The Tertiary Education Union is warning of cuts by universities and wananga to bridging literacy programmes.
The union says Auckland University of Technology, Waikato University and Te Whare o Awanuiarangi plan to cut pre-degree courses next year, despite high demand.
Union president Tom Ryan says the wananga plans to cut whole programmes that teach Maori language.
Dr Ryan says the cuts are ironic at a time when the Government has made literacy and numeracy a priority.
The Tertiary Education Commission says it has been advised Waikato University and the wananga are discussing possible programme cuts with their staff.
AUT says it has not made any decisions to cut programmes.