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Students with special needs

The aim of the Counselling and Support Centre is to provide special pedagogical support (SPS) to students with physical, mental or neurological disabilities (incl. dyslexia), so that they can complete their studies on equal terms with other students. Special pedagogical support may include aid tools, a mentor, a sign language interpreter, or practical help.

As an international student, you are eligible to receive SPS only if:

·    You have a documented disability that requires extra support in order for you to complete your studies

·    You are an EU/EEA citizen

·    You are a full-degree student (i.e. not an exchange student)

Exchange students and full-degree students from non-EU countries are not eligible to receive SPS. This does not mean that you cannot receive any support, but that you have to finance it from home and apply for it yourself. Contact the Counselling and Support Centre to find out more about your options.

If you are an international student with special needs, please contact the Counselling and Support Centre at sps@au.dk. Even if you are not eligible to receive SPS, the Counselling and Support Centre can still offer guidance and provide contact to relevant suppliers.

Special Educational Support

In Denmark, university students with disabilities are supported by a national special educational support program (SPS). However, exchange students are not covered by this program.


This means that you will need financing from your home university or from your home country to pay for special support services. Financing may come from a grant program such as Erasmus+, Nordplus or Nordlys, or other local or national programmes in your home country. 


The Special Educational Support (SPS) Unit at AU can guide you to relevant support services and help you acquire the support services needed.


Examples of special support services that can be arranged through the SPS Unit:

  • Counselling and academic mentoring for students with cognitive, social or personal study-related difficulties
  • Special reading and writing guidance for students with dyslexia
  • Notetaking services
  • Mobility service for visually impaired students
  • Practical assistance in connection with academic activities


We recommend that students with disabilities bring all assistive hardware and software required for daily academic tasks.

Accessibility: Accommodation and Campus

Accommodation Accessibility

We do our best to find housing for students with special needs. AU does not, however,  have rooms specially designed for wheelchair users. Some dorms have elevators and wheelchair-accessible rooms, but kitchens may not be fitted to accommodate wheelchair users and people with physical disabilities. Likewise, laundry rooms and other common facilities may not be accessible for a wheelchair user.

Please send an email to housing@au.dk to explain the particular need of the student as early in the process as possible.

Campus Accessibility

  • All of our buildings are fully accessible and equipped for wheelchair users and people with physical disabilities.
  • All official homepages are fully accessible for visually impaired people. Most study services can be accessed online.
  • Aarhus University has a digital map on our homepage and an app for finding any university location.

Academic Support and Exam Dispensation

Academic Support

Aarhus University is able to provide a limited amount of technical aids to students. Below you’ll find some of the things we can offer:

  • Most study materials can be delivered as an electronic file to be used with text-to-speech software.  Aarhus University does not provide documents in Braille.
  • Enlarged copies can be arranged.
  • Audio recording may be possible.
  • Many auditoriums on campus have telecoils.

Aarhus University does not provide any other assistive technology for exchange students, but recommends that exchange students with disabilities bring all the assistive hardware and software that they use for daily academic tasks.

Teaching practices at AU are not adapted to disabled students, which means that all students engage in exactly the same study programmes.


Exam Dispensation

If you suffer from physical or psychological impairments such as dyslexia, mental disorders, neurological disorders, physical disabilities, visual difficulties or hearing difficulties, or if your mother tongue is not Danish, you may apply to your departmental Board of Studies for permission to take an exam under special conditions. You may, for example, apply for extra time or for permission to use special aids in the exam.

To be granted special conditions, you are normally required to document your special need; e.g. via a statement from the Counselling and Support Centre, a doctor’s certificate or a statement from a psychologist. This documentation is a significant prerequisite, but does not guarantee you permission to take the exam on special conditions. Ultimately, the Board of Studies decides whether you require special exam conditions in order to be on an equal level with other students taking the same exam.

How to apply for a dispensation

  • You apply via the form on mit.au.dk. You can find the form under “Applications”.
  • The application must meet the following requirements:
    • You must clearly state which exam conditions you wish to be exempted from.
    • Explain the purpose of your dispensation (e.g. to get an extra examination attempt, to register late for the exam, etc.).
    • Explain the circumstances that support your application for dispensation
    • Attach documentation or send it separately.

    Please note that the processing time for an application for dispensation may be up to eight weeks.



  • Aarhus University does not provide transportation around campus and there is no special pick-up service for disabled students.
  • Full degree students from the EU can apply for practical assistance in connection with their academic activities. This assistance includes transportation around campus.
  • Public transport in Aarhus is accessible for wheelchair users and people with physical disabilities. The yellow city busses, the X-busses and the Light Rail train can all accommodate wheelchairs.
  • If you are a wheelchair user or have reduced motor functions, you may also apply for special transportation to and from social events, shopping, hobby activities etc. via Aarhus’s “Flextrafik”.  You can apply for this once you receive your CPR-number after arriving, as it is a service for residents.  You can do this by e-mailing the municipality at visitationen@mso.aarhus.dk

Erasmus+, Nordplus and Nordlys Students

Students at universities in Europe and the Nordic countries may be eligible for a special needs grant from Erasmus+, Nordplus or Nordlys, depending on their home university.

A person with special needs is a participant whose individual physical, mental or health-related condition is such that his/her participation in the exchange would not be possible without extra financial support.

Please contact the Erasmus / Nordplus / Nordlys coordinator at your home university for more information. 

Examples of special needs that may make you eligible to receive extra funding:

  • Special transport
  • Adapted accommodation
  • Medical follow-up (Physiotherapy, ordinary medical check-up in the host country)
  • Preparatory sign language course

The grants for special needs are organised by your home university. Please contact your home university to find out if you are able to apply for a special needs grant. 

Other Useful Information


There are no on-campus healthcare services or healthcare centre. Exchange students who have received his/her temporary Danish civil registration number (CPR-number) have full access to comprehensive and free public health services. 

Student Counselling Service

The Student Counselling Service offers personal guidance that focuses on your problems. They can help you handle any mental problems that may be preventing you from enjoying student life. You can meet with one of the counsellors, or contact one by phone. Both types of counselling are anonymous, and all matters discussed with the counsellors are held in strict confidence.

Note that the Student Counselling Service is located off-campus.



University Chaplains

Need to talk with someone?

You are always welcome to contact a chaplain for a talk – regardless of the kind of crisis you have in your life.

It could be about relationships, grief, worries, stress, finding your path, loneliness, or religious and spiritual issues.

You decide what you want to talk about during the session. The chaplain is bound to professional secrecy. The counselling offered by the chaplain is available to all students, regardless of religious beliefs, and free of charge. You can text, call or send an email to make an appointment.


For more information, contact:

Special Educational Support (SPS) Office