Italy losing ground

International students: is Italy losing ground?

International students’ enrolment, according to the Italian Ministry of University and Research (, in Italy slowed down in the academic year 2018/2019.

On a yearly basis this means 300 units less only, but what really matters is that there was no real growth.

Since 2010, enrollments of degree-seeking students have increased from 12,793 units to 15,170, with a growth of 18.5% overall, or just over 2% a year. Not an irresistible pace.

Today there are some 89,000 foreign students in Italy, out of a total of about 5 million worldwide. Italy, therefore, accounts for 1.78% of the global market.

The projection for 2026 is that this number will reach 7 million, i.e. a further increment of 40%. If Italy grows, at best, at a pace of 2% a year (and some years does not grow at all), the 1.78% share is bound to decrease.

What’s worse, the Italian population is ageing faster than any other in the world, and therefore the cohort of Italian students who will enrol at the university is also bound to drop noticeably

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