The International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam (ISS) is a postgraduate school of policy-oriented critical social science that seeks to understand issues of equity and poverty in an age of globalisation. Its activities include interdisciplinary research, training, capacity development and advisory work in the field of development studies. The Institute was founded in 1952 by Dutch universities and the Netherlands Ministry of Education, and is now one of the world's leading centres in this field. The ISS is at the cutting edge of research in such areas as human rights, governance, post-conflict management, gender studies and economic development.
The ISS provides quality education in the social sciences to mid-career professionals (over 10,000 graduates), most of whom are from developing countries or countries that are in transition. It offers a PhD programme (4 years), an MA programme with 16 specialisations (15 months), various postgraduate diploma programmes and tailor-made refresher courses.
All degrees are recognised both in the Netherlands and abroad. The ISS collaborates with partners worldwide on capacity development projects, monitoring and evaluating missions, and tailor-made teaching programmes. Its staff members represent 30 countries from all over the world. Each year, approximately 70 male and 130 female students from over 60 countries enrol in ISS teaching programmes. The Institute is conveniently located in the very centre of The Hague; it has its own residence halls and other facilities.