Two Birmingham universities are expanding what they call a unique partnership aimed at bringing more students into higher education and creating clearer educational pathways towards embarking on careers.
The University of Birmingham and University College Birmingham (UCB) have had a long-standing relationship spanning more than two decades as the former has accredited and awarded 20,000 UCB degrees.
The pair are now seeking to broaden that relationship in a bid to offer more routes into higher education and get more students involved.
A series of initiatives are due to be announced from September in what is believed to be the only partnership of its kind in the UK.
They said the partnership would create a new model for how the higher education and further education sectors could work together to improve outcomes for young people through a range of joint activities.
These include degree apprenticeships, which will initially focus on nursing, and further enhancing student opportunities to access higher education.
There will also be training and development of academic teaching staff, creating a better Birmingham student experience by sharing facilities and helping international students to access education opportunities in the city.
The University of Birmingham currently has 34,000 students based at its Edgbaston campus while UCB teaches around 7,000.
University of Birmingham vice-chancellor Sir David Eastwood said: "We have a long-standing relationship between two important and really distinctive Birmingham institutions.
"We're one of the largest universities in the country and in UCB you have a really distinctive centre which knows what it's good at.
"Put those two into a partnership and it creates a platform whereby we can do things together.
"We are both committed to excellence and working together in Birmingham and we think there are opportunities for us to work together internationally.
"One of the things we believe we can bring to the city is different pathways for people to achieve.
"Both our universities are committed to education in this city and we have created this signature initiative to provide new opportunities and inspire our young people to fulfil their potential.
"This alliance represents a new model for collaboration, harnessing the distinctive and collective strengths of our two universities while further strengthening educational excellence in Birmingham and the region."
UCB vice-chancellor Ray Linforth added: "We've discovered that, with the link we've had with the University of Birmingham for more than 20 years, many of our students are moving from UCB to the university to complete their studies.
"That progression and pathway is already there but we want to be able to offer that progression to a broader group of students.
"Both our universities work together as anchor institutions for Birmingham. UCB is delighted to establish this pioneering partnership.
"It sees both our universities developing innovative education and training pathways that give industry what it needs while offering a compelling new model for the further education and higher education sectors."