A charge of "rampant egotism" was this week levelled at Britain's academics by the former chief executive of the Industrial Society and personnel director of the London Stock Exchange.
Rhiannon Chapman, external reviewer of complaints for the Teacher Training Agency, accused universities of viewing anything new with suspicion.
Ms Chapman was speaking at Wednesday's launch in London of careerMSc.com, a higher degree programme designed specifically to provide postgraduates with professional industry certification alongside their academic study.
The new MSc degree, which gives students hands-on technology experience, is being awarded by Sheffield Hallam University in partnership with IT industry leaders. It is believed to be the first time so strong a united front has been shown between a university and the IT industry.
Ms Chapman praised the initiative as a "world leader", and said: "Tomorrow every university will probably be wanting to do it. But none of them would have had the courage to start it."