Saturday, August 13, 2011

Akut Situation

Joe I know that the meteorologists of SMHI would frown at the suggestion, but it certainly feels like autumn has arrived. Daytime highs have fallen below 20°, rain storms are blowing through every other day or so, and the sheep have gone home for the season. Autumn means students, and students in Uppsala means housing trouble, as evidenced by this translation of the e-mail I received yesterday from the University rektor:
The University has downplayed the growing student housing problem for decades; clearly the most reasonable solution now is for incoming students to move in with the staff! I especially like the line, "[m]any of them come from far away," implying that the problem is all of those foreign students flooding the University's enrollment. In reality, foreign admissions are down drastically this year, due to recently imposed tuition fees for non-EU students. What's more, housing for foreign students is a disaster every year; it's only now that Swedish students are unable to find housing that it is suddenly an "emergency situation."

It's a very strange experience, living in a country where I am part of the mass of the unwanted immigrants.
  1. The title 'rektor' is properly translated into English as 'Vice Chancellor' despite the fact that there is no 'Chancellor'—the Vice Chancellor is the head of the University. Historically, all Universities in Sweden were viewed as being a single organization, with the Chancellor (actually, the Archbishop of Sweden) at the top overseeing the whole. Each location was run by a deputy of the Chancellor; hence, Vice Chancellor. Today, the name remains, even though the top position has been gone for ages.
  2. See: pretty much any post on this blog from 2008.

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