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Italy: Changes in the composition of foreign students

The number of foreign students enrolled in Italy has increased, although it is still very low by Western European standards, and its geographical composition has undergone changes too, according to a report published by UCSEI (Central office for foreign students in Italy). The report, which provides data for the academic year 2003/04 and makes predictions for the year 2004/05, reveals an increase from 39,121 in 2002/03 to 41,775 in 2003/04. For the year 2004/05, on which no data are available yet, UCSEI expects a further rise, to about 45,000.

Albania is now the top sending country, with a share of 27.4 per cent of all foreign students in Italy, overtaking Greece (15.7 per cent), once the number one country of origin. Romania (five per cent), Cameroon (four per cent) and Germany (3.3 per cent) follow on the next ranks. This distribution has changed markedly from that of ten years ago, when Greece, Switzerland, Germany, Iran and Israel were the leading countries of origin.

The most frequent discipline chosen by foreign students is medicine, followed by economics, literature and philosophy, and engineering.

Dossier statistico studenti stranieri nelle universita italiane 2004/05