Universiteit Leiden

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Academic delay

Sometimes both unforeseen and foreseen circumstances can cause you to fall behind in your studies. The consequences of academic delay can be quite serious. In the worst case scenario you may even have to discontinue your studies. Sufficient academic progress is also required to retain your entitlement to a student residence permit.

Do you think you might be falling behind in your studies? Has something unexpected happened that has had a negative impact on your studies? If so, you must always contact your study adviser. Together you can discuss the consequences of your academic delay and the best course of action. If personal circumstances are affecting your studies you could request that the university take this into consideration, both when issuing binding study advice and when reporting academic progress to the immigration authorities.

Exceptional circumstances

There can be many reasons for academic delay. You may be affected by circumstances beyond your control, for example (long-term) illness, a disability or family problems. Or perhaps you want to undertake board membership duties for a student association or combine your studies with top level sport.

In some situations you know in advance that your academic progress is going to be delayed, for example if you are pregnant, awaiting a clinical internship place or have a disability or (chronic) illness. In other situations you might not yet be certain if your studies are going to suffer. In either case you should contact your study adviser as early as possible to discuss your situation.

Further information on what to do if exceptional personal circumstances are hindering your studies can be found on our page about Binding Study Advice

Holders of student residence permits

If you have a student residence permit, you are required to obtain sufficient study credits every year to retain your permit entitlement. Exceptions can only be made in cases of proven exceptional personal circumstances. For further information, see obligations for student residence permit residence holders.

Financial support

If your academic progress has been delayed due to exceptional circumstances you may, in some cases, be entitled to request financial support. Refer to our section on money matters. If you have a question about financial support please contact a student counsellor

Study problems

Are you finding studying difficult and is this leading to academic delay? If so you’ll be relieved to hear that you can learn to study better. Take a look at our study tips, drop by during the student psychologist’s open consultation hours or attend one of our workshops.   


Would you like advice on how to improve your study techniques? If so, take a look at the workshops and training courses offered by Leiden University.

How can I arrange a consultation with a student psychologist?

You can make an appointment for a consultation in Leiden or The Hague by using the online appointment system.

Initial assessment

After explaining your situation you will discuss the best course of action with the psychologist. The student psychologist can provide support in situations that are having an impact on your studies. 

  • One visit plus some advice and information is sometimes sufficient.
  • In many cases you will be advised to follow a workshop or training course, for example in study skills or personal development.
  • If a workshop or training course isn’t an option you may be offered short-term individual guidance.  
  • If required you may be given advice about referral to another organisation or professional for specialist or long-term support. In this case you will also need a referral from your doctor.


Is a visit to the student psychologist too big a step for you? If so you could instead ask a question by email.

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