Individual study arrangements and accessibility

A student’s disability, challenge or obstacle that affects their academic performance can be taken into consideration through various individual arrangements. The arrangements depend on the case-specific situation, needs and subject of studies.

Individual study arrangements refer to individual support for learning in an effort to promote equality in studies. Individual arrangements do not affect the evaluation, requirement level or the competence requirements of study units or degrees. Individual study arrangements are made to adjust the ways in which students demonstrate their competence, all the while making sure that the goals connected to the study unit or the degree are attained. For example, if the goal is to learn oral skills, alternative completion methods where the course or the assignment is completed entirely in writing are not suitable.

Who can be granted individual study arrangements?

For example, individual study arrangements can be made based on a student’s:

  • difficulty with reading and / or writing
  • other cognitive challenge
  • long-term illness
  • mental health problem
  • physical disability
  • sensory disability
  • repetitive strain injury

If you suspect that you may be affected by a challenge that warrants individual study arrangements, you should discuss your situation with your teacher or other staff member providing supervision. If you need further help or a consultation with a professional, contact

  • either FSHS or your local healthcare provider in health-related matters
  • FSHS in dyslexia-related matters
  • the study psychologist, who will look into your study-related challenges and, if necessary, give recommendations concerning arrangements that are required and help in further assessments.

Examples on arrangements

Individual arrangements related to studies and teaching may involve

  • extra time for assignments or examinations
  • providing alternative completion methods (written/oral) or agreements on independent completion methods
  • sharing lecture materials in advance, accessibility of the material is taken into consideration
  • a separate examination room or other facility-related arrangements
  • the use of assistive equipment, e.g. a computer in an examination
  • providing additional supervision or support

A student can be exempted from completing an individual study attainment for compulsory studies only based on exceptionally compelling reasons. If you are exempted from a specific assignment, you will substitute the assignment for your degree in manner that will be agreed upon with you on a case-by-case basis. An exemption is the last resort, and the primary solution is to make other arrangements, such as determining alternative completion methods.

Sometimes the situation and finding a suitable solution may require a more detailed review of the situation, in which case you may be asked to consult an expert who can help in determining the suitable arrangements.

Applying for arrangements

You should apply for individual study arrangements in good time, because it may take some time before they can be ensured.

Follow these guidelines:

If your need for individual arrangements is a stand-alone or a relatively short-term occurrence (e.g. in the context of a single course), discuss the situation with your teacher and agree upon the arrangements directly with your teacher. If deemed necessary, your teacher has the right to ask to see the grounds stated for the arrangements.

If your need is long-term, permanent or extensive (e.g. several examinations and written works or for the duration of your entire degree), fill in an application for individual study arrangements and deliver it with the required attachments to the head of academic affairs within your academy either by encrypted email, by mail or in person.

Grounds for making arrangements

A person who applies for individual study arrangements must have sufficient grounds to do so. Measures are taken based on a statement or a certificate signed by an expert, such as a doctor, psychologist, physiotherapist or speech therapist, as these documents help make the necessary arrangements at the university. A certificate signed by a special education teacher is sufficient for verifying dyslexia.

You can mention to the expert that you need a statement, certificate or recommendation that you can present to your school and for applying individual study arrangements, in which case the statement does not need to contain extensive information on your health. Instead, the following information is sufficient: identification data (your name and personal identity code), a short description of the grounds for receiving individual arrangements, and preferably also a recommendation on some concrete arrangements that would benefit you and, if necessary, the duration of the need for receiving individual arrangements. Because challenges may not always be long-term or permanent, it is important that your statement is up-to-date.

The need for individual arrangements can be reviewed again later and the arrangements can be updated, if necessary.

Sensitive data in the application

If your situation or healthcare documents involve health data that are sensitive or pertain to your life situation, you can book a meeting with the study psychologist, who can then compile a recommendation concerning individual study arrangements. Also book a meeting if the expert statement that you have been provided does not describe what the recommended practical arrangements should be.

Use of equipment provided by a healthcare provider

If you use equipment provided by a healthcare provider, no reports on their use need to be presented. The university does not give financial support for the student’s assistive equipment and devices. If you need the university to make arrangements for you, you must present the grounds for arranging them in accordance with these guidelines.

Decision on arrangements

The dean or the person authorised by the dean will make the decision on granting individual arrangements. The head of the degree programme, professor of the subject area or the head of the department will participate in the decision-making if the arrangements require a decision on the allocation of resources. You will receive a separate decision on individual arrangements that have been granted for you. If it is not possible to grant you individual arrangements or if the arrangements cannot be carried out, the decision will state the grounds for the negative decision. You have the right to submit an appeal against a negative decision to an administrative court.

Processing of data

Everyone who is involved in carrying out your individual study arrangements and processing related data is bound by the obligation to observe secrecy and maintain confidentiality.

In order to carry out the necessary arrangements, the persons mentioned in the distribution list of the application for individual study arrangements may often need to discuss the situation with you. In any case, you will be informed in advance on the identity of the persons with whom the situation needs to be discussed. With your permission and if necessary, other persons who participate in making the arrangements may also discuss the situation with you.

Teachers often have a central role in determining and carrying out the arrangements. If you give your consent, it may be a good idea to arrange a meeting with various experts so that they can discuss the support measures that are needed in the situation. The attendees may be e.g. a teacher, the head of academic affairs, the study psychologist, and a representative of your healthcare provider.

Documents concerning the arrangements, including the application, expert statements, certificates and recommendations and decision on the arrangements, are confidential and all related information is kept secret. The expert statement, certificate and recommendation that you provide will not be copied or archived, and instead, all documents containing information on your health are returned to you. Correspondingly, documents concerning your state of health that are sent through an encrypted email or by mail to the head of academic affairs are deleted / destroyed in a secure way. Applications and signed decision documents on individual study arrangements will be stored by the academy’s academic affairs team in accordance with the university’s regulations concerning document management.

There will be no mention of individual study arrangements on your degree certificate. A note of the individual study arrangements that have been granted to you, as well as the duration of the arrangements (if necessary), will be recorded on a general level in the university’s electronic student information system, but this does not apply to individual short-term arrangements that have been agreed upon with a teacher directly.

If you are exempted from studies, the exemption will be recorded in the student information system and mentioned in your degree diploma. Data on individual study arrangements will be deleted after the expiration of your right to study in the study module in question, for which the individual study arrangement has been granted.

Individual study arrangements are made based on the Non-discrimination Act

At Uniarts Helsinki, individual study arrangements can also entail arrangements that are separate from the adjustments referred to in the Non-discrimination Act and made due to other reasons based on the university’s discretion and not due to a statutory obligation.

More information and counselling

Contact persons for accessibility will provide additional information and counselling concerning individual study arrangements.

You can contact a teacher directly concerning individual arrangements if the matter concerns a course taught by a specific teacher.

The study psychologist supports students in their academic challenges and gives recommendations on individual study arrangements when the need occurs. The study psychologist also offers consultation for staff based on the student’s permission, unless the consultation takes place anonymously.