Advice and counselling
Are you having problems with or related to your studies? Do you need advice or counselling for personal problems? There are a number of counsellors within your study programme who can give educational guidance. Utrecht University has even more counsellors who can help you.
Do you need help with making choices within your degree programme? Are you falling behind in your studies or are you looking for new challenges? Issues relating to the content of your programme can be discussed with your programme coordinator whereas issues concerning planning or personal circumstances affecting your studies can be taken up with your Academic Counsellor. Apart from these two people, the GSLS and the UU also offer other services with professional coaches that you can contact (see below).
To study efficiently, you need a number of skills: for example, how to make a good study plan, how to cope with a large amount of prescribed reading, how to prepare for classes and how to best prepare for exams. Utrecht University offers some study tips and useful links and workshops which can help you to improve your study skills.
The Skills Lab - the gateway to your academic development- is an accessible service desk where UU students can get a clear idea of what courses, workshops, individual tutoring, electronic tools, etc. are available to them. Much is available, but this wealth or resources can be hard to find and access for students with specific questions. They can show you where to go to improve any skill, be it writing, presentation, studying, or job-hunting.
If you experience a delay in study progress or if it looks like you might do experience such a delay, it is important that you get in touch with your programme coordinator and the Academic Counsellor on time. They can tell you what the delay means for you in your specific situation and whether there is anything the university can do to help you.
In case of a study delay in your research project or writing assignment, please read the information available on the GSLS Students' Site (research project / writing assignment) and inform the Research Project Coordinator if necessary. When your supervisor is not available or when deadlines are delayed due to holiday periods, make clear agreements and contact your teacher/supervisor beforehand to prevent study delay.
If you are experiencing personal problems, you can contact the academic counsellor. You can also make an appointment to see the student psychologist. Student psychologists can help you to solve study-related problems and to address personal problems. You can also take a look at this page for activities organised by the UU regarding wellbeing.
If you get ill during your research project in the Netherlands or abroad contact your programme coordinator.
If you have a disability or chronic illness, you can request certain special facilities to support you in your studies via OSIRIS Case. Here are some examples of disabilities or chronic illnesses where this is relevant:
- Visual, auditory or motor impairments
- Chronic ilnesses and mental health difficulties (e.g depression, autism, ADHD, Crohns disease, diabetes, asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, ME/CFS, RSI/CANS, etc.)
If you have further questions, contact your academic counsellor to discuss your situation and consider whether and, if so, what support is available for you. If you have a medical statement, please bring this with you to your appointment with the academic counsellor. The agreements made during the appointment will be set down in a contract.
More information is available in the brochure ‘Studying with a Disability at Utrecht University’
Are you applying for a job soon or trying to find your way in the job market? On the page career services you can find more information.
Do you experience inappropriate behaviour during your study or internship? It is important that you discuss this with someone you can trust. Information on this can also be found on the UU website.
Inappropriate behaviour includes
all facets of behaviour and communication that are perceived as offensive and result in an unsafe environment in education, during internships or in private life. Examples of offensive behavior or communication are (sexual) harassment, aggression, violence, bullying or discrimination. Your university has employed staff that can help you to solve these issues. These are the confidential counsellors (vertrouwenspersonen in Dutch), and complaints coordinator, but also the study advisors are there to help. The issues that you raise in conversations with them are treated confidentially and will not be discussed with other personnel without your explicit permission.
In case you are doing an internship in an organisation other than the UMC Utrecht or Utrecht University, you are encouraged to discuss the issue with the confidant of that particular organisation. The benefit of discussing your issue with the local confidential counsellor is that this person might be better able to prevent such offensive behaviour or communication from happening again. Additionally, we do hope that you are also willing to discuss your issue with one of our confidential counsellors. This gives the UMC Utrecht / Utrecht University the opportunity to improve our own learning environment as well.
Female confidential advisor affiliated with Utrecht University
Marian Joseph, e-mail: email@example.com
Male confidential advisor affiliated with Utrecht University
Frank Peters, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Confidants affiliated with UMC Utrecht
Public service (Ombudsmen in Dutch): Mrs. M. Ermers (Miriam) and Mr. M. Aarsman (Martijn)
Central confidential counsellor: Mrs. M. Huisman (Michèle)
You can contact these councellors via the secretary, Miss I. van Krieken (Ineke).
Telephone number: 088-75 58 620
E-mail address: email@example.com
More information on the intranet site of UMC Utrecht (access with username and password only).
The confidential officers, both decentralized and officers affiliated with Utrecht University, offer support and supervise students and employees when offensive behavior or communication has occurred.
The bureau ‘ombuds- en vertrouwenszaken’ is available for activities regarding the prevention of and information about the topics discussed above.
The officers emphasize that it is important that people discuss their issues. Discussing offensive behavior and communication can prevent escalation of the situation. The officers will never act unless you explicitly allow them to further discuss a particular issue with a third party. Confidentially is top priority!
