Lincoln University is citing pressure from the government as one of the reasons it's looking to "explore partnership and merger options" with Canterbury University.
The leaders of both institutions signed a memorandum of understanding on Tuesday.
The move follows lengthy discussions between Lincoln and the Government over the university 's ability to meet its strategic goals.
In signing the agreement Lincoln University underlined the need to retain its campus, identity and culture as "an important bottom line" .
Lynn speaks with Lincoln University Vice-Chancellor is James McWha.