Birmingham's Matthew Boulton and Sutton Coldfield colleges are to merge to form one of the biggest further education institutions in the country.
The announcement yesterday came just over a month after Sutton Coldfield College principal Graham Jones informed staff he would be stepping down to be replaced by Matthew Boulton's boss Christine Braddock.
Managers claim the union will provide "the widest opportunity and most comprehensive range of courses for students in the city".
And the Learning and Skills Council, which is responsible for all post-16 learning outside universities, said it potentially represented "a huge shift in the landscape of further education in the city".
Ms Braddock said last night: "I am delighted to have been appointed by the board of Sutton Coldfield College to deliver their vision.
"The opportunity to lead this development on behalf of Sutton Cold-field College will enable me to build and develop some of the best practices in the sector and I know it will make a positive difference to all our students."
In a joint statement, chair of Matthew Boulton's governing body Terry Lipscombe and chair of Sutton Cold-field's governors Anne Underwood, said: "This is great opportunity to forge a fruitful partnership between two outstanding deliverers of education and training."
Plans for the merger follow "a series of strategic discussions" between the two colleges. It represents a wider trend towards consolidation in the FE sector.
Gill Howland, local director of Birmingham and Solihull LSC, said: "It is difficult to comment until we have seen the detail of the proposals.
"But should it involve major institutional change, it would represent a huge shift in the landscape of further education in the city which we would have to give very serious and careful consideration."
Matthew Boulton College, which moved to its £40 million new campus in Jennens Road in the city centre in 2005, has 10,500 students.
Sutton Coldfield College in Great Barr, which merged with North Birmingham College in 2002, has 15,000 students.
The merger means, by comparison, it will have more students than Birmingham University (21,500) and four times as many as Aston University (6,200).
Ms Braddock was at the centre of calls for an investigation by union officials last year after complaints over her management style.
An Ofsted inspection report published at the start of this year appeared to vindicate Ms Braddock, praising her "strong leadership" and highlighting a "safe and secure environment" at the institution.