WA's biggest university, Curtin University, is considering cutting back on course options as part of its push to become more research-intensive.
Vice-chancellor Jeanette Hacket said in a recent update to staff that many courses had low enrolments, which was an inefficient use of staff time.
"An analysis of student data has shown that a large number of courses and majors offered by the university have low levels of enrolment," she said.
"In some instances no students are enrolled, or enrolments are in single figures.
"This is cumbersome and inefficient to administer, wasteful of staff time and confusing to prospective students."
She said senior staff were analysing the range of courses and degree majors on offer and would have to consolidate courses around "areas of research strength".
This would make them more efficient to run and increase productivity by freeing academics to do more research.
Academic deputy vice-chancellor Colin Stirling said rationalisation of courses and majors was a routine activity of universities, but he could not say how many would be affected.
"Curtin is acting to ensure its program offerings are aligned with market demands, and that prospective students are able to choose from an appropriate range of courses and majors," he said.
"The university is now considering what action to take in each instance."National Tertiary Education Union branch president Jan Sinclair-Jones said the continuous course cuts, which had been taking place over the past few years, were narrowing students' choices.
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