A #163;300 million plan for a "super college" in Glasgow city centre is facing uncertainty after ministers said they needed more time to decide whether to approve it.
Three colleges - Glasgow Metropolitan, Central and Glasgow Nautical -agreed to the merger and expected ministers to give their approval by August 1.
But the now Government has delayed a decision until September 1 to enable "full and proper consideration of the complex proposal".
Official sources have stressed the delay is not an indication that the ambitious project, which will involve major capital investment, will not go ahead.
But the Scottish Funding Council, which decides on financial support for colleges and universities on behalf of the Government, has already hinted that the cost of the new college will have to be significantly reduced.
Ministers are also concerned at the failure to harmonise terms and conditions for lecturers at the three colleges. NM.