For students

The study and especially the beginning of the study are an intensive time. At the beginning, many things come up at once that have to be planned, organized and found. And after the first arrival in the study program and on campus, there are often other challenges waiting for you: applying for compensation for disadvantages, accessibility of rooms, orientation aids, needs-based implementation of stays abroad and internships, and much more.

We will show you what options you have at the University of Paderborn to obtain equal opportunity study conditions and support networking among each other.

Use our newsletter to be regularly informed about the latest offers.

Arrive at the university

The Service Center Studies with Disabilities organizes several events where students can get to know each other and exchange ideas:

Students with disabilities and chronic illnesses are legally entitled to compensation for disadvantages in their studies and examinations. Compensation for disadvantages can be claimed for the organization and execution of studies as well as for the achievement of performance or examination certificates. The representative will be happy to explain the requirements and the application procedure for disadvantage compensation.

The representative will be happy to explain the requirements and the application procedure  for disadvantage compensation.


In many cases, it is essential to have a personal assistant, a study helper, at your side temporarily or throughout your entire studies, who will accompany you in your everyday studies and take over tasks of all kinds that you cannot manage yourself. A study assistance may be required both at the university and at home.

Examples of a study assistance can be:

  • Accompanying person for students with mobility impairments
  • Writing assistance for events and at home with motor impairments
  • Reader and companion for students with visual impairments
  • (Sign) interpreter for hearing impairments

As a rule, you will look for a suitable assistant yourself, with whom you will work together on a permanent and familiar basis if possible. Study assistants, such as a friend who studies with you or fellow students whom you get to know during your studies, can - depending on what kind of help you need - either be engaged personally or found through certain social institutions. These institutions are particularly helpful if assistance is needed on a larger time scale.

We will be happy to assist you with any questions you may have about study assistance and, if necessary, put you in touch with other counseling centers.

Use aids

Some of the lecture halls (buildings L, O, G and Audimax) are equipped. In the Audimax, G and in some P lecture halls there is the possibility to plug in headphones.

In the Service Center Media (room: H1.201) is a screen reader with a rollable table available. The screen reader provides support for exams and while preparing homework - and much more.

Height-adjustable desks were purchased in several student work areas (Lerntreff, Foyer Q0, Notebook-Café, cutting room IMT-Medien, pool room N5) at the end of 2021. These are especially useful for wheelchair users, but can also be adjusted to the appropriate working height for each student and can also be used while standing, e.g. in case of back pain.

Persons who, due to their impairment, are unable to open heavy doors (e.g. wheelchair users), can apply for a transponder with which the electronic main doors can be opened. If required, please contact Mr. Schwaller, in room E5.124.

Two Tray-Trolleys are available for students and employees with disabilities in the Academica and Mensa Forum. The Tray-Trolley is also a convenient support for cafeteria visitors with a child, as their hands are free for the child or stroller if necessary. In addition, people who have an injury to their arm or leg, for example, can use this support to fetch food in the Mensa without any problems. The Trolleys can be easily attached to wheelchairs with the help of a simple spring system.

If necessary, additional aids can be purchased through the SmB service center. In addition, there is the possibility that aids can be borrowed via the Landesarbeitsgemeinschaft Studium und Behinderung (LAG SB).

Conquer the campus

The dining halls, the rooms of the AStA, as well as the "Grill | Café" can be reached by an elevator near the cafeteria. The cafeteria and the Bona Vista have serving counters that are partly too high for wheelchair users. Independent use is therefore only possible to a limited extent for wheelchair users.

An overview of the wheelchair accessible restrooms on campus can be viewed here as a PDF.

In certain situations, it can help to find peace and quiet for a short time and possibly relieve the strain on your back or legs. For such cases you have the possibility to retreat in the first aid rooms. All rooms have a quiet area and a couch. Depending on the equipment, there is also an armchair and a screen for separating a visible protected area.

The rooms are marked site plan, an overview with photo can be found here:

The use of the elevators cannot be guaranteed in the evenings and on weekends due to the lack of emergency service. In order to avoid undesired inconveniences for you with mobility restrictions, you can contact the operational technology of the University of Paderborn for an adjustment of the operating time with individual needs. For this purpose, please contact Mr. Stefan Mueller 05251 / 602475 or Mr. Wilfried Helmer 05251 / 604333.

The general operating hours of the elevators are:

  • Monday to Friday from 07:00 to 21:30.  
  • Saturdays from 07:00 to 14:30.

The elevators are each located at the central points within the university. These areas are also known as "cores". Three elevators can be found at the intersection of building sections B, C, and H. Other elevators are located in the tower from building A to B and a large capacity elevator from A to D. There is an elevator in the middle of building E that will take you to floors -1 to 5. Two more elevators are located at the end of the building part N. In the building part P1 there are 3 passenger elevators. Smaller floor elevators are to lecture halls H1 to H6 and to D1 and D2 as well as in building L. New elevators have been added to buildings I, O and Q.

The following figure shows you the approximate location of the elevators.

Students and prospective students with a disabled ID card have the option of using designated parking spaces directly near the building. If no ID is available, a transitional ID for the university can be applied for in individual cases. You can obtain information on this via: s-m-b(at)upb(dot)de

The lecture halls of the University of Paderborn are generally easily accessible for wheelchair users. However, exceptions are lecture halls A4, D2 (with special key for the elevator), C2 (access from outside) and B1 (or B2). If you have an event in one of these lecture halls, please contact the service office SmB so that alternatives can be sought.

As a supportive measure, people who are in an electric or hand-operated wheelchair and have difficulty opening the main entrance doors can obtain a transponder that can be used to open the electronic main doors. Not only wheelchair users can obtain such a transponder, but also people who are unable to open heavy doors, due to their impairment.

If you need one, please contact Department 5.2 Commercial and Infrastructural Facility Management, Mr. Schwaller.

On the pictures Campus, Sports Hall 1 and 2 and W-Building you can see red marked paths, which are e.g. suitable for wheelchair users. The entrances are marked by green dots.

Looking for a suitable apartment plays a major role for students with impairments: Which apartments are barrier-free? Who to contact? How does the apartment search proceed? What do I have to consider? 

The Studierendenwerk Paderborn offers several barrier-free apartments in its dormitories. The general housing market also offers barrier-free housing options. Tips for living in Paderborn are summarized here.

Please note: even for barrier-free living, demand unfortunately far exceeds supply. Therefore, it is extremely important to look for housing as early as possible. We are happy to help you and support students with impairments while looking for housing.

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Kathrin Weber

Student Advice Centre

Service Center Studying with Impairment

Write email +49 5251 60-5498
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