Student Living Italy

Globally, in 2021, roughly 220 million students were enrolled in formal post-secondary education, more than doubling the enrolment figure from 2000. It is estimated that there will be 380 million higher education students by 2030.

Europe remains a key destination for students and over 50% of the top 1000 universities in the world are located throughout Europe.

Italy welcomed nearly 50 million travellers and tourists in 2022 and was listed as the 5th most popular country in the world to visit. However, despite its global popularity, the number of international students as a proportion of its total student population sits below 3%. In comparison to Italy’s European neighbours that proportion sits lower than Germany, France, Spain, Portugal, and Iceland amongst many others.

Alongside this, Italy has the lowest number of purpose-built student accommodation beds, providing enough for only 4% of the student population. On a positive note, Italy is starting to emerge as one of the three most searched destinations in Europe for international students in the period 2019 to 2023 and there is also great scope for significant growth.

What you can expect:

Participant-driven event where you help set the agenda
Real-world case-studies from across the sector
Curated community networking
Hands-on impact driven workshops

Key Insights on Italy:

  • Italy boasts esteemed universities and a vibrant cultural environment for students, yet its international student enrollment hovers below 3% of the total student population.

  • Italy has among the lowest number of purpose-built student accommodation beds available, providing for just 4% of the population. This means there is substantial room for expansion and improvement.

  • From 2019 to 2023, Italy emerged as one of the top three most searched destinations in Europe for international students, signaling a burgeoning interest and vast growth potential.

Points for discussion:

The Class Foundation recognises the untapped potential and the immense value international students bring and presents "Student Living Italy," an in-person forum in Milan dedicated to unraveling barriers and fostering growth in Italy's higher education and student housing landscape

International students bring so much more than their inward financial contribution. They help breathe life into our cities and communities and give so much in terms of talent, skills and their mere arrival helps the host counties invest in infrastructure to help provide for our growing population and helps revitalise it.

Italy has not entirely seized on the opportunity to grow its international student numbers yet. It is a competitive market and as such, Italy is uniquely placed to increase the number of students exponentially.

The Class Foundation’s Student Living Italy event aims to unpack the issues that are inhibiting the growth with a deep dive into the barriers and opportunities in order to develop a roadmap for success and move towards developing a national action plan similar to the work The Class Foundation helped orchestrate in the Netherlands involving key public and private stakeholders.

Our forum will not follow the traditional format, we will encourage attendees to come together with our array of speakers from government, municipalities, city, public and private universities, investors, and operators, to commit to changing the current impasse. We want this to resemble a mixture between a Town Hall event and a workshop to really bring out the value of our community.


11:00 - 13:00

Networking Lunch & Workshop at Collegiate Milan

13:50 - 14:00

Welcome and Introduction

14:00 - 14:20

Setting the scene: The Higher Education sector in Italy

  • Importance of universities and students to Italian economy.
  • The last 10 years and a look forward.
  • Challenges and opportunities

14:20 - 14:35

Data Insight

14:35 - 15:20

Panel discussion: student accommodation development in Italy

15:25 - 16:30


16:30 - 16:45

Panel discussion: International student growth in Italy

16:45 - 17:35

Panel discussion: an eye to the future

18:15 - 19:45

Site tour and drinks reception at CX North of Milan


Paolo Reyneri

Student Housing Specialist


Giancarlo Tancredi

Deputy Mayor for Urban Regeneration

Municipality of Milan

Adolfo Baratta

Associate Professor

Roma Tre University

Federico Galardi



Joe Persechino

Chief Operating Officer


Chiara Fumagalli

Full Professor and Dean

Università Bocconi

Giuseppe P. R. Catalano

Full Professor

Sapienza University

Luigi Nassivera

Real Estate Lawyer

SI - Studio Inzaghi

Emilio Faroldi

Executive Vice Rector for the Development of University Spaces

Politecnico di Milano

Maurizio Carvelli

Founder & CEO


Paola Delmonte


Confindustria Assoimmobiliare - Student Housing Committee

Paola Pierotti

Co-founder & Professional Journalist



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Attending organisations
"We get to meet a lot of our existing clients and prospective ones as well."

Laura Wollard



"Internationalization is the key word for this event."

Jaime Caruncho


Micampus Residencias

"It is a great place to meet industry leaders and really get market insights."

Emily Sims



"The diversity of the people who come to conference is amazing, I don’t think we get to see a crowd like this in any other conference."

Henri Vuong



"We really respect the work that The Class is doing across Europe in expanding the footprint of student accommodation sector."

Brian Welsh



"This is hands down the coolest conference I have been to."

Jacob Chai



Interested in sponsoring this event?

  • On-site branding opportunities

  • Feature in online marketing promoting this event

  • Boost your brand's equity through speaking opportunities

  • Complimentary and discounted tickets for our events


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