It is the standpoint of the University that all students have the right to feel safe and secure in their housing. A safe living environment is important to a successful study experience.
What happens now?
Over the last few years, the problems in the area have increased. It is very important for Dalarna University that its students have a good living environment as this gives them the best opportunity to be successful in their studies. Currently, the University is working with those involved to resolve the situation for both the short term and the long term. As such, several steps have been taken or are in the process of being taken:
- Tunabyggen has offered alternative housing solutions to those students who want to move because of the current situation. A few have requested new housing and have been offered somewhere else to live. At the time of writing (October 16, 2020), three students have moved to alternative housing, while most have declined the offer and remain living in the area.
- Working with the Student Union, the student coordinator at Tunabyggen and representatives from other organisations, Dalarna University has met students in Tjärna Ängar both to discuss the situation and to provide support and advice.
- University management has ongoing contact with Borlänge Municipality management and Tunabyggen management about the situation.
- Because of the situation that has arisen, the University Governing Board has invited representatives from Borlänge Municipality (its board and management) and Tunabyggen (management) to continue discussions at the University’s next board meeting in November.
- Dalarna University has appointed a representative to Borlänge Municipality meetings to discuss effective coordination of issues of safety and security so that it can remain updated and to provide input on the issue from the University perspective.
- In addition, Dalarna University has begun reviewing how to improve support services for international students in the long term.
- Together with the municipalities of Falun and Borlänge, the University is working on a new agreement focusing on creating a more attractive region for students.
- Along with other stakeholders, Dalarna University is continuing its work on the new campus in central Borlänge.
Who can help me if I have questions or concerns?
Due to the situation that has arisen, Dalarna University has increased its support services in order to help with questions people might have.
Students and friends/family can contact university support with questions about studies (firstname.lastname@example.org). Students with questions about housing can contact the housing companies Kopparstaden (Falun) and Tunabyggen (Borlänge) or the housing coordinators in Falun and Borlänge.
Dalarna University employees who would like help with questions arising from the current situation can contact their immediate manager or Dalarna University support (email@example.com), which is assisting with the issue.
Background and Current Status for Finding Housing
Student housing in the area of Tjärna Ängar has been a matter of discussion in previous years as well, with management from both the University and Borlänge Municipality. Since that time, a number of attempts have been made to improve the situation, especially with focus on improving student housing in the area.
It is the municipalities of Falun and Borlänge that are responsible for student housing in their respective campus towns. In 2017, a working group with representatives from both municipalities, the housing companies, the Student Union and the University was set up and has worked together to provide housing for students in Falun and Borlänge.
In addition, both municipalities have each employed a housing coordinator whose specific task is to work with housing issues on behalf of the municipalities. One point raised by the aforementioned working group and coordinators is that Dalarna University students must be able to have a wider housing choice. This includes students being able to choose housing regardless of the campus they will study at. Once admitted to the University, they can select freely from housing offered by the municipal companies Tunabyggen and Kopparstaden. This means that students can study in Falun and seek housing in Borlänge, and vice versa. There is also a large selection of housing, including rooms, that private landlords rent out: this is listed on https://studentdalarna.se. If you are a student and do not want to rent housing from Kopparstaden or Tunabyggen, you can receive help from the housing coordinators in Falun and Borlänge.
Information below describes the division of responsibility between the municipality, the housing company, the Student Union and a University with regard to student housing.
Facts: Division of Responsibility, Student Housing
- Student Housing is housing intended for students to which students normally have priority.
- It can be found in most university areas in some form.
- It can be owned by different owners, but not
- It is often owned by the local municipality or private property companies.
- Universities are a government organisation within the Ministry of Education and Research.
- Government organisations may not own property (there are specific exceptions).
- Therefore, a university cannot rent out student housing.
- A university can actively work to get, for example, a municipality to offer student housing but has no agency over the issue.
- The Student Union is an interest organisation for students that is independent from the university.
- The Student Union is the student equivalent of a trade union for businesses and industry.
- The relationship between a university and a student union is the same as that between a company and a trade union.
- In principle, a student union can own student housing: some do, but not the one in Dalarna.
- The Student Union often offer help to students seeking housing.
- The Municipality
- It can, in principle, own residential property;…
- … however, it normally does so indirectly: the municipality owns a property company, which in turn owns housing and is landlord.
- In many student towns, the municipal housing company also owns student housing.
- Tunabyggen is the municipal housing company in Borlänge. It owns and manages student housing in Tjärna Ängar.
- Tunabyggen is directly responsible for the conditions of their housing.
- The owner of Tunabyggen – the Municipality of Borlänge – can, as owner, give directives on housing and, as such, can demand that the company take action.
- Other stakeholders, including the University and student union, have no decision-making power over Tunabyggen.