Located in The Hague, ‘The World’s Legal Capital’, it was established in 1952 as the International Institute of Social Studies by Dutch universities and the Netherlands Ministry of Education. In 1 July 2009, this graduate institute of policy oriented critical social science became a part of Erasmus University Rotterdam and is considered as one of the best graduate schools in the country.
"As an education institution, they offer a four-year PhD programme, a 15.5-month MA in Development Studies with various specialisations, postgraduate diploma programmes, and short courses. All of their programs are taught in English, recognized internationally and by Dutch legislation on higher education, and accredited by the Netherlands Flemish accreditation organization NVAO. Every year around 300 to 400 students from over 60 countries enrolled. More than 11,000 people from over 150 countries have studied at ISS. Due to its highly diverse international community, student and visitors often consider it as a ‘Mini United Nations’. A large number of their alumnus hold an important position in governments, NGOs, academic institutes and other organizations. As an organization, they aim to make a contribution to achieving social justice and equity on a global level. For that reason, other than teaching, they do research, public service, and engage in consultancy by providing knowledge and insights in the fields of development studies and international development. To exchange knowledge and increase public awareness, the institution organizes a wide variety of events and stimulate public debate on current issues. The International Institute of Social Studies have received many awards such as Dutch Oranje Loper award for best practices in internationalization for Dutch Higher Education institutes in 2009. They are also one of the first institutions to obtain a Certificate of Quality Distinction on Internationalization issued by the Netherlands-Flanders Accreditation Organization."