes possible to do a transparent and correct grade conversion. We look at which percentage of students of your receiving institution obtained the same result as you did, and we translate that to the Howest score obtained by a same percentage of students at Howest.

In case of overlapping percentages ranges Howest will use the average comparable grade; if the range consists of only two possible scores, Howest will take the highest one. Below, you can find Howest’s most recent Grade Distribution Table.

Consult the Grade Distribution Table

Guidelines for partner institutions who don’t use Grade Distribution Tables

Partner institutions who don’t use Grade Distribution Tables can use the following guidelines to interpret the Howest scores:

Score ECTS grade Description
16/20 up to 20/20 A EXCELLENT - outstanding performance with only minor errors The student has an exceptionally high command of the pursued competence(s).
14/20 &15/20 B VERY GOOD - above the average standard but with some errors The student has a very good command of the pursued competence(s) and distinguishes him/herself.
12/20 & 13/20 C GOOD - generally sound work with a number of notable errors The student has a good command of the pursued competence(s).
11/20 D SATISFACTORY- fair but with significant shortcomings The student has an adequate command of the pursued competence(s)
10/20 is the PASS SCORE > credits are acquired E SUFFICIENT - performance meets the minimum criteria. The student has acquired sufficient command of the pursued competence(s) in order to function and/or continue studying.
7/20 - 8/20 - 9/20 FX FAIL - some work required before the credit can be awarded The student has not yet acquired sufficient command of the pursued competences in order to function and/or continue studying.
6/20 and less F FAIL - considerable further work is required The student has not at all acquired sufficient command of the pursued competences.

Grade conversion based on a Pass/Fail result

Certain partner institutions, mainly in Scandinavian countries, give final evaluations in the form of a Pass or Fail instead of a grade or marks. In that case, the Howest Education and Exam Code stipulates that a Pass will be translated to a Howest score of 14/20, and a Fail will become a score of 7/20 or less.

Grade conversion in all other cases

If for a certain partner institution none of the above applies (which is often the case outside the Erasmus zone), the ECTS principles for grade conversion cannot be applied. In that case, Howest will use its own methodology to translate the scores, based by preference of clear arrangements with the partner institution. The grading system of a partner institution is mentioned in the bilateral agreement (or in its annex) between Howest and that partner university, and often also on the Transcript they issue, and on their website.

Appeal Procedure

If the student does not agree with the score given, they can submit an internal appeal, in accordance with the procedure described in the Education and Examination Regulations under "Internal and External Appeal".