Bangor University has started a consultation with staff over plans to cut up to 200 jobs due to a budget shortfall.
The coronavirus pandemic has meant a fall in international student recruitment for 2020/21 – leaving a black hole in their finances.
It is understood savings of £13m are required. Arfon AM Sian Gwenllian said all possible steps must be taken to protect jobs.
A spokesperson for Bangor University said: “Bangor University has worked pro-actively throughout the last few months, to maintain student experience and minimise the impact of Covid-19 on our operations.
“However, despite this, a shortfall in income mainly related to international student recruitment, is anticipated in 2020/21 which requires us to look for savings.
“Therefore the university has started a period of consultation on how these savings might best be achieved.
“Students are at the heart of the University and our priority in any changes will be to ensure that their experience is not only protected but also enhanced.
“Whilst this is a period of significant challenge it also provides an opportunity to innovate and emerge from Covid-19 stronger and as a leading force in higher education and the economy of North Wales and beyond.”
Arfon AM Sian Gwenllian said: “This is a huge blow to the area and anxious times lie ahead for staff and their families. I hope the university can take advantage of the Covid support schemes that are available and that as many jobs as possible can be protected.
“Bangor University is a large important employer and is vital in improving the local economy through research and providing vital skills for the workforce needed for the future. All possible steps must be taken to protect the jobs.”
Arfon MP Hywel Williams described it as “a severe blow and devastating news for those who face losing their jobs”.
He said: “I hope it is possible to mitigate the impact on staff through voluntary redundancies, although I fear the scope for this is very limited given previous cutbacks.
“These are incredibly challenging times for everyone, and universities have been exposed to the financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic across a number of fronts, including the loss of international tuition fee income.
“I fear the situation has not been helped by the chaos surrounding this year’s A-level results in England, which may have resulted in some students diverting to other universities.”
He added: “I extend my full support to all those affected by this news.”