The survey was about more than just students with a functional impairment such as dyslexia, ADHD or a physical disability, students could also indicate that they need extra support for reasons such as difficult family circumstances, running their own business or having a career in top-level sport.

In the HBO (higher professional education), almost half of all students with a support need have a dyscalculia or dyslexia diagnosis, while 30 percent in the WO (research-oriented higher education) sector fall in that category.


It is striking that a large number of respondents experience hindrances in their studies at least ‘a little’. In total, 85 percent of students with a support need end up struggling to some degree. In relative terms, students with a physical condition or ADHD experience the most hindrances.

Top-level athletes and student entrepreneurs have the fewest problems. Nevertheless, the entrepreneurs are the least satisfied about the facilities for their study programme. Some have no point of contact, others experience a lack of understanding for their support need or feel that they get too little financial support from their institution.


There is some good news too. In general, although students that need extra support are less satisfied than other students with the facilities available for their study programme, those differences, according to the ECOI, are minimal.

Facilities they are generally satisfied with include the exam facilities, such as extra time for exams and digital aids, and the one-to-one sessions with someone involved in the study programme. Communication relating to support via the website or a student portal is somewhat less highly rated. In almost all areas students with impaired motor skills are the most satisfied of those that need support.

Educational institutions

No major differences were identified between HBO and WO. In the HBO sector, students at Van Hall Larenstein University of Applied Sciences are the most satisfied. In the WO sector, Wageningen University and the University of Twente are the most highly rated among Bachelor’s students. Among WO Master’s students the University of Twente also got the best ratings.