A diploma supplement (DS) is a complementary document given in addition to the diploma (diploma, degree, certificate, etc.) which aims to provide international transparency and academic/professional recognition. DS is designed to provide information about the level, context, content and usage area of the education, successfully completed by the individual, in addition to the original diploma. It should be an impartial document free of value judgements, evaluations about equality and recognition. Time is a non-dominative tool designed to prevent loss of money and workload. It is a document that can be adapted to local needs. The information format of DS was carried out by the European Commission and UNESCO/CEPES.
DS consists of eight parts (1. Information about the diploma holder, 2. Information about the degree received, 3. Information about the level of the degree, 4. Information about the content of the program, 5. The usage areas of the degree, 6. Additional information, 7. The approval of the diploma supplement, 8. Information about national higher education system). It is mandatory to fill each section. An explanation should be disclosed to indicate the reason in cases where the necessary information cannot be provided.
A description about the national higher education institution of the student, whose name is mentioned in the diploma, must be added to the diploma supplement.
What Is Not DS?
DS is not a CV, diploma or transcript. The purpose of the DS is to facilitate the recognition of degrees received in the academic and professional world and to increase transparency, but it is not an automatic system guarantying recognition.
What It Provides to Students
It is a more readable and easily comparable diploma abroad. It includes a comprehensive explanation about the academic career and competencies acquired during an education period. It produces an objective information regarding successes and competencies. It provides easier access to job or advanced study opportunities abroad. It accelerates employment process.
What It Provides to Higher Education Institutions
It improves transparency by facilitating academic and professional recognition. It constitutes a common structure accepted throughout Europe and protects it's national/institutional autonomy. It increases the acceptability of the institution abroad. It increases the employment rate of the graduates at national and international level. It prevents the loss of time in terms of providing answers to many frequently encountered questions about the content and range of validity of the diploma.
The Necessity of DS
It promotes transparency in higher education. It helps mobility, access and lifelong education and provides an impartial evaluation free of value judgements in terms of qualification and competency.
Information in DS
DS consists of eight sections which respectively are 1. Information about the diploma holder, 2. Information about the degree received, 3. Information about the level of the degree received, 4. Information about the content of the program, 5. The usage of areas of the degree, 6. Additional Information, 7. Approval and 8. Information about national higher education system.
When to give DS
DS is given to each student free of charge in a commonly used European language with diploma in pursuit of graduation.
Activities to Popularize DS
Higher education institutions are obligated to announce the aim and content of DS to their own students, local institutions, employers and all relevant groups.
The Relation between DS and EUROPASS
The EU Commission has decided to unite and combine international instruments of transparency, recognition and mobility. All the transparency and recognition instruments will be collected within the document of EUROPASS. Some of these documents are EUROPASS CV (Resume) and European Language Passport.
ECTS and DS LABEL
What It Will Contribute to Us?
Being an indicator of quality, the label will provide us transparency, recognition and prestige throughout European territory.
What Is Diploma Supplementary Label-DS Label and How to Receive One?
DS Label is a free and standardized document provided to all graduates in a common language or the international correspondence language of the relevant higher education institution, and it is given to higher education institutions by the EU Commission.
Higher education institutions fill up the application form and directly applies to the EU Commission with DS samples (an approved sample for associate's degree, bachelor's degree and doctorate degree programs), DS introduction materials (examples of all online and printed documents) and a document that confirms the higher education institution is able to give DS freely in order to receive DS Label. There are 58 European universities entitled to receive DS Label. Two of them are Turkish universities; Ege University and Gaziantep University.
What Is ECTS Label and How to Receive ECTS Label?
It is no longer just a medium of exchange; it is a generalization of student workload that occurs through learning outcomes. It is an accumulation system and a transparency instrument for degrees. It is a corner stone for quality and a tool for accreditation in higher education.
It is sufficient for the Information Guide to be web-based, in both the local language and English and in compliance with rules (If the education language of the institution is English, then it must be in English). ECTS must be used for first and second grades. ECTS credits must be defined via student workload and used correctly. Even though Learning Outcomes are still not obligatory, early application should be an advantage and studies should be accelerated. It is important that all ECTS instruments (Learning Agreements, Tor, etc.) are used completely and accurately. ECTS Label applications are made directly to the EU Commission. Its period of availability is three years; however, it can be canceled as a result of the investigation of ECTS Label experts. Only 14 universities in Europe have received labels, and there aren't any Turkish universities among them.
The Importance of ECTS Label and DS Label
Above all else, it is an important document for international recognition. On the other hand, the label is considered as a prerequisite for the EU Education Programs III. phase.
The Requirements to Receive ECTS and DS Labels
Course Catalog-Information Package: The course catalogs must be published in digital and printed media and on website and in at least two European languages within all modules of all academic units in order to receive ECTS Label. The information package of the university also must be prepared in digital, printed medias and on website and in two European languages. The information package of the university and the course catalog of our units contain information about the institution, programs and general information regarding students.
ECTS Point Scale and Credits: ECTS Credits must be integrated with local applications and used in terms of ECTS Points and student workload.
The Usage of ECTS Documents: ECTS Transcript Document, Learning Agreements, Academic Recognition documents must be used completely and accurately.
Exchange and Mobility Indicators: These are three different programs for three outgoing and incoming students and three documents to be prepared for three different countries.
March 1 of each year is the deadline for application. The applications are examined and the list of the admitted institutions are announced on their website. The deficiencies of the units with negative outcomes are reported.