Universities struggling to retain student numbers in the face of tuition fees and cuts in maintenance may turn to sports funding.
Drummond Bone, senior vice-principal of Glasgow University, which is one of those interested, told the Scottish Universities Physical Education Association that universities lose 15 per cent of their intake each year, mostly among those at the end of their first year, and this had serious financial implications.
"Three or four institutions might well consider collaborating on a major sports complex in their area," Professor Bone said.
Meanwhile, a full-time sports development officer is likely to be appointed in an effort to halt the decline in student sport. The Scottish Universities Sports Federation has accepted the recommendation of a working party which found that standards were "moderate". "Participation has become increasingly social rather than performance orientated," it said.
The report also criticised the administration of student sports as "haphazard".