Chiefs at the University of Kent say they cannot yet rule out being forced into making compulsory job cuts – despite a voluntary redundancy scheme being launched earlier this year.
It comes amid a challenging time for the institution, which is headquartered in Canterbury but also has a campus in Medway.
Like other universities, it says it has been hit hard by soaring inflation driving up costs.
In addition, the university’s budgets have had to be tightened due to a cap on tuition fees – currently £9,250 a year for UK students – for the past five years.
Given its political unpopularity, it is thought there will be no decision to increase it until after the next General Election – expected next year.
It was further exacerbated by a “multi-million-pound impact from the number of students not staying with us to finish their studies”.
In February, it was revealed the university was inviting voluntary redundancies in a bid to slash costs – it was open to staff in both “academic or professional services”. While just last month it confirmed it was to wind down its Brussels School of International Studies.
But it admitted while there had been a good response, it could not yet rule out being forced to wield the axe.
A spokesman confirmed: “We are still working through the outcomes of our recent voluntary severance scheme, including deferrals, but we expect that many of the targeted savings will be met.
“However, this is an unprecedented time for the sector and the university is still facing a range of financial challenges due to inflation and rising costs set against the static tuition fee level set nationally.
“Cost of living pressures are also affecting the number of students either considering applying to university or completing their studies.
“Our focus remains fully on addressing these financial challenges, with a number of plans in place to support this - as always, we will do everything possible to avoid compulsory redundancies.”
While the university is struggling to balance the books, a survey by the Office for National Statistics reveal the impact soaring costs was having on students.
It revealed more than three-quarters (78%) of students were concerned the cost-of-living crisis may affect how well they do in their studies.
Since the start of the current academic year, the university has fixed accommodation prices with utility bills included in the cost.
It has provided students access to hardship funding, all day £3 meal deals and a campus food pantry.