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Graduates are those who successfully complete an educational programme during the reference year of the data collection. One condition of a successful completion is that students should have enrolled in, and successfully completed, the final year of the corresponding educational programme, although not necessarily in the year of reference. Students who do not complete the final year of an educational programme, but later successfully complete a recognised "equivalency" examination based on knowledge learned outside of the education system, should not be counted as graduates. Successful completion is defined according to the graduation requirements established by each country: in some countries, completion occurs as a result of passing a final, curriculum-based examination or series of examinations. In other countries, completion occurs after a specific number of teaching hours has been accumulated (although completion of some or all of the course hours may also involve examinations).
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