The Spaces Between Numbers: Getting International Data on Higher Education Straight

The Spaces Between Numbers: Getting International Data on Higher Education Straight

A new report from the Institute for Higher Education Policy's Global Performance Initiative looks at data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and finds that some of it understates bachelor degree graduation rates in the United States while overstating rates in certain other countries. Funded by the Lumina Foundation for Education, the report, The Spaces Between Numbers: Getting International Data on Higher Education Straight (59 pages, PDF), found that the majority of the twenty-seven nations examined are producing bachelor's degrees or equivalents at roughly the same rate in roughly the same time span. For instance, while the percentage of four-year college students in the U.S. who graduate within six years from the same institution where they began their college experience is 56 percent, the percentage who graduate period is 63 percent — a rate comparable to France's seven-year rate of 64 percent and the Netherlands' seven-year rate of 65 percent.