• Sweden's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Students slam housing idea: 'We're not lab rats'

The Local · 11 Jan 2013, 15:22

Published: 11 Jan 2013 15:22 GMT+01:00

"If you want to simplify building rules, student housing is the first place to start," Ulf Perbo, top aide (statssekreterare) to Sweden's housing minister, is quoted as saying in a construction trade magazine.

He suggested students could do without a common room and a kitchen, and that sacrifices in living area were an option.

"It's not a life threatening catastrophe," Perbo told the magazine.

Erik Pedersen, vice chair of Sweden's Student Unions (Sveriges förenade studentkårer), reacted angrily.

"This shows the attitude that students are second-class citizens," he told Sveriges Radio (SR).

"We are not lab rats."

Meanwhile, Housing Minister Stefan Attefall hurried to his aide's defence.

"The quotes are exaggerated and not presented in context," he said.

A record number of students were accepted to Stockholm universities at the beginning of the academic year, yet at the same time the student housing situation has never been so dire.

Estimates at the time said only 15 percent of students had ready access to accommodation provided by the university.

Story continues below…

The National Board of Housing, Building and Planning (Boverket) is currently investigating if it is possible to simplify construction rules and regulations. It should present its report in the summer of 2013, reports SR.

The Local/at

Follow The Local on Twitter

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

17:04 January 11, 2013 by NataBee
No common room is still okay, but no kitchen???? I mean, WHAT??? So we students should be happy with only a shoebox next to a poop hole, we can survive with ketchup & spaghetti, no cooking is probably a proper saving strategy?

Ridiculous! Who are they to decide what other human beings can go with or without?
18:53 January 11, 2013 by Achilles7
Here's a crazy idea: why not go back to the good old days when you actually had to be quite intelligent to go to university and they only accepted a select few? Nowadays every man and his dog can get into university - and they do - hence the shortage of facilities.
19:20 January 11, 2013 by john201004
He is just nuts. Stupid...
21:50 January 11, 2013 by sparc
@Achilles7: Your perspective is simply wrong. Our civilization has evolved too much comparing to the 50s or even the 80s, and with that evolution comes a need for great numbers of educated people.

I work in IT so I'll use that field as a first example. Bare with me...

Back in the first years of computers, systems used to be around a few thousand lines of code and building them the art of a few bright minds. By the turn of the century, a common system would consist of hundreds of thousands of lines. Today a simple desktop pc uses many millions (just Office is a few million lines).

Designing such systems requires highly sophisticated education and much experience (call me MSc and in some cases even PhD, just as a minimum requirement). Contrary to designing, implementing such complex systems is not a task for a select few; it would just take forever. Thus the need for plenty of BSc equipped programmers. Unfortunately, high school is not enough for acquiring such skills. It also takes experience and that needs time.

The select few you are talking about are the ones that today continue their studies into MSc and PhD degrees, eventually becoming software architects. Most stop at BSc and are employed as implementers/developers. Think of it as the distinction between architects and builders.

Now that i think about it, you can reach the same conclusions through the field of construction. Compare today's skyscrapers to the smaller, simpler buildings of the past. Just imagine how many factors have to be considered if such buildings are to be erected in a very hostile environment (Dubai) or any earthquake-prone country (i.e. Japan, west coast USA, Greece etc).

Other examples are almost all fields of study, may it be medicine, humanities or classical science.

Bottom line, if you enjoy today's technological miracles and the quality of life they provide, you should be thankful for the many people who decide not to be farmers and go to the university.
13:54 January 12, 2013 by Scepticion
before people complain, perhaps they should look how student dorms in the USA and the UK are organized, even at top universities like Harvard etc. Two people per room, common bathrooms, no kitchen, large common cafeterias, etc. So, one could take the opposite view that Swedish students are spoiled.
02:17 January 14, 2013 by DAVID T
Students always complain - If they don't like it then leave
Today's headlines
Swedish ex-prime minister Thorbjorn Fälldin dead at 90
Fälldin in 1981. Photo: TT/FLT-PICA

Thorbjorn Fälldin, the former farmer who became prime minister in Sweden's first non-Social Democratic government since World War II, has died at the age of 90.

Swedish police fear serial rapist on loose in Malmö
The attacker is thought to be in his mid-twenties and had been seen riding his bike in the area prior to the incident. Photo:TT

The rape of a 14-year-old girl in Malmö has led police to conjecture that there may be a serial rapist operating in the southern Swedish city.

