Open Our Universities

The DA can both ensure poor students in need receive funding and keep our universities open for access to opportunities and jobs.

No student who qualifies for tertiary education should be denied the opportunity to study because they cannot afford it.


Why is #OpenOurUniversities so important?
Higher education in South Africa is on the brink of collapse. If the universities don’t open next week the knock-on effect will be catastrophic:

  • Important sectors like healthcare will not get the new recruits they need.
  • Tens of thousands of 2016 matriculants, who want to study next year, will be forced to stay at home or find a job.
  • Universities will have even less money available to them and will be forced to keep relying on student fees.
  • Our economy, worryingly close to both a downgrade and recession, will be hit, adding to our unemployment crisis and the frustration and anger which it gives birth to.

How did we get here?
The crisis we are now facing has been a long-time coming, spurred on by an uncaring ANC government, which has prioritised corruption instead of the best interests of young South Africans. It is the direct result of:

  • Decades of chronic underfunding of the Higher Education sector by the ANC government.
  • Growing frustration around the lack of opportunities for young South Africans in our weakening economy.
  • A national budget that doesn’t prioritise broad student support and university subsidies.

The rule of law and re-opening of our campuses
The DA supports peaceful protest, democratic and rational engagement, the Rule of Law and the Constitution. This means that we oppose:

  • Any form of violence, arson, vandalism or destruction.
  • Any form of intimidation of students who wish to learn.
  • The shutdown of our campuses.
  • Shutting down the opportunity for others to disagree with your opinion and to protest peacefully.
  • By-passing of university structures such as SRCs, Councils etc.
  • Those responsible for criminal actions and breaking the law should be prosecuted so that the Rule of Law is upheld, while the police must ensure they act lawfully.


Thousands of students across the country qualify to receive NSFAS, but due to massive underfunding have not received the required support. Find out how the DA and DASO are fighting for these students.

Sign our petition