The International Institute of Social Sciences hosted its 150th Public Defense. The 150th PhD researcher was Dr. Atsushi Atano, who completed his PhD with a public defense on Thursday.

To celebrate the achievement of such milestone, the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) has published a booklet containing an overview of all 150 thesis, including dates and authors. Moreover, the booklet includes articles by the chairwoman of the Research Degree Committee, Irene van Staveren, and the rector of ISS, Inge Hutter. The compilation is now available on the ISS website.

“I think what makes us proud the most is the delivering of the 150th thesis in such short time. Only six years ago, in 2010, we were celebrating our 100th”, says Van Staveren enthusiastically. The first promotion at ISS happened in 1986. Since then, the program has being growing presenting more than a hundred of PhD researchers at the present time

Quality over quantity

Van Staveren continues “The degree of interdisciplinary of the produced thesis is yet another thing to be proud of. For instance, the 150th thesis by Dr. Atsushi about teenage girls and prostitution combined anthropology with socio-demographic studies. I think this is a unique characteristic at EUR.”

The Institute is part of Erasmus University, but its facilities are located in The Hague. ISS counts 300 to 400 students each year, around 120 being PhD researchers. According to. Van Staveren numbers are destined to grow: “Currently we have 120 students enrolled in the PhD program. The number is expected to grow, maybe until 150 which is our maximum capacity.”

Although figures are dramatically growing, is quality over quantity according to Van Staveren. “We have a system to ensure the quality of the thesis. It is a three-phase process were candidates get the chance to get peer reviewed and discuss their research at every step of the academic process. We have done this from the beginning.”