Students walking in the library

Social worker

The social worker is present on campus for two half-day periods a week for additional help and support with problems you may encounter in everyday life that make studying more difficult.

Social work at Tilburg University

School Social Work (SMW) is part of the IMW (Institute for Social Work) and is a specialized form of social work. The (school) social worker stimulates the socio-emotional development and independent functioning of students by solving, alleviating or making problems that hinder the learning process, manageable.

By signaling problems in time and quickly dealing with requests for help, study delays or dropouts can be avoided. Together with the student, the social worker examines what is going on and what is needed to solve the problem.

The social worker activates you as a student to increase your self-reliance (help with basic life skills) and/or helps to mobilize and use your own network.

If necessary, the social worker will look with you at institutions outside school where you can be helped in a more specific way.

What can you contact the social worker for?

The social worker offers psycho social help, advice, support, problem clarification and emotional support. She can motivate you for counselling, referral and guidance to the right special and indicated care and institutions, and help you to make the right choices, to have (and keep) control over your own life. Think for example:

  • financial problems, debts, where to go for your specific question;
  • housing, in the sense of looking for, why is it not possible, what possibilities are there, so no mediation and housing;
  • sexuality and gender;
  • unpleasant sexual experiences;
  • problems in identifying boundaries within a relationship or at work/traineeship/training;
  • lover boy issues, sexting, stalking, involuntary sex;
  • loss handling, e.g. difficulty coping with the death or absence of an important person;
  • addiction problems;
  • domestic violence;
  • unintentional or unplanned pregnancy, you suddenly become a mother or your girlfriend is pregnant unplanned and what happens next?;
  • aggression problems, you quickly become angry and get into trouble again and again;
  • struggling with life between two cultures;
  • problems with parents, caretakers, relationship partners or others, e.g. because of quarrels, threats, domestic violence or abuse.
Working Method

Make an appointment

Please note!  Despite the measures taken because of the corona virus, you can just make an appointment with the social worker. The appointments will be handled by phone or on campus. You will be called at the time of your appointment or you will be invited to come to the social worker's office in the  Academia building.

Usually you will be referred to social work by the Dean of Students or the education coordinator. Send an e-mail to to make an appointment.  You can also do this if you want to talk directly to the social worker.

Mention in your e-mail (briefly, no details) what you want to discuss. Also, mention if you have been referred by someone and if so, by whom.


Depending on the nature of the request for help, there are a number of possibilities:

Sometimes single advice and providing information is sufficient.

A short, individual counselling program is also possible (an average of 3 interviews).

It may also be necessary that a referral is made to other organizations, for more specialist or longer-term assistance. In some cases, you will also need a referral from your GP or an indication from the municipality in which you live.


Interviews with the social worker are free of charge.

Contact details

The social worker Peter Ermen will be present at the university on Tuesday afternoon and Friday morning.

You can reach him on


The SMW employee works at IMW Tilburg works on a detachment basis within the university at a central level and occupies an independent position.  The SMW graduate follows the guidelines of the professional code of social work and thus follows the privacy AVG guidelines of the professional code of conduct.              

The SMW graduate is SKJ (Stichting Kwaliteitsregister Jeugd) registered as a Youth and Family Professional.