- Providing scholarships for postgraduate students studying in the humanities and social sciences;
- Strengthening a student-centred culture in the higher education system and helping to create an environment where the critical, analytical and normative capacities of students are enhanced;
- Ensuring collaborative supervision of doctoral students by two or more universities, which could include South African universities collaborating with universities outside the borders of South Africa; and
- Addressing inequities regarding the demographic composition of PhD holders.
To fulfil these objectives, the NIHSS collaborates annually with the South African Humanities Deans Association (SAHUDA) to extend scholarships to full-time PhD students based at the following participating South African universities: Cape Peninsula University of Technology; Durban University of Technology; Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University; North West University; Rhodes University; Stellenbosch University; Tshwane University of Technology; University of Cape Town; University of Fort Hare; University of the Free State; University of Johannesburg; University of KwaZulu-Natal; University of Limpopo; University of Pretoria; University of South Africa; University of the Western Cape; University of the Witwatersrand; University of Venda; University of Zululand; Vaal University of Technology; and Walter Sisulu University.