ISS starts 2020-2021 academic year in September online

MA student Bisharo Ali following classes online

The International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) is happy to confirm that its 2020-2021 academic year will start in September, as planned. Our Term 1 courses (September until the end of December) will be delivered entirely online.

Even under the difficult circumstances of the corona pandemic, we are confident that we will be able to maintain the high quality, state of the art, pluriform, critical and interactive educational experience for which the ISS is known.

Over the past few months, our teaching and administrative staff have been fully dedicated to transforming ISS MA courses for online delivery. We succeeded in finishing all courses that were ongoing when the coronavirus resulted in the suspension of university teaching activities in the Netherlands (mid-March). In addition, all courses planned for Term 3 (April-June) are in the process of being delivered according to schedule.

Due to the development of the coronavirus pandemic throughout the world, the new batches of the Master of Arts in Development Studies (including the track in Governance, Migration and Development) and the Mundus Master of Arts in Public Policy at ISS will start fully online as of September. This is in line with the ‘education guarantee’ policy of Erasmus University Rotterdam, of which ISS is part.

If medical restrictions permit, we will resume in-person classes from January 2021

As the situation evolves, and if public health restrictions on social gatherings and in-person university teaching activities are lifted, ISS will resume its in-person classes from January 2021 onwards.

Travel to The Hague in September

Students can opt either to travel to the Netherlands in September (if there are no travel restrictions) or to remain in their home countries during the first semester of the academic year, as course work will be fully online for everyone. The advantage of moving to The Hague is that students will have access to good study facilities (stable internet, good student room, quiet study place and possibly library services), and  might have more guaranteed study time than at home, in view of other demands placed on them there. In addition, once participation in social events in the Netherlands is possible again, students could already start the experience of living in a foreign country and, if only partially, experience elements of international student life. 

Academic excellence and quality guaranteed

The upcoming academic year will be different from our normal academic year. Nevertheless, students can be assured that they will benefit – as ever – from the academic excellence, commitment to, and engagement with, developmental and societal challenges for which the ISS community is known.

ISS is looking forward to welcoming all newly admitted Masters students!


More information

For more information, please visit our FAQ page dedicated to the ISS online education in September 2020. If you are unable to find your answer, please send an email to Admission Office: