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Comment: Trying to find a housing solution

We can't break the Danish law - but we are doing what we can. Response to the comment “No permanent address? Sorry, you have no life” from the director of housing and director of international education and grants

Dear David P. Lind and fellow international students.

In the article No permanent address? Sorry you have no life David P. Lind describes the very frustrating hunt for accommodation in Copenhagen and the unfortunate consequences of not having a permanent address.

First of all, we understand the frustration felt by international students when not being able to find housing in Copenhagen.

It is a great challenge to focus on commencing a study programme, integrating in a new culture and making new friends while at the same time having to devote a substantial amount of time looking for suitable accommodation.

Ongoing dialogue

As David describes, no permanent address means no CPR-number, means no bank account, no phone, and no job.

We at Education Services have an ongoing dialogue with relevant authorities to point out inconveniences or barriers due to current legislation, and we will discuss the matter of CPR-number and housing with the organization Universities Denmark which then can bring it towards the Ministry for Education.

David suggests that the university offers international students without an address use of the university’s address so that they will be able to receive a CPR-number.

Unfortunately, this is not possible. As the University of Copenhagen’s address only is approved for business purposes, our main address or any other of our campus addresses cannot serve as a housing address for international students. We have liaised with the other Danish universities, and we have not yet been able to locate a legal “work around” the Danish law.

Tackling the issues

The primary problem is the general lack of student housing in and around Copenhagen. We need to solve this problem.

The University of Copenhagen has already established an agreement with the municipality of Copenhagen to put focus on the current housing issue.

A work group has been established and is meeting on a regular basis to discuss the issue and find solutions to the lack of housing for students in and around Copenhagen.

Going forward

The Housing Foundation at the University of Copenhagen (KUB) is currently able to offer housing to all incoming exchange students and a good part of international full degree students enrolled at the University of Copenhagen.

Within the next two years, KUB estimates to be able to offer housing to all international full degree students based on initiatives aiming to solve the lack of housing for students in Copenhagen.

The University of Copenhagen is committed to our international student body, and by increasing the availability of housing options as well as addressing inconveniences in the legal framework, we strive to provide the best possible start to a new life in Copenhagen for our international students.

Yours sincerely

Charlotte Simonsen, Director of Housing, KUB and Trine Sand, Director of International Education and Grants, UCPH

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