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Table 23. First-time college graduation rates among 30 OECD countries: 1995, 2000, 2003, and 2008
 
OECD countries All tertiary-type A1 programs
(first-time graduation)
19952 20002 20032 20083
Australia 35.7 49.8
Austria 9.7 15.3 18.9 25.0
Belgium
Canada 27.2 27.2 28.2
Czech Republic 12.6 13.8 16.8 35.8
Denmark 25.2 37.3 42.7 46.8
Finland 20.3 40.8 47.7 62.6
France
Germany 13.9 18.4 18.3 25.5
Greece 13.9 14.5 20.3
Hungary 30.1
Iceland 20.3 33.2 45.2 56.6
Ireland 30.5 36.8 46.1
Italy 19.0 32.8
Japan 25.4 29.4 33.7 39.4
Korea
Luxembourg 5.3
Mexico 18.1
Netherlands 28.5 35.1 38.2 41.4
New Zealand 32.7 50.3 49.3 48.3
Norway 26.2 37.4 39.4 41.5
Poland 34.4 44.0 50.0
Portugal 14.9 23.2 32.6 45.3
Slovak Republic 15.0 25.2 57.1
Spain 23.9 30.4 32.3 33.1
Sweden 24.0 28.1 35.1 39.9
Switzerland 9.5 11.9 21.6 32.4
Turkey 6.0 8.8 10.5 19.5
United Kingdom 37.4 38.2 34.9
United States 32.7 34.4 31.9 37.3
OECD average 20.1 28.1 32.9 37.7
— Not available
1 Tertiary-type A programs are designed to provide sufficient qualifications for entry to advanced research programs and professions with high skill requirements. These programs have a minimum cumulative duration (at tertiary level) of 3 years' full-time equivalent, although they typically last 4 or more years, corresponding to bachelor's degrees in the United States.
2 For 1995, 2000, and 2003, graduation rates were calculated on a gross basis. Gross graduation rates refer to the total number of graduates (the graduates themselves may be of any age) at the specified level of education divided by the population at the typical graduation age at the specified level. In many countries, defining a typical age of graduation is difficult, however, because graduates are dispersed over a wide range of ages.
3 For 2008 and for countries with available data, graduation rates were calculated as net graduation rates. Net graduation rates measure the percentage of persons within a virtual age cohort who obtain a qualification from a given level of education, thus being unaffected by changes in population size or typical graduation age. The net graduation rate is calculated by dividing the number of graduates at each single year of age by the population at that age and summing these over all the ages.
NOTE: Mismatches between the coverage of the population data and the student/graduate data mean that the participation/graduation rates for those countries that are net exporters of students (for instance, Luxembourg) are underestimated and those that are net importers are overestimated. For more information on the method used to calculate graduation rates (gross rates versus net rates) and the corresponding typical ages, see the Education at a Glance 2010 website (http://www.oecd.org/edu/eag2010).
SOURCE: Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Education at a Glance 2010 OECD Indicators, table A3.2.

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