Where we have been housed

Throughout it's 65 years, ISS has moved around, occupying various locations around The Hague. All of our buildings have been different, none purpose-build teaching buildings but all conducive to a lively teaching and learning environment.

Noordeinde Palace 1952-1977

Paleis Nordeinde

When the Institute was set up in 1952, the then Queen Julianna, generously offered part of the royal Paleis Noordeinde to house the Institute and NUFFIC.

The Palace was ideally suited for the Institute and the ISS community in the early years. A residential college, students with common interests lived and worked together, with social get-togethers every evening and the Rector and his wife living on the premises.

The Wittebrug Hotel 1977-1993

In August 1977, the Institute moved to the former Hotel Wittebrug. A lighter and far more spacious building, it was more in keeping with its needs and with changes that were taking place in its professional development.

With the new location, the focus of ISS also changed - becoming less supply- and much more demand-oriented. Less concerned with training the administrator it concentrated on ‘training the trainers’, such as NGOs, universities, trade unions, women and other organized groups, rather than just civil servants.

More emphasis was put on research, consultancy and advisory, and new links were established with international organizations and relevant groups in both the north and south.

The former Post Office building 1993-the present

ISS building PTT

In 1993, ISS moved to its present location, the former headquarters of the Netherlands Post and Telecommuications (the PTT).

The period was to be one of internal reorganization, of tooling up to compete more effectively in an increasingly competitive environment in which Masters Programmes in development studies were mushrooming everywhere and the universities themselves were becoming more international. 

The Institute began to reassess what it offered that differentiated itself as a research-led, teaching-based institute on problems of transition and change, both in the developing and developed world.

The Institute also became much more directly linked to the Dutch university system, and it became more recognized in Dutch society as a centre of critical expertise on development problems, policies and individual countries.

Completely refurbished in 2016, ISS is now a comfortable, modern building in which to study, work and collaborate.