The Victorian Education minister has defended the state of regional tertiary education, which has been described as the backbone of rural centres.

Regional instructions have been hit hard by recent announcements that La Trobe University will cut some staff from non-metro services, as part of a restructure and consolidation.

It remains unclear whether the estimated 350 staff to be cut will come from La Trobe’s Mildura, Wodonga or Shepparton campuses.

The La Trobe cuts add to a reduction in regional tertiary services across Victoria, compounding earlier announcements of mass redundancies at Bendigo and several other TAFE sites.

Victorian opposition Regional and Rural Development spokesperson, Jacinta Allan, says the future is unclear in a lot of vital areas.

“Tertiary education is a vital part of having strong, vibrant regional centres, that's why the announcement of job cuts are concerning,” she told the ABC.

“Already these communities are bearing the brunt of the cuts to the TAFE system inflicted by the Victorian Denis Napthine led Liberal-National Government and with worrying signs coming out of Canberra, it's a worry for all of us who want to see our regional tertiary institutions thriving.”

Victorian Higher Education Minister Peter Hall says it is not that simple.

“Well I think it's a bit rich of Labor to simply wash their hands and blame the current Government on these changes, because it was the Labor system that we've inherited,” he told reporters in response.

“We've straightened that system out, we've made sure that training is relevant, leading to employment outcomes, and for Jacinta Allan to be blaming the current Coalition Government, it's absolving the responsibility for the system that she herself implemented.

“It's Labor's system both state-wide, the implementation of a demand-driven vocational system, and ... [the] federal Labor government implemented a 2 per cent funding cut to all Victorian Universities.

“So for them to blame current governments for jobs cuts is a bit rich when they were the architects of the system that we're now seeking to manage.”

Federal Member for Bendigo, Labor's Lisa Chesters says she has met with La Trobe's vice-chancellor, and will now take the fight to the Federal Government.

“Labor did originally put forward those savings measures, we've since changed our minds and said that they're not the right moves for the higher education sector. We don't know if this Government is going to proceed with those funding changes in the upcoming budget.”

“[La Trobe has] suggested that higher education funding [is] on the chopping block and that's where I can I believe step in and help the university out by being their champion in Canberra but... the university needs to commit to continue employing enough staff at the campus.”