Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-2803

Article | Open Access

Mind the Gap Between Higher Education and the Labour Market for Students with a Disability in the Netherlands: A Research Agenda

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Abstract:  The transition from higher education to the labour market is experienced as difficult by students with a disability. This gap between higher education and the labour market has tangible consequences for the participation of (young) people with a disability. Research shows that these students have a higher unemployment rate. This article addresses this gap by studying existing research data and by exploring experiences of students with a disability and other stakeholders as collected by the Dutch expert centre Handicap + Studie. We focus on the perspectives and responsibilities of the different parties involved: educational institutions, employers, municipalities, ministries and students with a disability. With this exercise, we want to contribute to putting this ‘gap’ and its stakeholders on the research agenda, arguing that more in-depth research on the transition from higher education to the labour market for students with a disability is needed. We will therefore conclude with themes that need to be researched in order to gain more knowledge for reducing the gap.

Keywords:  disability; higher education; labour market transition; stakeholders; unemployment



© Marjolein Büscher-Touwen, Marian de Groot, Lineke van Hal. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.