The e-university must be delayed until the project is better thought out, funding chiefs acknowledged this week.
Consultant Pricewaterhouse-Coopers has been asked to produce a more detailed business model for the e-university that better balances inclusivity and focus, while harnessing existing strengths in e-learning.
Universities and colleges will not be invited to express interest in becoming partners in the project until the work is completed in the autumn - a delay of about three months.
The Higher Education Funding Council for England has also appointed more members to the e-university steering group.
The Quality Assurance Agency and the University for Industry will also become involved.