The National Health Service University has announced that Warwick University will be its principal academic partner as it aims to transform health and social care education and win university status.
It also announced 11 regional academic partners, based around consortia of universities, to help it deliver education courses and carry out research across the UK.
In all, 80 universities responded to the NHSU's call for collaboration last August. Warwick's success is a coup for the university.
Bob Fryer, chief executive of the NHSU, said: "These partnerships, along with our existing alliances with the Open University, e-Universities and Ufi/Learn-direct, will enhance our capacity to attract high-quality staff, allow us to expand the range of courses we offer and enable us to reach out to a much wider audience."
David VandeLinde, vice-chancellor of Warwick, said: "We will be working with the NHSU to develop its academic structure, to assist it in developing its research capacity and analyse the educational needs of the health and social care labour market."
It is not yet clear where the NHSU headquarters will be. Space has been rented temporarily in central London.
Warwick, along with Leicester University (with which it has a joint medical school) and nearby Coventry University, is also one of the 11 regional consortia. "Regional partners will help the NHSU develop course material to support education and training," Professor VandeLinde said.
He said details of the partnership still had to be worked out. While Warwick would be paid for particular services delivered, the partnership was unlikely to result in a significant influx of funding.
"Warwick has always had good contacts with business. We are now building on courses such as our MBA in public administration to extend contacts in the public sector," Professor VandeLinde said.