Protocol on rights and obligations relating to students with disability

Students with a disability can apply for facilities that will help them to study successfully. A protocol has now been established that sets out the rights and obligations of both the University and the student.

Preventing drop-out

Around 10% of students have a visible or unseen disability

Around 10% of students have a visible or unseen disability

Around 10% of students have some form of functional limitation. This may be psychological or physical, varying from paralysis to dyslexia, or from MS to autism.  The protocol contains guidelines for minimising the study delays incurred by students with a disability, improving the feasibility of the study programme and preventing drop-out. This protocol is the manifestation of the legal right of all students with the relevant prior education to be able to follow an academic programme.

Organisation in hands of Fenestra

Students can indicate when they apply for a programme in Studielink whether they wish to receive informatin about studying with a disability. They will then be put directly in touch with Fenestra, the Leiden University Disability Centre, that is located in Plexus Student Centre and is run by two student counsellors.  Fenestra is responsible for organising the facilities and providing advice.

Determining which facilities are needed

The student and counsellor will together determine which facilities are needed. This can include proper access to buildings and lecture roooms, a longer time to complete an exam, a modified study plan or a laptop to be able to sit tests. The counsellor can then issue a recommendation (that is binding) to the departmental Examination Board, who will approve the facilities. 

The student's obligations

The student also has a number of obligations. He or she has to notify the University of any disability when applying (via Studielink) or as soon as the disability occurs, for example if it is the result of an accident. The student also has to provide a statement by a doctor or other specialist.  


The student will be assigned a supervisor who will see that the necessary facilities are actually provided and who will keep in contact with the student. This supervisor will generally be the study adviser.  

Rights and obligations confirmed

The legal rights and obligations relating to the provision of facilities within Leiden University are set out in the protocol. The Netherlands Flemish Accreditation Organisation (NVAO) will include an assessment of the University's compliance with these rights and obligations when making an institutional assessment or in the event of an accreditation application for a particular programme.  

Protocol on Studying at Leiden University with a disability

(13 August 2012)