The academic counsellors are at your service mainly for study related queries, however, they can also advise you which confidant is best able to help you with your specific issue. Check here for more information on the academic counsellors.
The complaints coordinator is available to discuss cases in which you do not agree with the way an employee or service of the university has treated you. The complaints coordinator will first try to mediate. In case mediation does not solve the problem, the complaints coordinator will forward your issue to the complaints committee. This committee will judge whether your complaint involves unfair treatment or behavior. You will be informed about the conclusions of this committee, and subsequent actions if applicable.
Faculty of Medicine (Biomedical Sciences students)
Prof. Lodewijk Tielens
Telephone number: 030-2535389
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Faculty of Science (Biosciences students)
- If you have a complaint or a problem regarding arrangements made with your supervisor, contact the Board of Examiners;
- If you and at least one other student encounter irregularities during a course or an exam, contact the Assessment Support Panel;
- If you alone encounter irregularities during a course or an exam, contact the Board of Examiners;
- If a grade has not been registered in Osiris correctly, contact your Administration Office and your examiner.
- If you feel you have not been treated properly by someone employed by Utrecht University, or if you disagree with a decision that affects you personally, you can send a formal respond in a number of ways. Please go to the UU website for detailed information.
Questions not related to your study programme
In some cases you may want to consult someone who is not related to your specific study programme. For example, if you fall behind due to extenuating circumstances or mental health issues, and it is not possible to correct this through an adjustment in your programme. If this is the case, you may use the contacts mentioned below.
Student services provides information about studying and student life, such as information about admissions, registration, tuition fees, student finance, administrative grants, career orientation, student organisations and studying abroad.
Student psychologists can help you to solve study-related problems and to address personal problems. Read more information here and book an appointment.
Due to increased measures by the government, the UU’s Student Counsellors have decided to take responsibility with regards to the health of our students.
Therefore, the Executive Board of the UU have decided that all face-to-face meetings in the upcoming weeks are to be cancelled.
What does this mean for you?
All planned appointments will take place via telephone or a video chat service.
If you have an appointment planned with one of the Student Counsellors, we ask you not to come to the Bestuursgebouw. The counsellor will call you at the scheduled appointment time or will contact you via email to make other arrangements.
Most of our personnel will work form home, be aware that chances are high that you will be called by an anonymous telephone number.
Student Counsellors provide advice and support to students who have suffered a serious study delay or are threatening to fall behind. Possible reasons could be a disability or chronic illness, membership of a board of a student organisation or participation in sports at an international level.
The Study Advisor or your Tutor can refer you to a Student Counsellor if you wish to terminate your enrolment due to illness or exceptional family circumstances, if you face financial problems or if you wish to make use of the university schemes offering financial support.
To schedule an appointment, contact Student Services.
Skills Lab - the gateway to your academic development- is an accessible service desk where UU students can get a clear idea of what courses, workshops, individual tutoring, electronic tools, etc. are available to them. Much is available, but this wealth or resources can be hard to find and access for students with specific questions. We can show students where to go to improve any skill, be it writing, presentation, studying, or job-hunting.
You can visit the Career Officer to discuss your options in the labour market. The Career Officer is fully informed about the labour market for university graduates and can also help you decide which career to choose. The Career Officer can also provide a career training and check your application letter and CV. Read more on Career Services.
Caring Universities offers free online programs to help improve students' mental health. All programs are evidence-based, created by clinical psychologists, and include online coaching. Read more on the page about Caring Universities.
If you feel you have not been treated properly by someone employed by Utrecht University, or if you disagree with a decision that affects you personally, you can respond.
Your complaint may relate to one of the following:
- Supervision of your thesis or practical
- Failure to provide educational activities or administer examinations as scheduled
- Behaviour of a member of academic teaching staff or another member of staff
- Response to a letter
You may opt for an informal approach: You can also approach the person who caused the problem and attempt to reach an amicable solution with them. You can also discuss your complaint with the Study Advisor of your faculty/department or the Student Counsellor.
If you feel your complaint is severe, or if it is difficult to discuss or if the problem was not solved informally, you can file a complaint:
Utrecht University thinks it is important to have a safe social climate for all students and employees. We treat each other with respect. Nevertheless, students or employees might be approached in a way that is inappropriate to them.
Inappropriate behaviour includes, but is not limited to: (sexual) harassment, discrimination, agression, violence or bullying.The result might be that you feel no longer safe at the university or in private."
You can contact a Confidential Counsellor for Inappropriate Behaviour for education, shelter, supervision and mediation. The information provided is always confidential.
Studying without Limitations is a platform for and by students with a disability. Besides involvement in policy decisions and providing information they also offer guidance for students with a disability such as dyslexia, AD(H)D, autism and so on. Do you want more information, or would you like to have a buddy for extra support or guidance regarding your study or themes outside your study such as in living, working and going out? Then perhaps our buddy programme is something for you.