Lecturers have more understanding of students with dyslexia, chronic illnesses, depression or other conditions. However, the information available about options for students with a disability at universities and universities of applied sciences still leaves a lot to be desired. And the provisions available for students with a functional impairment are even worsening.

That is the conclusion of the annual ‘Studying with a disability’ report, which was published today. The Centre for Higher Education Information (CHOI) was contracted by the expertise centre Handicap + Study to produce the report.

The report is based on the opinions of thousands of students in the National Student Survey. In academic education, 7,200 students with a functional impairment answered the questions, with 19,700 responding from higher professional education.

“Appreciation for the role of lecturers has continued to increase over the years”, wrote CHOI in the report. “But satisfaction regarding the actual options available is somewhat lower than six years ago. For many years, opinions have been most critical regarding information and intake.”

In previous surveys, disabled students were always more positive at the universities than in higher professional education, but this lead has disappeared, according to CHOI. The scores lie between 6.1 and 6.7.

Rotterdam eleventh in the ranking

The report ranks the universities and universities of applied sciences. Wageningen has ranked top among the universities for several years: they scored seven and the lecturers were given a 7.4 for their understanding of students with a functional impairment.

The University of Amsterdam appears bottom of the list with a mark just below six. Rotterdam doesn’t come out well in the ranking either. With a meagre six, EUR is placed eleventh out of the thirteen universities in the Netherlands.

Students with a functional impairment were able to give marks on various themes in the survey. CHOI based its research on a selection of the seven most important themes. They looked at opinions regarding the level of information, support and how intake interviews with people with a functional impairment are conducted.

The awareness and knowledgeability of lecturers were also taken into account. They also ranked the actual resources available and the educational institute’s adaptations for people with a functional impairment.

More and more students say they suffer a functional impairment. This is almost twelve per cent in higher professional education. Disabilities are less prevalent at universities: almost eight percent of bachelor degree students and six per cent of master degree students report a functional impairment.