The Scottish Office has begun consulting over Bell College of Technology's application to become a higher education institution.
Bell is one of Scotland's 43 incorporated further education colleges but wishes to be redesignated given that all its courses are at higher education level. It offers 20 degrees and five postgraduate courses validated by Strathclyde University.
A Scottish Office spokeswoman said the Scottish Office and Scottish Higher Education Funding Council were reviewing criteria for higher education status, which would include the institution's mission and role.
"However, matters to be taken into account will include the institution's higher education quality procedures and the level of its higher education provision, as well as the proportion of its overall student population on higher education courses," said the spokeswoman.
Bell's principal, Ken McCallum, said he was confident that the college met the criteria.
The Scottish Office is seeking responses by the end of May from the relevant local authorities, further and higher education institutions in the surrounding areas, trade unions and other interested bodies.