There are about 5,000 Indian students studying in Italy— both in private and in public universities. Most of there students are in public universities. The Italian and foreign student will be treated equally once the student is enrolled into an Italian University.
Of the 5,500 student visas issued for Indian students, about 75 per cent of that has been issued from the Mumbai office. We are proud of that and we want to do more. However, we also have a very high rejection rate.
We do reject one-third of all applications because we really have a goal. We want the best students. I strongly believe that Italy can offer the students a lot more than they can imagine. The history of Italy and success many Italian and their organisations have had is far reaching. Some success are Jeep, Fiat Chrysler, Ducati, etc.
Many of the Italian companies manufacture in India. There are about 632 Italian companies that are present in India. About 200 of them have invested in India. Going back to education, I would like to add Italians have mastered soft skills. It is what we are and it is in our DNA. So, we can either be a super fashion designer or you can be an engineer, or can start your own new company.
Most of the students going to Italy from India are girls. This is mainly because my country offers a very safe environment and there are two direct flights everyday connecting both countries. So it is easy to reach. But this relation is not limited to Indian students travelling to Italy, but also other way round. We want international students to stay back, but we want them to be in the right place.
We want students that pass from our universities to be global students. These students can be part of any Italian companies or any other companies that are present anywhere in the world.
While I do not have figures with me right now on the number of Indian students staying back in Italy every year, but I am aware that there are 1,50,000 Indians residing in Italy— making it the first continental European country with that many Indian residents.