ImpulSE, Hanze University, Netherlands

The purpose of the Erasmus ImpuSE project is to develop and implement Supported Education services (Toolkit) in European countries and to establish a European Network Supported Education (ENSEd). ImpulSE is an Erasmus Multilateral project (2013-2016)  and  is based in four countries: Czech Republic, Netherlands, Norway & Portugal.

Development of a toolkit

The main aim of the project is the development of a toolkit for Supported Education services for students with psychiatric disabilities. The toolkit will be based upon needs- and resources assessments from various countries, as well as good practices from these.

The joint development of the toolkit will be done in English. The partners will then develop versions in their respective languages, for use ‘at home’.

Establishing a European Network

Secondly, a European Network of Supported Education (ENSEd) will be initiated, starting with a first International Conference on Supported Education. The way to reach this is described further on under ‘dissemination and valorisation’.

Process of change

The toolkit is aimed at students counsellors, trainers, teachers and tutors, mental health managers and workers, and local authority officials involved in policymaking concerning people with psychiatric disabilities. It will enable field workers to improve guidance and counselling to students/young adults with psychiatric disabilities, supporting these in their educational careers.

The ultimate beneficiaries are the young adults/students with psychiatric disabilities themselves. They will be better ‘empowered’ to be successful in their educational careers (improving access and/or preventing drop out). This will also improve their chances on the labour market and participation in society at large (social inclusion).


Hanze University Groningen Netherlands


HG is a university of Applied Sciences. It offers courses in almost all fields of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands: Economics & Business, Health, Social Studies, Education, Engineering &Technology, Fine & Performing Arts, Sport Studies, Communication & Information. Education is organized in 19 schools, and Applied Research in seven Research Centres, linked to the relevant schools.

Most study programmes are Bachelor programmes; an increasing number of Master programmes is offered, and new ones are under development. Among them, some Joint European Master programmes are being developed in cooperation with universities abroad.

As University of Applied Sciences, HG maintains strong relations with the professional fields related to the schools. Apart from Bachelor and Master courses, HG also offers tailor-made courses, consultancy and applied research to business, industry and the not-for-profit sector. Especially in the Northern provinces of the Netherlands.

The university has been, and still is, involved in many projects funded by European programmes; in more than half of these projects as coordinating organization. HG is also involved in development cooperation projects in Africa and Asia, funded by the Dutch government.

Unit involved in the project

The Research and Innovation Centre for Rehabilitation, linked to both the School of Social Studies and School of Nursing, will be the central unit involved in the proposed project. It is the only specific centre in this field in the Netherlands.

Rehabilitation is defined here as supporting people with psychiatric disabilities in the exploration, selection and achievement of personal goals and aims concerning their activities and participation in society, improving this participation and their sense of involvement. This support can consist of both individual guidance and normalization or adaptation of the persons social environment. Central terms in this are healing (recovering from the effects of a psychiatric disability), empowerment (discovering and using one’s own strength) and experience (integration and sharing of personal experiences).

The proposed project fits with one of the central themes of the Centre: Rehabilitation in the field of Education and Labour.

With regard to Supported Education programmes, the Centre maintains strong contacts with Community Colleges (involved in adult education) and with Mental Health Organizations in the region and nationally.

Previous activities in supported education

HG has signed a convenant with the Foundation Handicap and Study about addressing the problems of students with disabilities completing their study. Within a broader project about diversity, special training programmes for students with (psychiatric) disabilities have been developed, and are now part of the standard offer of student counselling of the so called Hanze success centre.

Together with Rehabilitatie ’92 (Utrecht), the Research and Innovation Centre for Rehabilitation has established the Centre of Expertise for Supported Education. This Centre is involved in research, training (both for students themselves as professional working with these) and consultancy in the field of Supported Education.