The East of England is experiencing a "brain drain" with half its graduates leaving the area.
The East of England Development Agency said many people left the region to go to university and those who came to the east to study often left on graduation.
The agency said that a lower number of university places per head than most other English regions, relatively low participation in higher education, several very selective universities and the prevalence of graduate jobs in London all contributed to the exodus.
The agency is investing£30 million in four new univer-sity buildings in "cold spots" around the region where few people attend university. The buildings include the £18 million University Campus Suffolk run by the University of East Anglia and Essex University, new buildings for Anglia Ruskin University at Harlow and Peterborough regional colleges and Essex University's Southend campus.
The new campuses will generate 11,607 new places over the next decade.