Diversity at HU

(Dis)ability and chronic illness

Many students and staff at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin experience health impairments caused by a disability or chronic disease. Throughout Germany, about 11 percent of students live with a health impairment that significantly impacts their studies.


Health impairments often remain invisible

Many of those students live with health-related restrictions that are not immediately visible to the eye: With 47 percent, the biggest group of those studying with a disability or chronic illness are affected by a psychiatric disorder. 18 percent study with chronic somatic illnesses such as asthma or rheumatism. Four percent have a specific learning difficulty like dyslexia, another four percent a mobility impairment and two percent have a speach impediment or impaired hearing.

Such health impairments often have negative impacts on students' study progress and lead to a prolonged duration of studies compared to their peers studying without an impairment. In addition to these barriers in pursuing studies or an academic careers, people living with a health impairment often experience discrimination as well. In the 2019 survey "Diversity at HU", 28 percent of respondents reported having experienced or witnessed discrimination based on a disability or chronic illness.

Studying at HU with a health impairment

Students with a disability or chonic illness at HU receive counselling and support from the office studying with disabilities. The office offers counselling on admission and study organisation including integration assistance as well as informational events and seminars.

Students with mental difficulties may also contact the psychological counselling at HU. Further points of contact include the (dis)ability counselling offered by the student body as well as the counselling service for barrier-free studies and the psychological-psychotherapeutic counselling of StudierendenWERK Berlin.


Good employment opportunities for people with health impairments

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin has the objective of offering staff with a disability or chronic illness working conditions that correspond to their needs and interests. The basis for the university's activities in this area is set in the work agreement on the integration of people with severe disabilities. Staff with questions around personnel affairs, reintegration management and accessability may contact the university's representative for people with disabilities.


Rehabilitation sciences as research focus

Equal opportunities for people with health impairments also plays a significant role as a field of research at HU. The Department of Rehabilitation Sciences works on a wide spectrum of inclusive education and offers study programmes on rehabilitation pedagogy, deaf studies and sign language.



Office Studying with Disabilities
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Unter den Linden 6
10099 Berlin
Telephone: +49 30 2093 70345
Email: behindertenberatung@hu-berlin.de


Further HU resources Ressourcen an der HU

Studying with disabilities [English]

Psychological counselling [English]

Department of Rehabilitation Sciences [English]

Work agreement on the integration of people with severe disabilities [German]

Representative for people with disabilities [German]

Studenty body counselling on (dis)ability [German]


External resources

studierendenWERK Counselling service for barrier-free studies [English]

studierendenWERK Psychological-psychotherapeutic counselling [English]