Studying with a disability or chronic illness
Almost 10% of our students have some sort of (functional) disability or chronic illness. While this may add an extra challenge to your studies, we strive to make all of our programmes accessible to everyone. We look at every student individually, so when you register via Studielink, it is important that you indicate you have a disability or chronic illness and need support.
What constitutes a (functional) disability or chronic illness?
When talking about a disability, we mean all physical, sensory and psychological conditions that are chronic and may affect your studies. That is, at HU we strive to accommodate students when it comes to both visible and non-visible conditions (such as dyslexia, dyscalculia, chronic fatigue syndrome, ADHD).
What facilities can you use to help you study?
Do you need extra support during your studies? Indicate your request for assistance when applying in Studielink or make an appointment with a student counsellor. Even if you’re not sure or dealing with special personal circumstances, you can talk to us. Together, we'll explore the possibilities HU can offer and what help fits your needs.
Find out how you can request specific facilities with our checklists. These lists include information about:
- parking with a disability parking card
- facilities inside our buildings and in classrooms
- unimpeded study planning
- online support
- finances and student housing
- extra arrangements for tests
Indicate in Studielink that you have a disability or chronic illness. If you have dyslexia and only need some extra time on your tests, you don't need to talk to a student counsellor. Of course, they are available for advice if you need any.
In all other cases, you are advised to talk to a student counsellor about the facilities you may need during your studies. Planning a meeting with a student counsellor is easy. Simply indicate this in Studielink or send us an email.
To apply for extra time on your tests, you need to present an official statement to the International Office indicating you have dyslexia. Your student counsellor needs to approve this application. If granted, this may entitle you to 33% extra time on tests.
As our international students come from many countries around the world, we assess each application individually. Please contact the International Office if you have dyslexia and need support.
Once you have planned your meeting (intake) with our student counsellor, there are a few things to think of:
It is vital you prepare your meeting at HU well. Make a list of things we need to know to assist you with your studies. For instance: note how many hours per day/week you can allocate to your studies and which (technical) aids you may need during tests, classes and while studying.
Our student counsellor is there to help you. Together you discuss the issues you may face during your time at HU and how we can best accommodate your needs. We focus on solutions.
Things you may discuss:
- How to plan your studies
- Guidance and support during your studies
- Extra facilities to suit your needs
- Accessibility to our buildings and services
The student counsellor will also discuss with you what we cannot offer. And of course, everything you discuss with them is confidential.
Because you need to officially apply for special services, you'll fill in your application together with your student counsellor.
For this you need:
- to be fully registered as a student at one of HU's degree programmes;
- an official diagnosis (medical certificate, formal proof of dyslexia, notice from your physician or therapist, etc.).
After the intake
After your intake and allocation of facilities, you will start receiving guidance by a study career coach (SCC) or a learning team supervisor who is part of your degree programme.
In the meantime, if you have any questions or need advice, you can always contact the student counsellor with whom you've had your intake meeting. They are happy to help!
The Equal Treatment Act
According to the Dutch Equal Treatment Act, those with disabilities are entitled to relevant accommodations to ensure their access to goods and services. In the case of students, this may include extra time during exams. A condition is that these accommodations do not place undue pressure upon the university. Do you want to know more? You can find further information and support via the website of The Netherlands Institute for Human Rights.