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This year, more international students coming to Copenhagen will have to join the room-hunt. This is after the university has cut back staff at the International Office
Each summer the housing season repeats itself in Copenhagen with too few rooms for too many students. The admitted students from Denmark sign up for residence halls and shared flats, hoping for a room in time for the start of semester.
Some take whatever they can get in overpriced apartments or stay with relatives in the far-out suburbs for months until they find a room.
Now more internationals may have to join this strenuous Danish room-hunt.
The International Office has not run clear of the university’s budget cutbacks and has had to fire a housing officer. With two housing officers instead of three, the office is scaling back its commitments, and will find less housing for the same amount of students.
»We will not be able to help lecturers and PhD students anymore, but it will also affect the international students. We will have to prioritize which students we can help to find housing,« says the Director of International Affairs at the International Office, John Edelsgaard Andersen.
One housing officer has until now found housing for approximately 350 students, and the International Office will try to find a more efficient and effective way to increase the amount of students to get a housing offer. But they cannot promise to help everyone, he explains.
»We do not yet know who will get an offer and who will not. It might be on a first come, first serve basis. This solution will affect the European students, as they have the latest closing date for applications,« John Edelsgaard Andersen explains.
Housing is not defined as a core service and is not directly profitable, unlike the money that the university receives for inbound international students.
This is why a housing officer has been laid off, according to the Education Strategy Unit or Uddannelsesservice, a higher administrative unit ultimately responsible to management for finding where to cut staff in this area.
»We have chosen to cut the activities with the least impact on the students. Full degree students have to look for housing on their own, because they can help themselves more easily. But it may also affect some exchange students,« says Executive Consultant Anni Søborg from the Education Strategy Unit.
The International Office has explained to university management that more international students might cancel their stay if they do not get any housing offer.
»This might be the consequence, but the university has already more than met its objectives for the number of inbound students,« says Executive Consultant Anni Søborg.