The Scottish education secretary is pressing universities to give greater weight to the new Scottish Baccalaureates in science and languages as entry qualifications.
Michael Russell told a modern languages conference last week that higher education needed to change its approach to Bacs.
He also chided universities for insisting that applicants for some highly competitive courses should take all their Highers in one sitting.
"Curriculum for Excellence will change the way qualifications take place and universities need to change the way they view that," Mr Russell told a conference for headteachers and senior managers.
His challenge to higher education was, he said, to decide how the Bacs fed in to universities.
The Government's dialogue with the HE sector on how it could support the Bac was going very well, Mr Russell told The TES, but it needed to be seen as "a route that takes you further".
Mr Russell added: "Universities have to be much more flexible. Curriculum for Excellence will present different types of qualifications. We need to ensure this happens sooner rather than later." EB.