CROYDON College, one of the largest FE institutions in the country, is discussing creating a university college with Kingston University, writes Ngaio Crequer.
The intention is to use the college to expand higher education in the Croydon area as there is no university nearby.
Croydon would remain in the FE sector. The Higher Education Funding Council for England, and the Government are now investigating the proposal.
If all parties agreed, and there is support from Croydon Council and the South London training and enterprise council, the aim is to have the University College in operation for September 2000.
Vic Seddon, Croydon's principal, said: "Croydon already has a university college in all but name. Now we hope to expand our provision for the benefit of south London and its communities."
Croydon already has an arrangement with Sussex University to provide HE courses and this will continue.
Professor Peter Scott, vice-chancellor of Kingston University, said:
"Everything points to the success of a regional approach to higher education.
"Croydon has a population of 350,000 and needs the kind of local provision that would be best achieved through a partnership between a university and a college with a strong further education base.
"Kingston has very good links with Croydon, which is a neighbouring borough. We see it as a natural development to make university-level education more accessible, not only in the borough of Croydon but across the wider region south of London."