Solving Italy’s student housing crisis at Student Living Italy

The Class Foundation has established its third year of developing Student Living Italy, taking place on 13 June 2024 in Milan.

A Class Foundation event | PBSA News
A Class Foundation event.

The Class Foundation has announced its upcoming event – Student Living Italy, taking place in Milan on 13 June 2024. The Forum is dedicated to breaking down barriers and fostering growth in Italy’s higher education and student housing landscape.

In collaboration with Politecnico di Milano, and key stakeholders, they will share their vision for Italy’s higher education sector. They will analyse student housing supply and demand, and provide an overview of the evolving Italian student population. 

Housing crisis

Italy, despite its global appeal as the 5th most popular tourist destination faces a significant housing crisis that impacts students as well. Esteemed universities and a vibrant cultural environment make Italy an attractive destination, yet international student enrolment was only 3% of the total student population until 2021, which is considerably lower compared to other European countries. 

On the other hand, Italy has witnessed an impressive surge of 35% in interest among international students in recent years. In contrast with this growth, Italy offers the lowest number of purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) beds, catering to only 4% of its student population.  

At the same time, from 2019 to 2023, Italy is starting to emerge as one of the three most searched destinations in Europe for international students, and there is also great scope for significant growth.

How will they look at these conflicting trends and the data that support them? Addressing, debating, and solving Italy’s student housing crisis is the central theme at the event in Milan, where decision makers will gather to identify the opportunities in the market and collaborate on solutions to support anticipated growth. 

The Class Foundation has established its third year of developing Student Living Italy, it will feature a range of informative sessions, data insights, and sharing best practices to create a vision and strategy between the public and private sector. 

“By harnessing the power of collaboration across public and private sectors, this forum is not just addressing the student housing crisis but also paving the way for Italy to become a global leader in international higher education. This forum is our call to action, uniting government officials, universities, and investors to create a thriving, interconnected ecosystem for students.” Kelly-anne Watson, Managing Director of The Class Foundation. 

Kelly-anne Watson, Managing Director of The Class Foundation

Students bring so much more than their inward financial contribution. They help breathe life into cities and have a lot to offer in terms of talent and skills. Their mere arrival helps the host countries invest in infrastructure and revitalise the growing population. At this point, Italy has not entirely seized on the opportunity to grow its international student numbers. It is a competitive market, so Italy is determined to increase the number of students exponentially.

Public and private collaboration

The Class Foundation urges for an increase in public and private partnerships to deal with the crisis.

“This is a call for private and public collaboration. Even if Italy is one of the key destinations for holidays across the globe, this doesn’t appear to be reflecting in international students’ growth. One of our main themes is bringing people together to see how we might shape the next steps, develop plans that will help bridge the gap between supply and demand. We shouldn’t limit this only to operators. We’re looking to see investors, universities and representatives of the local government” – Sam Bailey-Watts, Programme Director of The Class Foundation.

Sam Bailey-Watts, Programme Director of The Class Foundation

Student Living Italy Forum aims to unpack the issues that are inhibiting growth with a deep-dive into all the barriers and opportunities, to develop a roadmap for success and move towards developing a national action plan.

The Class Foundation has previously helped a similar plan in the Netherlands that involved key public and private stakeholders. We invite all interested in joining our event to find out more details and to register for the event on The Class Foundation’s website – Student Living Italy Forum.