Students talking a sunny day on campus.

Broad consensus that the pace of student housing construction must increase

​What can we do together to accelerate the construction of student housing? That was the question at a workshop that Chalmers, the University of Gothenburg and the Gothenburg United Student Unions arranged on 6 May. More land to build on ¬– preferably earmarked for student housing – quickly proved to be a key issue. Increased collaboration between the city, higher education institutions, the business community and student organizations will also be decisive for the outcome.
There has long been a shortage of student housing in Gothenburg. In 2016, the collaboration group Gbg7000 + started with the goal of building at least 7,000 new student housing units from 2016 to 2026. Now, half that project time has passed and a gathering of resources and more cooperation is needed to achieve the goal. Therefore, representatives of Chalmers, the University of Gothenburg, the student unions, the City of Gothenburg, the County Administrative Board, business, foundations and municipal and parliamentary politicians gathered to discuss the issue.

Big commitment

There are lots of projects underway and there is a great deal of commitment. Among other things, the Gothenburg United Student Unions (GFS) plan to apply for Gothenburg to become the student city of the year 2025-2026.
“This workshop marks the start of that,” says Petter Häggberg, chairman of GFS. “For us to succeed, the student housing issue needs to be resolved and good collaboration between different actors in the city is also crucial.”
Housing is a crucial issue with a powerful effect on people’s lives, and if the housing shortage can be solved, many other problems will disappear, both for the individual and society. There is also a need for different types of student housing that are suitable for younger students who come directly from school, as well as older postgraduate students with families.

Lack of land

Chalmers and the University of Gothenburg are centrally located and most students want to live close to their campus. But the city center is crowded and there is a lot of competition for land. This means that the lack of land is one of the biggest bottlenecks for housing construction. Complicated regulations, long processing times for building permits and detailed plans as well as high construction costs are other obstacles where constructive solutions are needed.

The important role of students for the city

There is a great consensus about students' important role for Gothenburg and a desire that as many as possible remain even after their studies. Companies and organisations have a growing need for a trained workforce, both to establish themselves in the city and for their further growth. Being able to broaden the labour market by, for example, placing more authorities in Gothenburg is also desirable.
“We hope that we can now move forward in a collaboration to ensure in the long run that we in Gothenburg can offer all those who want to study at Chalmers or GU a reasonable accommodation. Campus studies and student social activities on campus are highly ranked by students and with a solution for access to student housing, Chalmers can offer an incredibly attractive whole for future students. In this way, we support the vision of Gothenburg as a city of knowledge,” says Chalmers President Stefan Bengtsson.

Text: Henrik Dahlberg
Photo: Johan Bodell

Page manager Published: Thu 20 May 2021.