New technology is one of the key reasons behind hundreds of job losses announced today at Auckland polytech institution: Unitec.
Up to 300 jobs are set to go at the tertiary provider - which has three campuses - over the next three years.
Chief executive Dr Rick Ede met with staff today and said the job losses was part of a bigger restructure and that those changes were linked to new technology, a new service model and aligning educational portfolios to industry sectors.
"We expect that the shift to new teaching methods, improved ways of working and efficiencies created by new technology will result in a reductions of 200 to 300 or more jobs from current staff levels over the next three years,'' he said.
"This will be through natural attrition and redundancies. We acknowledge the challenges this will pose for our people who are directly affected by these changes - and we will do everything possible to support them through the process.''
The Tertiary Education Union says the proposal is "to help it cope with the impact of an ongoing government funding squeeze".
The Union says it met with Dr Ede and the polytechnic's council chairperson earlier in the week, advocating to protect the jobs of TEU members, and good quality education for students.
Branch president Sid Suha Aksoy said staff feel very uncertain and worried at the moment.
"Waiting for this proposal makes my colleagues and I nervous. It is unsettling."
It said Unitec was attempting to reposition itself in response to continued government funding cuts and a predicted drop in student numbers for all parts of the tertiary education sector.
TEU national president Sandra Grey, who was at Unitec this week, said polytechnics were being forced into major restructuring not because they are doing anything wrong but because the government is making them unviable.
"Already we know that staff are going to be asked to change their modes of teaching, adopting more online," she said.
Ms Grey said Unitec staff and students have already faced years of continuous change and restructuring, with no respite or recovery.
In 2014 year more than 50 full-time jobs were cut after the restructuring of the design and visual arts department.
Unitec is also undergoing a physical rebuild, with plans in place to create more modern learning spaces and sell off part of the 53.5 hectare Albert site to residential and commercial development.
Dr Ede has said the institute could squeeze into 10ha of its site, selling or leasing the remaining 43ha in a 20- to 30-year scheme.
Initial ideas included turning the history ex-Carrington Psychiatric Hospital - a heritage building - into apartments.
It would also see forensic psychiatric unit, the Mason Clinic, removed.
Auckland Unitec stats
• Unitec has three campuses - Mt Albert, Albany and Waitakere
• Last year enrolments were much lower than expected, down 3.8 percent
• This meant a loss in $4.5 million government funding, and $2.7 million in student fees
• Unitec has 18,767 students (but only 9771 EFTS - equivalent fulltime students)
• There were 1100 staff at the end of 2014