Stockholm Pokémon hunter impaled on metal fence spike
Another Swede playing Pokémon Go in Stockholm. Photo: Izabelle Nordfjell/TT

He tried to climb a fence to find more Pokémon.

Video
When Alicia Vikander taught us to put our pen in the bottle
Swedish actress Alicia Vikander and US talkshow host Jimmy Fallon. Photo: Tonight Show/NBC/Screenshot

We're not even sure if that's a euphemism or not.

Muslim man fired for not shaking women's hands
File photo of people shaking hands. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

A man is suing a local council in Sweden after he lost his job for refusing to shake hands with female colleagues.

Swedish bus driver who hit asylum seeker: 'I'm not racist'
The story has grabbed global headlines. Photo: Nobina

A Swedish bus driver caught on camera beating and kicking an asylum seeker has for the first time spoken to media.

Stay out, the water's filthy! Germs ruin Swedes' swims
Seagulls only.

Fancy a dip? If so, you might want to keep your mouth shut.

Man kicked off flight from Sweden over 'Isis tattoo'
A Norwegian plane at Stockholm Arlanda Airport. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

A flight from Stockholm was delayed on Thursday after it was claimed that one of the passengers had an Isis flag tattooed on his arm.

Homes
In pictures: Are Swedes falling in love with colour at last?
What happened to the Swedish greyscale? Photo: Linda Åhman

Antonia Wiklund of Houzz.se investigates why the Swedes are abandoning their sleek and clean interior design for vibrant colours.

The Local Recipes
How to make Swedish cold poached salmon
Cold poached salmon. Photo: John Duxbury/Swedish Food

Poached salmon is a Swedish summer classic. Food writer John Duxbury shares his recipe with The Local.

Sponsored Article
Gran Canaria: Where Swedes go to work (and play)
National
Watch this Swedish weather host leave his fly open... on live TV
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
The Local Voices
'I fled war in Syria. I never expected to be beaten in Sweden'
National
WATCH: Asylum seeker brutally beaten by Swedish bus driver
Blog updates

14 July

Boris Johnson: why Britain’s new foreign minister is cordially loathed (Globally Local) »

"There are lots of things to say about Boris Johnson, Britain’s new foreign secretary. He is…" READ »

 

11 July

Swedish quizzes (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I have created some quizzes you can take online to test your Swedish skills. Here…" READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
5 reasons you should try dating with The Inner Circle
Technology
Why everyone is talking about Sweden's GTA pride parade
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
National
EU hits truck cartel with record price fixing fine
Society
OPINION: Why Sweden is the most extreme country in the world
The Local Voices
'There is equality in accommodation in Sweden: Everyone is suffering'
Sponsored Article
What can newcomers learn about Sweden at Almedalen?
Gallery
Property of the week: Gräsö, Östhammar
Sponsored Article
Five easy ways to travel more often
Gallery
People-watching: July 15th-17th
National
How to make sure you're not caught out by Sweden's old bank notes
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Business & Money
Why Sweden has been named the most innovative country in Europe
Sponsored Article
'Sweden's Lauryn Hill' touches the country's musical soul
National
Terror attack: what should you do?
National
French expat on the moment he was assaulted by a Stockholm bouncer
Technology
Gunman? Nah, smartphone Swede
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
The Local Voices
'If the war in Syria ended today, would you go back?'
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
The Local Voices
‘I feel like I’m living in a grave!’
Sponsored Article
Local guide: the best of Berlin
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Sweden's Princess Victoria celebrates 39th birthday
Sponsored Article
Why you need a EuroBonus American Express Card
Gallery
People-watching: July 13th
National
Swedes discover surprise mountain
Politics
What Sweden's home secretary thinks of Britain's new PM
Gallery
Property of the week: Smedjebacken, Dalarna
The Local Voices
'Even xenophobic Swedes can be polite’
Politics
WATCH: A very Swedish take on Brexit...
National
Swede's fury at Daily Mail's Bråvalla 'lies'
Gallery
People-watching: July 8th-10th
National
Sweden and Denmark trolled each other on Twitter and it's hilarious
The Local Voices
'The best time to be smuggled to Europe is August 20th, 2015'
National
ANALYSIS: Why Swedes are talking more about immigration than before
National
Watch Icelanders cheer their Swedish hero coach
The Local Voices
Swedes: Stop obsessing over your material life and start talking to strangers
3,336
jobs available