Universities and polytechs are facing pressure to refuse applications by potential students in future because of a big surge in enrolments.
More people are signing up for study. But student places are capped under a funding system introduced last year.
Auckland University of Technology vice-chancellor Derek McCormack says the university will have to turn students away if enrolments continue to rise.
At this stage, he says enrolments appear to be tracking at 15%ahead of last year. Nursing, teaching, science and trades courses are the most in demand.