Opinion piece on rents charged to academic institutions
In an opinion piece in Svenska Dagbladet on 16 September 2023, the chairs of the governing boards of the University of Gothenburg, Stockholm University and Uppsala University argue that Akademiska Hus should not be required to operate at a profit.
In the opinion piece, the three university board chairs write that: “Universities and other higher education institutions primarily rent their premises from the state-owned company Akademiska Hus. In recent years, the government has raked in between nearly SEK 2.5 billion and SEK 3 billion per year from this company. It is not reasonable that the government demands back so much of the money that it allocates to education and research.”
They assert in the opinion piece that the remarkably high rental costs that the state charges its higher education institutions pose a risk of adversely affecting the HEIs’ core mission of education and research.
They state that “It may be appropriate for a government authority or state-owned company to manage the properties used by social institutions. They should be able to charge rents that cover the costs of management. However, they should not be profit-making and act as if they were a landlord like any other on the property rental market.”