Cara Skikne

Shifts in student interest for European destinations


Student interest, based on the anonymous behavioural data of tens of millions of visitors to Studyportals in the year to March 2022, shows the meteoric rise in popularity of destination Italy for students around the world.

Student interest in Italy soared by 45.2%. It has seen the highest growth in the European Higher Education Area for interest in both Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes. Italy is now the 4th most popular European destination in Europe, after Germany, UK, and The Netherlands.

Italy has been gaining momentum as a more budget-friendly destination for students. This, together with the high quality of education, and good scholarship programmes has meant rising student demand. Interest for Italy from within the EEA is up 18.3% driven by interest from Turkey, the UK and the Netherlands.

Student interest in Italy from Non-EEA students has surged even more – up by 51.9%. This strong growth in interest is driven by surging student from Iran, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

A focus on more budget-friendly options may explain, in part, why Portugal and Poland also saw strong growth in student interest, both up over 28%. Meanwhile, pageviews for Denmark and Iceland fell by 6.8% and 6.3% respectively.

Germany remains the number one destination in Europe but relative interest in Germany is waning. Each year the number of students searching on Studyportals platforms increases. Interest for Germany though, rose just 1.2%, well below the average growth rate for student interest across Studyportals.

For the UK, the dramatic 25% drop in student interest from EEA after Brexit, has been more than offset by a 32.5% growth in student interest from non-EEA countries. Total pageviews rose 21.4%.

Meanwhile, a chronic shortage of student accommodation in the Netherlands has not dampened student interest which rose 6.7%.

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