The National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIHSS) will host its fifth Annual Doctorate Conference (ANDC) from the 29th to 31st of October 2019, at Birchwood Hotel, Johannesburg.
The event is also set to become the launching pad for the NIHSS inaugural Alumni Forum were the Minister of Higher Education, Dr Blade Nzimande will do a keynote address.
The ANDC provides a platform for second and third year NIHSS PhD scholarship recipients to present their doctoral work, as well as constructively engage with their peers while exploring critical discourse within HSS Scholarship.
Over 200 doctoral scholars have graduated, since the inception of the NIHSS scholarship programme, with 500 scholars still in the system. To adequately resource the South African higher education system, the National Development Plan (NDP) proposes 100 new Ph.D.’s are needed in academia per year.
The National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIHSS) was founded in 2013 against a backdrop of a decline in teaching and research quality in the social sciences and humanities. It was the result of a special project of the department of higher education and training and its mandate was to advance and co-ordinate scholarship, research and ethical practice in the fields of the humanities and social sciences within, and through, the existing public universities.
According to Dr Nthabiseng Motsemme, NIHSS academic scholarship director: “Since inception, the NIHSS has provided scholarships to more than 600 doctoral candidates and plans to produce a further 300 doctoral graduates by 2020. We are proud to have made significant inroads in the support and enhancement of education for many South Africans.”
Through the NIHSS’s doctoral graduate programme the Institute has become a powerful platform that proposes sustainable and tangible solutions to pertinent socio-economic issues that South Africa and the continent, at large face. To adequately resource the South African higher education system, the National Development Plan (NDP) proposes 100 new PhD’s are needed in academia per year.
Professor Sarah Mosoetsa, CEO of the NIHSS succinctly emphasises that equity and redress in higher education will come from HSS scholars of this age. “Collaboratively, the HSS is transforming the higher education system. There has been a lot of conversation around decolonising education; transformation is indeed about curriculum reform and the literature is already starting to inform the required transformation,” explained Mosoetsa.
The NIHSS has also become a critical component in generating knowledge production and “new ways of knowing” as described by Mosoetsa. “Creating, writing and knowledge production is already happening by scholars who have submitted their abstracts in isiZulu.”