Studying and a chronic condition

A (chronic) illness is often not visible, but that doesn't mean that you as a student suffer less from your condition.

Functional limitations and symptoms resulting from a chronic condition can be very significant. Diminished capacity due to low energy levels, both physical and mental fatigue, pain, or limited mobility are outcomes of an illness that may lead to academic delays. Moreover, the use of medication can contribute to concentration issues, slow down your work pace, and potentially create time constraints due to necessary (para)medical care. Even relatively minor exertions can result in exhaustion, necessitating periods of rest for recuperation. Limitations stemming from the chronic condition can also have an impact on mental well-being. For instance, feelings of loneliness and isolation due to misunderstanding from teachers and/or peers (often arising from the inconspicuous nature of the) can come into play.

  • What can you do yourself

    Every student is different and has different support needs. Discuss with your study adviser what support needs you have to be able to study well with your chronic condition and what agreements can be made about them. The study adviser can advise and guide you on the possibilities of support and facilities within your study program. This might include periodic counselling meetings, support in drawing up a realistic (tailor-made) study plan, and test facilities such as an extension of test time or the use of a laptop with text-to-speech software for tests.


    • Inform teachers and fellow students in advance about your limitation and abilities. Inform them yourself or via the study adviser.
    • Discuss which tasks in the study group are feasible for you.
    • Make proper arrangements for meeting times and breaks in your working groups.
    • Collaborate online via Teams.
    • Share lecture notes via Canvas or SharePoint.
    • Make good planning: spread out work.
    • Make arrangements by asking feedback and questions to the lecturer during self-study via email/online/phone.
    • Consider using text-to-speech software and/or speech recognition software (ask the student counsellor).
    • Find practical tips on how to stay focused on the Study Skills webpage.
    • Find out what courses and training are offered that can support you in maintaining your mental health. In case of mental complaints, make an appointment with the student psychologist for an exploratory interview in which an assessment is made of your complaints and what kind of help you need.
    • Consult the student well-being website 'Are you okay'.
    • Information for higher education students with a support need:
  • What support is available at the UT

    As a student with personal circumstances, you can call on UT's various advisers and counsellors for study guidance and facilities that may be required. They think along with you and can help you reduce obstacles as far as possible and prevent or minimize study delay due to your circumstances.

    • Inform the study adviser of your program if you expect or experience bottlenecks due to your personal circumstances. The study adviser advises on the choice of subjects, setting up an adjusted study plan if the circumstance causes or has caused a study delay, or giving room for therapeutic treatment. The study adviser offers support in organizing facilities and necessary adjustments within your study program, for instance:
      • Coordinating internally what is necessary and possible (spreading study program, customization, relaxed attendance requirements, limiting building/room changes)
      • Support with communication to teachers/mentors.
      • Support with task-based study planning and time tension.
      • Consultation with the examination board on deviations from compulsory attendance and other types of assignments / alternative testing.
      • Support in arranging test facilities.
    • You can contact the student counsellor for independent advice and (financial) support arrangements in case of study delays due to your personal circumstances. Consult the student counsellor for advice and practical support if you expect or experience bottlenecks in the study environment because of your personal circumstances. Examples include the accessibility of educational buildings and campus, adapted furniture, restrooms, or compensatory software.
    • Consult the student psychologist in case of mental complaints due to your condition.
    • Supporting documents and medical certificate

    Supporting documents and medical certificate

    If you would like to make use of the facilities and arrangements, consult the step-by-step plan. Proof of your personal circumstances is required to claim facilities and arrangements.

  • Useful self-help resources

    Care aids via health insurer, home care shop, Municipality, and UWV

    • Certain aids for treatment, nursing, rehabilitation, or care are reimbursed by your own health insurer.
    • Simple (walking) aids can be bought or rented from a home care shop.
  • External support
  • Useful websites

    Accessible Academiaexternal link- A platform for disabled scientists, and students.