Published: 22-02-2023 16:32 | Updated: 08-02-2024 12:46

Changed regulations for universities regarding housing to students

The regulations for which categories of international students and researchers can be offered accommodation from Swedish universities have recently changed. A new ordinance gives all universities the opportunity to offer housing to selected groups of students and researchers. However, this means that KI does not have the opportunity to offer housing to the same extent as before.

On January 1, 2023, the new ordinance regarding the possibility for universities to provide housing came into force. In the past, universities have only been able to offer housing possibilities to exchange students and visiting researchers. With the new regulation, three new groups have been added: fee-paying students, doctoral students, and researchers early in their career. However, Karolinska Institutet, KI, has together with eight other universities, been under a so-called "trial period", where KI has been able to offer housing to all students and been able to regulate which categories of students and researchers to rent out to themselves.

This is how housing rental at KI is affected

With the government's decision on the changed regulation and the change of categories that can be offered housing, KI will no longer be able to offer housing to the same extent. Categories who previously were offered housing and now are affected are students from EU, EEA or Switzerland who are accepted to a bachelor and master program at KI. Also, students who organize their studies independently, without being part of an exchange or mobility program (such as Erasmus +) are no longer eligible for housing. Students who are affected by the new ordinance and therefore are not eligible for housing with KI are recommended to look for other housing options. 

If you have a current agreement with Housing your current contract is not affected by the changed regulation. Your current contract is valid until the contract period has expired.

KI has stressed that the changed regulation creates obstacles

There are currently both internal and external dialogues regarding how the changed regulation affects KI’s ability to offer housing to international students and researchers. KI’s president Ole Petter Ottersen has stressed that the ordinance creates obstacles and expressed his views in an open letter to the Minister of Education Mats Persson in a post on his blog.

"The change of the regulation that was implemented at the beginning of this year on the possibility for universities to provide housing (SFS 2022:1515), means that we can sublet housing only to students in exchange agreements or students liable for tuition fees. This may affect the recruitment of students to international programs as EU citizens can no longer be offered housing. This also applies to doctoral students and visiting researchers. The group that is now, according to the change in the regulation, no longer accepted corresponds to around 30 percent of KI's tenants on an annual basis, historically speaking."

Since it is an ordinance, the decision-making mandate rests with the government, but KI is aware of the problems that arise for affected students and researchers.


Update and clarification: 

"Please note that the regulation change may affect the recruitment of students to international programs as students from EU/EEA countries and Switzerland who have been accepted to a bachelor’s or master’s program at KI can no longer be offered housing. Paying program students, students who come in mobility programs, doctoral students and researchers etc. will still be able to be offered housing, but in some cases new criteria must be met."

Karolinska Institutet, together with eight other universities (Uppsala University, Lund University, Gothenburg University, Stockholm University, Royal Institute of Technology, Malmö University, the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, and Södertörn University), have had the opportunity to sublet housing to all students and researchers. This so-called "trial period" has been running between 2010 and 31 December 2022.

Ineligible categories according to the new directive

This new directive affects incoming international students at KI as the following categories are now ineligible to get accommodation from KI:

  • Students coming from an EU- or EEA-country and Switzerland who have been accepted to a Bachelor or Master program at KI
  • Students who organize their studies independently without being a part of any exchange program that has an agreement with KI or are not part of a mobility program such as Erasmus +

Eligible categories according to the new directive

The following categories are eligible to apply for accommodation according to the new directive:

  • Exchange students are studying at a partner university that has an exchange agreement with Karolinska Institutet
  • Fee-paying students who have been admitted to a Bachelor or Master program at KI and are charged a tuition fee (students from a non-EU country)
  • PhD students who have been newly admitted to a PhD-program or doing a doctoral project at KI
  • PostDocs have a temporary employment/postdoctoral research position at KI
  • Guest researchers are not employed by KI but are conducting their research at a department at KI
  • Guest lecturers who have been invited to KI
  • Internship students and traineeship students who are coming to KI within Erasmus + or another mobility program

These will be handled in accordance with the old regulations:

  • Applications for accommodation with a requested moving-in date before June 4th, 2023, that were submitted before the 31st of December 2022.
  • Already signed contracts and submitted applications during 2022.

Current rentals will not be affected during their current contract agreement.

Applications submitted after January 1st, 2023, will be handled in accordance with the new regulations.