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Electronic Platform for Adult Learning in Europe



Contributing to a successful transition from secondary to higher education for students with support needs

Language: EN
Document available also in: NL

Posted by NSS EPALE Nederland

A continuous teaching and support learning line is essential for pupils with a support need. How do you, as a professional in secondary education, guide students in the transition to higher education? And how do you guarantee the continuity of support in the higher education sector? That is what this guide is about.


The transition from secondary (special) education (vo) to higher education (ho) can be large for students. Education is changing: students are expected to adopt a more proactive attitude, the care coordinator becomes a student dean, and so on. Research shows that thirty percent of students in higher education have a disability or chronic illness. Ten percent of the total number of students is hampered in their studies by this handicap or chronic illness. Moreover, these students drop out twice as often as students without support.


The guide to successful transition vo-ho consists of two parts:

  1. Five steps that describe what the educational professional can do together with the student to make the transition to higher education go well.
  2. Four steps that describe what the professional himself can do (inside and outside the institution) to make the transition from the student to the higher education institution go well.


The tips in this guide are general. The most important thing is to provide each student with a tailor-made approach, taking into account that in the higher education independence and initiative are expected of the student. The described steps do not have to be followed in a fixed order. The manual is written for professionals in secondary education, but of course also for other interested parties.


This guide is a product of the Handicap + studie expert centre, Nederlands Jeugdinstituut and Steunpunt Passend Onderwijs. Thanks to NVS-NVL and the VvSL and to representatives from the field for the feedback.



Resource Author(s): 
Expertisecentrum handicap + studie
Nederlands Jeugdinstituut
Steunpunt Passend Onderwijs
Publication Date:
Sunday, 1 July, 2018
Language of the document:
Type of resource: 
Opportunities and Resources
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