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 Master's 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 UU also offers 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 Master's 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 Study Guide (research project / writing assignment) and inform the Research Project Coordinator if necessary. When your supervisor is not always 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.

Useful links about dealing with procrastination and tackling stress:

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. Here are some examples of disabilities or chronic illnesses where this is relevant:

  • Visual, auditory or motor impairments
  • Dyslexia
  • Chronic ilnesses and mental health difficulties (e.g depression, autism, ADHD, Crohns disease, diabetes, asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, ME/CFS, RSI/CANS, etc.)

Contact your Academic Counsellor to discuss your situation and consider whether and, if so, what support is available for you. These forms of support available may differ from those available to you in secondary school. If you have a medical statement, please bring this with you to your appointment with the Study Advisor. 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’.

For students of the faculty of Medicine

Nynke Okma

Are you struggling with social interactions? Have you set the bar too high, and are you finding it difficult to let go and set boundaries? Do you suffer from frustration, stress or insecurity? Is it challenging to make choices that suit you? Are you longing to experience more satisfaction, confidence and fulfilment in the things you do? Are you facing other personal challenges that impact your academic career?

As a coach, I would love to work with you toward your personal development goals.

Together, we look at what is important to you and which patterns are standing in your way. You will also learn to understand who you are without these patterns and to experiment with alternatives. We will work together and grant you the freedom to shape your studies and life in a way that suits you and what you want to contribute to the world.

We will define the coaching program (number of sessions, frequency, etc.) based on your unique challenge & a short introduction. With focus, attention and dedication, I will then guide you in the search for a productive path forward. In this process, I employ processes and methods based on integral coaching, cognitive psychology, appreciative inquiry, system centred training, mindfulness and voice dialogue to support you.

You can make an appointment yourself via the following link:

For students of the faculty of Science

For the students of the Faculty of Science the academic counsellors Desley van  der Zande and Lauw Klaassen are available for advice and support. You can ask questions about your study programme and planning, about regulations concerning examination and personal matters, such as disability and family circumstances, which may affect your academic progress. Furthermore you can visit us with questions such as how to prepare for your future and what to do when you have doubts about your study or career choice? As a master student you are not just being educated as an academic professional, but you are also in a phase of your life in which you develop yourself to become the person you want to be. In this process we want to support you by offering coaching and talk about questions you ask yourself about who you are and what gives meaning to your life. In these conversations we can also help you to make a plan to discover what your strengths and motivations are, and how to use these in a positive way to make the choices that will bring you further.

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.

Confidential Advisors

Do you experience inappropriate behavior 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 behavior includes ‘all facets of behavior 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 organization other than the UMC Utrecht or Utrecht University, you are encouraged to discuss the issue with the Confidant of that particular organization. The benefit of discussing your issue with the local Confidential counsellor, is that this person might be better able to prevent such offensive behavior 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:

Male Confidential Advisor affiliated with Utrecht University
Frank Peters, email:

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: ​

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!

Study Advisor

The study advisors 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.

Complaints Coordinator

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:

Faculty of Science (Biosciences students)
Pim Visscher MSc

  • 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 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.