Erasmus University Rotterdam - Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies

Rotterdam, Netherlands Erasmus University Rotterdam
IHS is the Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam. We love cities and work passionately for their development by offering quality, education, research and training. IHS welcomes talented and driven individuals, who want to extend their expertise in the sphere of urban management and development.



The birth of IHS is associated with the reconstruction of the post-World War II Rotterdam, a city that was heavily destroyed during the WWII bombardments. In 2004 IHS is officially became a part of Erasmus University Rotterdam.


The IHS course programmes range from short post-graduate diploma courses to Master Degree programmes and a PhD programme in the urban management and development theme area. The participatory and action-oriented training and the international perspective of IHS aims at improving knowledge, skills and attitudes for managing the urban development processes of today.

Apart from in-class activities, lectures, case studies, simulation games and practical exercises, the programme also includes visits to important projects and municipalities dealing with contemporary burning urban and housing issues.


The overall objective of the IHS research and PhD programme is to generate knowledge in urban development and management in developing countries and countries in transition.

The educational programmes at IHS are embedded in academic research. The majority of IHS academic staff hold doctor’s titles and some are currently pursuing a PhD. Important research inputs in the specialisations of the Master programme in Urban Management and Development are provided by the Erasmus University partners and, for the Housing specialisation, by Lund University, Sweden and the Lincoln Institute, USA. Lecturers include professors, academic researchers and PhD candidates.


The IHS alumni work mostly in the public sector, but also in the educational and private sectors. 38% of them are architects or urban planners, managers/coordinators of a company (34%), directors in a company or institution (30%) and 21% are lecturers/researchers/professors or PhD candidates. The rest of them are heads of department, chiefs of projects or team leaders, consultants, advisers or analysts.

Some of other positions include:

  • city/spatial planner
  • local government officer
  • housing officer/ real estate developer
  • transport & infrastructure planner
  • social & resettlement specialist
  • heritage preservation specialist
  • civil service/ community development administrator

Master's Programmes

Environmental Studies & Earth Sciences (1)
Social Sciences (1)


Student services

Participants are well supported in practical and personal matters, such as accommodation, visa, insurance, finding grants, flights and tickets. The social activities, which are organized throughout the academic year, include excursions, sports, cultural evenings and social events.

Housing services

The IHS dormitory, the main accommodation of IHS with around 66 rooms, is located on the campus of the Erasmus University Rotterdam which is about 15 minutes travel distance from the city centre. Free internet access is available.

Note: Please bear in mind that awardees of the Netherlands Fellowship Programme (NFP) receive priority for dormitory reservation. If any free rooms are available, IHS will inform confirmed participants, and the rooms will be distributed on a first-come first-serve basis.

Library services

IHS maintains a specialized library on urban management and development and housing, conveniently located on the IHS floor. Apart from the collection of urban literature it also provides access to the resources of the Erasmus University Rotterdam. Course participants and researchers are encouraged to make use of a variety of books, periodicals, and (electronic) journals.

Medical services

IHS helps student arrange their health insurance prior to coming to the Netherlands. The IPS insurance gives international coverage for costs regarding medical expenses as well as legal liability ('third party'), fire and theft and luggage insurance.

Student Life

Campus life

IHS is located on the Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) campus Woudestein. Surrounded by a green environment of ponds, grass and trees, the students enjoy an open and safe campus environment. The spacious student areas equipped with various comfortable lunch, study and hang-out places of tables and benches are some the preferred social and study areas on the campus. To promote sports and sustainability, the Woudestein campus provides numerous bicycle stands and a fully equipped sports complex for its students.

Sports facilities

Students can make use of the various sports and study facilities that are available in the campus.


The Dutch Ministry of Education accredits the course as an academic master programme based on assessment by Quality Assurance of Netherlands Universities (QANU). The stringent quality criteria applied by the Dutch Government are based on European standards for higher education. NVAO, see report.

Other Degrees