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Better help with accommodation for foreign researchers

Published Nov 20, 2012

KTH increases the support to foreign researchers and teachers. From 1 November, KTH has a central reception and service for the approximately 1,500 international professors, Ph.D. students and other researchers who are working at KTH. The immediate focus is to improve the accommodation service for those recently arrived.

Lotta Rosenfeldt, KTH Relocation.

Up until now, the reception of foreign teachers and researchers has exclusively been handled by the KTH Schools. Starting from November, there is a central coordinator, KTH Relocation. The purpose is to ensure consistent high quality in the support KTH offers. This currently entails everything from welcome activities and accommodation service to help with authority contacts, bank service and social networks.

The most highly prioritised issue is help with accommodation. During the autumn, Lotta Rosenfeldt, who is the officer in charge, has made many agreements for a better accommodation service.  From 1 November, Ph.D. students, researchers and teachers will be able to book accommodation and take advantage of the agreements that have been made regarding accommodation service.

This includes three apartment hotels in Kista, Stadshagen and in Gärdet and around ten one-bedroom apartments in Bergshamra. Furthermore, Lotta Rosenfeldt has made a central KTH agreement with the agency Bostaddirekt.se for sub-leased apartments. She also plans to make additional agreements regarding accommodation solutions during the autumn.

However, the idea is not for KTH to arrive at a permanent solution to the issue of accommodation for the foreign researchers and teachers that come to campus.

"We will be a support for them when they are new at KTH and offer them good solutions for their initial time with us. This may be a few months or as much as a year. But we don't plan to solve any long-term accommodation needs", says Lotta Rosenfeldt.

From the turn of the year, Relocation will also invite all new foreign employees to information meetings. The meetings will be held every week and have different themes, such as employment benefits, rights and responsibilities, questions regarding bank services and contacts with the authorities.

The information meetings will be held in the meeting room in the new building of the University Administration at Brinellvägen 2 (former Red Cross hospital).

"Our ambition is to make contact with all individuals in our target group. During the autumn, we will meet the contact representatives for all schools in order to build a constructive collaboration with them", says Lotta Rosenfeldt.

"The primary contact for foreign researchers will continue to be conducted via the respective school.  It is important and natural that the first and daily contact takes place at the school, in the context of the area in which you are employed," she says.

"Relocation will not compete with the schools' individual activities. Most schools are doing a great job in regards to international researchers and teachers. But the central support has been missing, which has made us vulnerable. The purpose of Relocation is to coordinate the activities and ensure that all foreign researchers and teachers receive fair and equal support and a good start at their new place of work, KTH".

Text: Christer Gummeson