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“Budget” international student destinations are gaining momentum in Europe


The star of the show is Italy, where absolute demand has grown by a staggering 45% over the past 12 months.

Portugal also saw big growth, just under 29%, as did Poland, just over 28%.

“Italy is gaining momentum as a budget-friendly destination for students,” Cara Skikne, senior editor at Studyportals, told The PIE News.

“This, along with the high quality of education and good scholarship programs, has meant an increase in student demand.

“The cost of studying and living in Italy is low, especially in small towns – universities offer new students support in finding housing, scholarships, tuition waivers, among other measures,” Scicne explained.

Italy, she said, is actively marketing itself as a country with a student budget, especially in terms of the low cost of living.

Inside the EEA, interest in Italy also rose by 18%, which Skikne attributes to interest from Turkey, the UK and the Netherlands, but outside the EEA the biggest change took place.

“Student interest from non-EEA students grew even more – by 52%. This strong increase in interest is due to a surge in students from Iran, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka,” Skikne said.

Emphasis on budget options may also be the reason for the growing interest in Portugal and Poland.

“The cost of studying and living in Italy is low, especially in small towns”

In accordance with postgraduatethe cost of living in Portugal is very low: a room in the country’s capital Lisbon costs only 250 euros, while all cities in Poland also rank low: a room in Krakow costs only 150 euros.

In terms of bachelor’s degrees compared to master’s degrees, Italy also leads across the board, with demand for bachelor’s degrees increasing by 55% and for master’s degrees by 43%, followed by Poland and Portugal.

However, with a bachelor’s degree, Spain and Belgium follow Italy with 41% and 38% respectively.

The data for Denmark is not so positive – the country has seen the biggest drop in student interest, with a drop of almost 7% over the past year.

There was also a staggering 20% ​​drop in interest in obtaining a bachelor’s degree.

In the field of Masters, Iceland suffered the most with a 7% decrease in the last 12 months compared to 2020-2021.

“The number of English-taught programs in Denmark has fallen from 518 in 2012 to 353 in 2022 – the government is focusing on reducing courses taught in English at universities,” Skikne commented.

Preliminary estimates by Studyportals also say that an average student will need up to €1,200 per month to live in Denmark, making it one of the most expensive student destinations in Europe.

European students are slowly but surely leaving the UK behind as it suffers the biggest drop in demand from those living in the EEA, but it’s not all bad news for UK universities.

“Between July 2019 and May 2022, EEA students became less interested in studying in the UK, particularly after Brexit…a sharp 25% drop in interest from EEA students after Brexit was more than offset by an increase in interest from students from other countries by 33%. – EEA countries. Total pageviews increased by 21%,” Skikne explained.

“Germany remains Europe’s number one destination, but relative interest is waning”

Among non-EEA students, Malta is also gaining in popularity, with a 42% increase in demand, as well as Italy, which has outperformed demand with an increase of more than 50% in the last 12 months compared to the previous 12.

Skikne also believes that Germany should be watched, as current trends indicate that it may face demand problems.

“Germany remains the number one destination in Europe, but the relative interest is decreasing,” Skikne noted.

“While page views increased by 1% in absolute terms, in relative terms Germany saw a negative change in demand as the share of total page views decreased from 16% to 15%.

“Every year, the number of students searching on Studyportals platforms is increasing, but the interest in Germany, which is growing by only 1.2%, is well below the average growth rate,” she added.

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