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Studying with mental or physical disabilities

We support you!

At our university, students with mental or physical disabilities receive the best possible support.

11% of the 2.8 million or so students in Germany have an impairment that is relevant to their studies (survey on “beeintraechtigt studieren – best2” conducted by the Deutsches Studentenwerk (German National Association for Student Affairs)). SRH University Heidelberg was established in 1969 as an “institution for the vocational rehabilitation of people with disabilities”, and we remain committed to this tradition. After all, our goal is to ensure that all our students can embark on a successful career after graduation.

Studying with special support needs

In more than two-thirds of our students with special support needs, the impairment is not visible. More than half of them study under “rehabilitation status” as a result of mental illness, and receive benefits for participation in working life. They all have the option of benefiting from individual support and possible compensation for disadvantages in our flexible CORE (Competence-Oriented Research and Education) study model. We offer you individual support in all our degree programmes, even if official regulations do not allow you to study under rehabilitation status. Scholarships are also available.

“It’s a matter of equal participation, and not just a kind gesture,” remarked the Disability Officer of Baden-Württemberg, Stephanie Aeffner, who sits on the University Council of SRH University Heidelberg, where she studied Social Work. 

FAQs Important information

People with severe mental disabilities and impairments

  • Schizophrenias
  • Schizoaffective psychoses
  • Bipolar affective disorders and manias
  • Recurrent depressive disorders
  • Anxiety disorders, especially social phobias and agoraphobia, with or without panic disorder
  • Specific and combined personality disorders, especially borderline disorders
  • Dissociative disorders
  • Somatoform disorders, including chronic pain syndromes
  • Severe obsessive-compulsive disorders
  • Autism
  • Functionally relevant attention deficit disorders (ADD)
  • Addictions
  • Organic psychosyndromes with increased irritability, deficient capacity for insight or functionally relevant neuropsychological deficits
  • Major depression with moderate or severe single depressive episodes
  • Severe eating disorders with anorexia nervosa or bulima nervosa 

Other medical conditions

  • Hearing and speech impairments
  • Reduced mobility
  • Severe diseases of the nervous and muscular system
  • Kidney diseases and transplant patients
  • Ideal infrastructure: SRH University Heidelberg is the only university in Germany that is affiliated with an occupational rehabilitation centre. Numerous specialists, therapists and psychologists are on site, working hand in hand.
  • Barrier-free access to all premises on campus
  • Barrier-free housing options on campus
  • Communication educators for hearing-impaired students (in self-organisation, with the support of the occupational rehabilitation centre)
  • Work assistance, socio-educational support, individual integration coaching during the transition to work
  • Therapeutic support from SRH Occupational Rehabilitation Centre and the outpatient clinics of SRH University Heidelberg: physiotherapy, medical training therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, music therapy, dance movement therapy, medical service and health professionals in nursing
  • Barrier-free sporting opportunities with SRH Campus Sport e.V.
  • A wide range of catering options
  • Free disabled parking spaces
  • Intensive support from lecturers and mentors
  • Individual solutions due to flexible study model
  • Disability-related compensation for disadvantages (e.g. more time for examinations and coursework requirements)

If you’re interested in studying at our university and have a physical or mental disability, you can apply to your rehabilitation provider (Deutsche Rentenversicherung, statutory accident insurance institution, Employment Agency / Job Centre) for financial support, referred to as “benefit for participation in working life (LTA)”.

Conditions for support through participation benefits:

  • You cannot do a company-based apprenticeship or retraining
  • You’re interested in pursuing a Bachelor’s degree programme lasting a maximum of 36 months
  • Information on how to apply is available at: www.zweite-chance.info

The support covers your studies, rehabilitation-specific benefits and, if applicable, accommodation and meals or travel expenses.

Even if you do not receive financial assistance from a funding body for your studies, as a self-payer you can apply for special support at SRH University Heidelberg, such as compensation for disadvantages or time allowances.

It was easy to make new contacts, and although I am the only student with an “impairment”, I’m treated like all the others. I appreciate that very much. What’s more, I enjoy studying my subject.

Student (physical disability), Social Work degree programme (B.A.)

Here I can learn bit by bit, and not everything at once. The five-week structure and the small groups are ideal for me. If I have any problems, I can always turn to my mentor.

Student (with autism, self-payer), Mechanical Engineering degree programme
Who to contact
Who to contact

Any questions regarding financial support?

Your contact person Thorsten Schenk from the SRH Occupational Rehabilitation Centre Heidelberg will be happy to advise you. 

Contact details:
Email: Thorsten.Schenk@srh.de
Phone: +49 6221 88 2110