Huddersfield University is developing a virtual campus that it believes will one day enable students to obtain degrees without ever setting foot in the town.
The university's Pounds 500,000 Learning Innovation Centre - located in a refurbished building on the Queensgate Campus - will introduce fundamental changes to the way in which students learn.
Director Neil Ringan said that the centre was already producing internet-based training material for a number of commissioned projects. "Within a year we aim to have a number of our existing courses available on the internet," he said. "Over time the majority of our courses will use the internet alongside more traditional methods of teaching."
Students will be able to communicate with each other and their tutors at times that are convenient for them.
The internet will make the university's courses more accessible to people whose schedules or geographic location prevent them from studying on traditional courses.
Dr Ringan said that the experience gained from the commissioned projects would lay the foundations for the university's staff to develop their own materials.
"Much of the work we're doing is in areas where the university has considerable expertise," he said. "We will be able to develop new markets with the flexibility to customise education materials to meet the needs of individual learners."