Students with a learning disability

Students with a learning disability

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There are more and more students and stuff Studying is becoming more and more the norm. It is therefore not surprising that the number of students with disabilities or mental illness is also increasing. How many students have a learning disability? How are they affected?


Since 1979, this has been increasing German Student Union using a questionnaire every three years as part of its social survey, how many students with learning disabilities such as a disability or mental illness. At the time, there were 118 students affected. This number and proportion of students with disabilities has increased since then. Here some Percentage of different survey years Deutsches Studentenwerk compared:

  • 1988: 5.7 percent
  • 1991: 6.4 percent
  • 1994: 6.5 percent
  • 1997: 6.6 percent
  • 2000: 6.6 percent
  • 2006: 8.4 percent
  • 2012: 7.0 percent
  • 2016: 11 percent

and 11 percent students with a learning disability in 2016 means in numbers that approximately 264,000 students affected they were. This was omitted More than half of disabilities are caused by mental illnessin second place follow those chronic somatic diseases (e.g. rheumatism or multiple sclerosis), in 3rd place sensory and motor disabilities and in 4th place partial performance disruption like dyslexia.

difficulties in studying

According to their own statements, these disabilities affect almost all pupils difficulty coping with studies, according to the results of the “impaired studying – best2” study. Most have Exam-related difficulties. A similar number have problems with it Learning and study organization. Many students have too personal contacts as communication at the university problems. rather Structural barriers play a secondary role or insufficient space at the university.

compensation for disadvantages

Students with a learning disability can apply for individual courses just like students with disabilities disadvantageous compensation use to reduce difficulties in studying and compensate for the damage. In this way, the lack of space in the organization of the study can be compensated and the conditions of the exams can be adjusted. Compensation for disadvantages must be necessary and appropriate be.

Students with a learning disability have it Legal requirement to such disadvantage compensation. This statement is enshrined in various laws namely in the Basic Law, in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, in the Framework Act on Higher Education Institutions, in the higher education laws of the federal states, as well as in the examination regulations. addition must not appear on the certificatethat such compensation was claimed.

However, students rarely used this option in 2016/17. Only 29 percent students with this disability used or demanded compensation for the disadvantage. Moreover, not all of these requests are approved, but only about 2 out of 3 approved will. A possible reason is that there is always compensation for disadvantages situational and individual must be decided and accordingly no binding requirements can give

Although compensation for disadvantages can look very different, there are some options that are used more often. A possible compensation for disadvantages in relation to the organization and realization of the course can be: Discounted admission to subjects with limited participation, change of compulsory attendance, individual study plan with extended completion dates or even combined studies. In addition, there are a number of other possible trade-offs in this area. Possible compensation for disadvantages with regard to tests and proof of performance can be: extended writing or preparation time, changes in the form of exams, failure to take into account spelling mistakes (in exams), extension of deadlines for registering for exams and homework/diploma work or permission to use aids or assistance. Here, too, there are many other options for compensating the disadvantages. Necessity and appropriateness must always be assessed individually in a given situation.


The proportion of students with a learning disability has increased over the years. In 2016, 11 percent of students were affectedwith more than half of them participating in one mental illness suffered. This results in almost everyone being affected as well difficulties during the study. Most of the difficulties would be related to exams. Option one disadvantageous compensation however, it is rarely used. Also, only 2 out of 3 such requests would be approved. The reason is only disadvantageous compensation individually and situationally they can decide because they have to necessary and appropriate be. Therefore, there are no binding specifications for them. However, it is clear that students with learning disabilities are legally entitled to such compensation for defects.

Here you can find the 21st Social Survey of the Deutsches Studentenwerk:

21. Social survey

Here you can find the final report of the study “studying broken – best2”:

Studying with a handicap – best2

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