A campaign to rebrand Birmingham as a university city to rival the great academic centres of the world is to be launched in the New Year.
The drive represents the next big image shift for the city, which, in the past 20 years has changed its emphasis from a manufacturing base to an international business centre.
Academic, business and marketing experts now believe the time is right to reposition Birmingham as a "magnet for youth" and centre of academic excellence. The new campaign will look to find what can be done to make the city more attractive for graduates.
It has the backing of the city's three universities and Birmingham City Council and is to be led by Marketing Birmingham, whose job is to promote the city's image.
Ian Taylor, commercial director at Marketing Birmingham, said: "We are going to have a focused campaign to help promote Birmingham as a magnet for youth and a city where people want to come and study because of the experience on offer.
"I would hope we will be in the position to make an announcement about this in the New Year, probably February. It will be about reinforcing our credentials as a fantastic place to be. The universities do a good job at attracting people to this area, but we need to do more to promote it on the strength of its lifestyle offer. It's culture. It's nightlife. Its music and sporting scenes.
"We need to do that to attract the best talent across the UK and beyond."
Birmingham has undergone a massive regeneration over the two decades that has seen it transform into a vibrant entertainment hub, rich in social and cultural experiences. But despite this, many outside the city still regard it as a grey, industrial and work-orientated city.
Earlier this year respected urban planner Professor Michael Parkinson delivered a 66-page study on Birmingham in which he claimed it was not doing enough to promote itself.
The city's universities have gone through major rebranding drives in recent years aimed at pitching themselves better in an increasingly commercial market.
Birmingham University spent more than £100,000 on its new image, the University of Central England forked out £200,000 to change its name to Birmingham City University and Aston University spent £65,000 on a new logo.
But Gary Hughes, area convenor for the National Union of Students, said the city council needed to do more to promote Birmingham's higher education credentials.
And the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce said more work needed to be done to make sure the city's student population was included.
"Students need to be embraced more into the city life," said spokesman John Lamb.