Sweden's student association SFS has taken a closer look at accommodation in 33 university towns, including halls of residence, student rooms, shared apartments, and apartments in the municipality's housing queue.
Unusually, a total of 15 towns or cities have been given a “green” label, which means that students will generally get offered safe and reasonably priced accommodation within a month. Last year the number was nine towns.
In 11 towns, student accommodation is estimated to become available at some point during the autumn semester, and seven towns are red-listed, which means that getting a home will take more than a semester.
Ten towns, including Linköping, Karlskrona and Umeå, improved last year's rating.
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But one of the main reasons for why it has become easier to get an apartment is not a higher number of student apartments (although some towns do report having increased their range of student accommodation options), but rather the fact that so many fewer international exchange students are coming to Sweden this year.
There are several reasons for this, including exchange students choosing not to study abroad due to the coronavirus pandemic, students not being able to get a Swedish residence permit or visa in time, and universities teaching several of their courses online during all or parts of the autumn semester.
Crucially, SFS argues that although it has become easier to find student accommodation in some towns, a decision to increase the number of places at universities this year creates the opposite effect in other towns or cities in Sweden. The red-listed towns in the report are home to some 40 percent of all students in Sweden.