A Maori students' association says ongoing fee increases for tertiary study may rule tangata whenua out of top jobs.
The Union of Students Associations has called for universities to stop raising prices by the upper limit of 4 percent each year.
Universities are setting next year's fees and the union expects all eight will raise their fees by 4 percent - the maximum allowed by the Government.
But country's biggest tertiary provider, Auckland University, says if fees do not increase, it would have to cut courses.
Tyrone Hack, of the Auckland Maori students' union Nga Tauira Maori, says many students can't get jobs with their degrees and are opting for post-graduate study to boost their job prospects.
However, Mr Hack said those courses are expensive and not an option for some tangata whenua from low-socio economic backgrounds, which means they are missing out on high-level employment.