Studying with a disability or chronic illness

Do you have a disability or chronic illness? We aim to do everything we can to make your time at HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht a success and support you through any issues that may arise. 

student in library

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 accessing the right services.

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. Often these conditions are not visible, such as dyslexia, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), ADHD, rheumatism, mental illness, etc. 

If you are in doubt, indicate you need assistance in Studielink and talk with our student counsellor to see what they can do for you.

The procedure

Indicate in Studielink that you have a disability or chronic illness. If you have dyslexia and merely need some extra time on your tests, you don't need to speak to a student counsellor after that, although they are of course available for advice. In all other cases, you are advised to speak to a student counsellor about the facilities you need for your studies. You can indicate you want a meeting in Studielink or send us an email, and we will invite you for an intake.


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.

The intake

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 services, you will be assisted within your institute by your study career counsellor (SCC) or learning team supervisor. You may also contact the student counsellor you had your intake meeting with if you have questions or need advice. 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.