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Italy does not like foreign brains

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by Antonietta Pagano
ECIA Researcher
on WeST-Welfare, Society and Territory - 24 May 2011

The total of foreign students attending public University courses in Rome during the school year 2009-2010 was 9,037. This value is certainly positive because it shows that the Italian University system is capable of attracting an increasingly higher number of people. However, if we analyse in details from a quality point view the foreign student community living in Rome, we notice the presence of problems and discrepancies related to the right to education. As a consequence, the available human resources are not used as they should be and, in the worst cases, this human capital is confined to unqualified occupational sectors. Literature defines this phenomenon as “brain waste”. This phrase indicates, indeed, the unproductive use of human capital coming from abroad within the destination country.