A national core curriculum to check falling standards in the burgeoning business and management degree market is being developed by the Association of Business Schools.
The Internet-based Biznet 2000 programme has been set up by the ABS as a voluntary, self-regulatory degree standards development scheme.
But ABS director Mary Spence expects the work will form the basis of a national quality standard for undergraduate business courses after Sir Ron Dearing's higher Education inquiry.
Mrs Spence, dean of the business faculty at Greenwich University, said that the proliferation of business and management degree courses was seriously damaging the sector.
"There are about 300 degrees with business or management in the title," she said. "And there are thousands and thousands of courses available.
"Business courses can be particularly attractive for institutions which are finding it difficult to recruit students."
The ABSproject is still in its preliminary stages, which consist of an Internet mail-based discussion. Twelve institutions are involved in the early discussions and new research into employers needs and current curriculum provision has been commissioned.
"The debate in Dearing's Inquiry has very much centred on national standards," Mrs Spence said.
"Sir Ron will recommend serious consideration of a national core curriculum in all subject areas. And we expect he will recognise our work and trust the sector to set its own standards."