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Invercargill City Councillor Alex Crackett launched online the petition "Save Southland's SIT" earlier this week.
She asked students from the Spouthern Institute of Technology (SIT) and residents to sign the petition to draw attention to the situation and plans to deliver the petition to Education Minister Chris Hipkins.
"SIT has been instrumental in the vitality of our community and economy."
Mr Hipkins announced last week Government planned to merge New Zealand's 16 polytechnics and institutions off technology into one entity, provisionally called the New Zealand Institute of Skills & Technology.
Under the proposal, the new body would manage capital and operational budgets, staffing, and learning management systems for all the institutions.
The proposal has not been well received in the South, with Otago Polytechnic also opposing the proposal.