Government poised to announce major bailout package for universities on brink

With hundreds of university jobs on the line, the Government is poised to announce a package for the struggling tertiary sector.

Newshub understands the Government will on Tuesday announce a major bailout package for universities on the brink.

It's understood the cash is aimed at tiding universities over while they recover from a sharp drop in student numbers - as much as 4 percent - as well as international students.

Universities - most notably Victoria and Otago - are facing massive budget deficits so are slashing programmes and are proposing hundreds of job losses, causing panic and protests.

The Government's been coming under pressure to step in before the jobs are axed.

Newshub's told the bailout will be reallocated from other spending and will be spread over two years, but should help stabilise the sector while universities sort out their financials.