Students Tilburg University

Supporting documentation in case of illness or special circumstances

Dyslexia, functional disabilities and illnesses, whether or not chronic, must be documented by written supporting documentation such as a statement from a general practitioner or other doctor, medical specialist, treating therapist, psychologist or psychiatrist, social worker, lawyer, or official body.

Medical certificate

Ask your doctor for a copy of your medical file, which contains important facts about your health status (such as test results). Doctors are obligated to provide patients with their file upon request. You can also ask your general practitioner to record on paper everything you discuss and agree with each other, to serve as a reminder. Alternatively, you can request a copy of the consultation report in your file.

If you explicitly request a medical certificate from your general practitioner, bear in mind that they may not always be willing to cooperate, based on their concern to preserve a relationship of trust with you as a patient. In that case, it is better to ask a non-treating physician. You can look for a different general practitioner or other doctor yourself, and then ask them to request your details from your treating physician. Note that there may be a charge for this.

When your general practitioner refers you to a specialist, he will usually give you a letter of referral. This letter of referral can often serve as supporting documentation, rather like the letter of discharge that hospitals give you, for your general practitioner.

A record of admission to a hospital or clinic can also serve as supporting documentation. In the case of dyslexia, the statement has to be issued by a general remedial educationalist, a health psychologist or an NIP-registered child and youth psychologist, at the very least.

If you have been tested for certain characteristics and have been issued with an official diagnosis or test report, then a copy of that document will suffice. In the case of lengthy reports, the conclusion or summary and recommendations are usually sufficient. Please note that this documentation must include your personal details, as well as details of the practitioner or testing authority in question.

Another individual’s medical certificate

In some cases, you may need to submit a medical certificate relating to a family member, e.g. one of your parents. If you have the same general practitioner or other doctor as your parents, that individual can issue a certificate stating that you are involved in caring for your parents or that their illness can affect your academic progress. You can also submit any medical documents that relate to your parents, such as a discharge letter, a letter of referral or a letter giving details of a diagnosis or test result. Your family member can also request a medical certificate for himself/herself (see above). Letters confirming medical appointments are not sufficient.

Supporting documentation for psychological problems

If at any time you have experienced psychological problems causing you to fall behind in your studies, you must also be able to hand in supporting documentation relating to treatment or hospital admission, for example. If you did not receive or seek assistance for this (for instance in coming to terms with the divorce of your parents), furnishing such supporting documentation may be more difficult. 

Supporting documentation for non-medical conditions

The following supporting documentation can be used as evidence of other, non-medical, conditions: a copy of an official report to the police, the police report for an accident, a statement by a lawyer or social worker, a bereavement card or a copy of a death certificate, or a statement by the authority involved in the circumstances in question. The nature of the documents to be submitted will depend on the circumstances in question. If in doubt, please contact the dean of students for further information.

The statement must be from an independent third party, i.e. not a family member or someone close to you, who has a direct interest in the matter.

Submitting supporting documentation

The documents will be treated confidentially. The only individual authorized to view them is the dean of students. Supporting documents should only be submitted to the deans of students, not to lecturers or to members of the Examination Board.

The statement must be submitted on the official stationery of the authority or individual writing the statement, i.e. with a letterhead and original signature. The document must also be dated. Always also make sure to keep a copy of this statement for your own records.

Medical statements written in a language other than Dutch, English or German, must be submitted together with an official translation into English. Always also, make sure to keep a copy of this statement for your own records.

Supporting documentation in PDF format can be submitted by e-mail to  Always include details of your name and student number.

You can also place the original document(s) in a sealed envelope marked ‘Attn. Dean of students’, and hand it in at the Student Desk.