Based at the University of Malta, our Institute evolved from the Islands and Small States Programme which had been set up in 1989 at the Foundation for International Studies, Valletta. In 1993, the Programme was restructured as an Institute with the principal aim of enabling the organisation to offer academic courses. We offer postgraduate courses on islands and small states studies as well as the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. Starting October 2020, in response to the Coronavirus Pandemic, the ISSI is offering its study programmes fully online.
The ISSI has developed three research platforms: The Small States Health Platform (SSHP) focuses on health issues in small states and is coordinated by Dr Natasha Azzopardi Muscat. As a result of this initiative, and due to the notable track record of the Institute relating to top−level policy research on health in small states, the Institute was designated in 2017 as the World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre on Health Systems and Policies in Small States.
The Climate Change Platform (CCP) focuses on climate change in islands and small states and is coordinated by Dr Stefano Moncada, the Director of the ISSI. It smoothens and brokers collaboration between UM entities and individual UM academics interested in climate change issues and promotes research and teaching initiatives relating to climate change at the UM and elsewhere.
The Island Tourism Platform has the objective of promoting research and teaching initiatives relating to island tourism at UM and elsewhere. It is coordinated by Dr Marie Avellino, Director of the UM’s Institute for Tourism, Travel and Culture.
On the occasion of the Institute's 30th Anniversary, in December 2019, the ISSI has launched a Commemorative Publication , providing valuable information about its history, academic and policy contributions, fields of work, offers and contributors of the past three decades.