Charles Darwin University (CDU) has revealed plans to cut 5 per cent of its workforce.

CDU has announced a merger of vocational and higher education (VET) in an attempt to save up to $10 million.

It is cutting 19 VET courses, including certificates in community night patrol, hospitality, hairdressing and business administration.

“This will be a difficult time for many at CDU,” the university's deputy vice-chancellor Meredith Parry said in a statement.

“I am acutely aware that losing a position in a national market that could see up to 21,000 university sector jobs go by the end of the year is confronting, and comprehensive staff support measures have been put in place for staff and their families.”

Some of the VET courses set to be cut do not currently have any enrolments, but for those that do, students will be given the option to abandon or continue their studies.

CDU's vice-chancellor Simon Maddocks says the university faces an unprecedent financial challenge.

He says there may have to be further changes to higher education and vocational education course offerings.

The NT Government has confirmed that there is an agreement with the Federal Government for CDU to bring 70 international students to Darwin in late October.

The proposed merger of VET will go through a staff consultation process until October 18.