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University of Copenhagen
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Thousands of Copenhagen students on housing waiting lists

Waiting lists even longer in 2015 for apartments, dorms and residence halls. Students shouldn't expect an offer for at least five months, sources say

It was bad last year. But according to numbers that the University Post has collected, the waiting list in 2015 is awful.

August/September is always the worst time of year for students to find accomodation in Copenhagen, with both incoming Danish and non-Danish students vying for a place to live. This year is no exception. 12,000 students have registered so far at the Student Accommodation Office Copenhagen (KKIK). Last year the number was 10,000, according to administrator Gitte Peitersen.

“The housing market in Copenhagen is under pressure, which means that the students who already live in one of our dormitory rooms are staying longer. Before they would buy a place to live or rent a flat together with their friends after a year, but now they are staying in the dorm for one-and-a-half years on average because the housing prices are increasing. This means there is a plug in the system,” Gitte Peitersen says.

Bypass the waiting list

KKIK has a so-called ‘Studystartlist’ which was previously called the ‘acutelist’ where it is possible to apply until 31 August if you are in desperate need of a place to live and meet certain criteria.

Students who are accepted will get ahead on the normal waiting list. However master’s students and exchange students are excluded from applying.

“The myth that students in Denmark are spoilt and only want to live centrally in Copenhagen has to be refuted”

You should also have minimum one hour of transportation from your current residence to your study and be able to provide documentation of this.

Trying in Roskilde

The situation is also bleak at CIU which also rents out dormitory rooms and apartments to students.

More than 14,000 have applied for a place to live in the Copenhagen area, according to general manager at CIU Rasmus Okholm-Hansen.

This is around the same number as last year which was historically high, but in nearby Roskilde 35 kilometres from Copenhagen there is a 25 per cent increase in the number of applications.

“Many students are applying in Roskilde because they know it is impossible to get a room in Copenhagen. The myth that students in Denmark are spoilt and only want to live centrally in Copenhagen has to be refuted,” Rasmus Okholm-Hansen says.

He adds that if you are homeless and willing to live in unpopular areas such as Ballerup or Tingbjerg it will still take around five months before you can move in to your new place.

That is in the low season and not now when new students flow to Copenhagen, he adds.

Can only help some

The University of Copenhagen Housing Foundation (UCPH Housing Foundation) is offering special assistance to find a place to live to selected groups of international students coming to Copenhagen.

“…we are doing the best we can, but unfortunately I don’t think we will be able to find accommodation for everybody,”

All exchange students and Erasmus traineeships can get help, but only full degree students attending the Faculty of Science, The Faculty of Health Sciences and Medicine or the Royal School of Library and Information Science can get assistance.

According to Charlotte Simonsen, director of the UCPH Housing Foundation, 40 students are still on the waiting list to get accommodation.

“Usually we would have found a room for all the students applying at this time, but UCPH has admitted more international students this year. We are cooperating with all our contacts and we are doing the best we can, but unfortunately I don’t think we will be able to find accommodation for everybody,” she says.

Private accommodation is expensive

According to the survey »Den gode velkomst« one out of every three international full degree students don’t have accommodation when they arrive in Denmark.

The same goes for one out of every ten exchange students.

If they try to find a room or an apartment in the private housing market they will be faced with increasing rental costs.

The average monthly prize for a room in the Copenhagen area it is now DKK 4,115, and for a two-room apartment it is DKK 8,175, according to

The University Post will be following this story closely in the coming weeks.

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