Polytechnics are preparing for a drop in Government funding next year.
The sector will receive about $20 million per year less from 2011 and some institutions will be worse hit than others.
The Tertiary Education Union says the cuts are driving an unprecedented number of reviews in the polytechnic sector.
National secretary Sharn Riggs says there have been job losses, but no-one knows how many.
Funding cuts were announced in the last two Budgets.
They are focused on courses that provide compliance with health and safety or other regulations, and extra money for institutions in areas with small populations.
Polytechnic chief executives hope international students and user-pays courses will fill the gap.
But they are worried small polytechnics in isolated areas will struggle in the long-term.