The number of part-time places being offered by colleges has fallen by just over 85,000 in the last three years, according to figures collated by the Liberal Democrats.
Data gathered from 37 of Scotland's further education institutions shows that there were a total of 274,060 part-time places in 2009/10, falling to 189,042 in 2011/12.
The statistics - obtained using Freedom of Information - also show that just over 8,000 full-time places were created during the same period. In 2009/10 there were 67,678 full-time places, rising to 75,710 in 2011/12.
The Scottish Government has come under fire from opposition parties and the National Union of Students in Scotland for cuts to colleges in the Budget, despite Finance Secretary John Swinney finding an extra £10 million for the sector for 2013/14. Colleges were facing a £34.6 million cut.
Meanwhile the Education Secretary Michael Russell has been urged to address confusion surrounding college waiting lists so it is clear how many students are waiting for places. Concerns have also been raised over the Government's programme of regionalisation, which has already seen a number of mergers.
Commenting on the figures, Lib Dem education spokesman Liam McArthur said: "College principals have already warned that the Government's £25 million cut from college budgets next year will undermine the sector's ability to cope with reforms being demanded by ministers. These figures show that colleges have already cut part-time places in their thousands.
"The complexity and pace of the regionalisation reforms are challenging enough. However, they are made almost impossible to manage successfully by the depth and scale of the funding cuts being applied by Mike Russell. This cut puts a further chokehold on opportunities at a time when thousands remain out of work.
"In the face of these worrying figures the Education Secretary can no longer afford to ignore the resounding chorus of concerns from the sector."
A spokesman for Mr Russell said: "Liam McArthur needs to play catch-up - the Scottish Government have provided an extra £61 million for Scotland's colleges in the budget that has just been passed.
"But even Mr McArthur has been forced to admit that this Government is providing thousands more full-time college places than four years ago - in spite of the savage cuts imposed on Scotland's budget by his Lib Dem colleagues along with the Tories at Westminster."