Project description

Why is there a student health check?

Research shows that students experience more health problems than their non-studying peers. This has been found to be the case both in the Netherlands and abroad. The health problems are related to the physical or mental well-being of the student and are connected to the student’s perception. Students who have a more negative perception of their study, turn out to experience more health problems, when asked. Many students do not look for help, or not until a late stage, causing unnecessary aggravation of the problems and study delays. For this reason the Student Doctors decided to develop a self test which will help students identify problems quickly and will offer customised tips, advice and medical information to help solve the problems.

About the research

The student health check is the result of scientific research carried out by the Student Doctors for the UvA. This research shows that the students’ problems, in addition to the study-related problems, are often connected to problems typical to being a student. Until now these aspects of student life have been generally paid little attention and the focus lay primarily on study problems.

The self test

To enable quick identification of health problems and student-related problems, the Student Doctors have developed a self test, which helps the student to identify problems and offers possible solutions. By filling in a questionnaire you gain insight into how you score on certain indicators for health and the various aspects of student life. Those scores are then compared to those of fellow students in the same stage of their degree programme. When a certain threshold in the score is crossed, you are symbolically shown a red traffic light: a sign that a certain issue needs attention.

About the researchers

Claudia M. van der Heijde (1967) is a senior researcher who has been working for the Department for Research, Development and Prevention at the University of Amsterdam since 2009.


Peter Vonk (1956) is a GP, the head of the unit Student Health Care at the University of Amsterdam, and coordinator of the section Research, Development and Prevention.


Frans J. Meijman (1950) is senior researcher at the unit Student Health Care (UvA) and senior lecturer at the General Practice and Geriatric Medicine department at the VU University Medical Center Amsterdam.