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NIHSS Annual Performance Plan 2017/18


The NIHSS Annual Performance Plan for the 2017/18 financial year is informed by the strategic plan for the period 2015–2020, currently in its third year of the five-year cycle.

The National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIHSS) was established in accordance with section 69, read with sections 38A, 38B, and 38C of the Higher Education Act, 1997 (Act No.101 of 1997). The NIHSS is a juristic person, in accordance with the scope of application as contemplated in Regulations 2 and 3. The NIHSS was therefore established December 5, 2013 with the publication of the Government Gazette No.37118. In January 2016, the NIHSS expanded its mandate to include managing and coordinating all BRICS Think Tank related activities on behalf of South Africa (Government Gazette No. 39605 vol. 607).


Our vision is a new Humanities and the Social Sciences that is an epicentre of scholarship, pedagogy, community practice and social responsibility in Africa. The NIHSS also envisions that our tertiary system will be an equal partner in the world’s knowledge production and dissemination alongside centres of excellence in the North and the Global South.

The Institute seeks to advance and coordinate scholarship, research and ethical practice in the fields of the Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) within and through the existing public universities and those to be established or declared in future as public universities. The NIHSS mission is to redress existing deficits and to coordinate programmes, projects, collaborations and activities in the HSS disciplines within and through existing and future public universities. The NIHSS is a statutory body that aims to contribute significantly to ensuring the excellence, integrity and dynamism of the HSS, through its core functions of enhancing and coordinating scholarship, research and ethical practice in the HSS fields.


For the 2017/18 financial year, the Institute will achieve its mandate through the following Strategic Objectives and implementation programmes:



  1. Advance postgraduate scholarship through a range of innovations

Doctoral Scholarships Programme (NIHSS-


African Pathways Programme (NIHSS-

CODESRIA Scholarships)

National Mentorship Programme

Regional Doctoral workshops

National Doctoral Conference

  1. Dynamise the fields of research and teaching in the humanities and social sciences in South Africa through a range of Catalytic Projects and Humanities Hubs

Catalytic Research Programme

Humanities Hubs

  1. Promote the integrity, reputation and recognition of the HSS within the higher education community and the science and technology community

Working Groups

Professional Associations

  1. Build and strengthen networks and partnerships with organisations working in areas related to the humanities and social sciences

Strategic initiatives (HSS Awards, colloquiums, conferences, joint publications)

  1. Foster international research collaborations between South Africa and countries of the Global South

African Pathways Programme (Research and partnerships)

  1. Act as a dymanic broker between the worlds of knowledge and policy action.

BRICS Programme (Research, SABTT and BTTC)

  1. Coordinate and manage all BRICS Think Tank related activities on behalf of South Africa