Two London universities have announced a joint £10 million health and engineering initiative.
The aim is to combine the resources of Queen Mary, University of London, and City University to develop new programmes, widen participation and develop links with industry.
David Rhind, vice-chancellor of City, said: "This initiative comes at a time of financial pressure on all universities. But it has a compelling logic, bringing together a remarkable spread of intellectual skills and a variety of funding sources to create some very imaginative programmes."
Queen Mary has suffered budget cuts because of the underfunding of the results of the 2001 research assessment exercise. Up to 34 jobs will be cut from the School of Medicine and Dentistry and 43 other posts may be transferred to the National Health Service.
A Queen Mary spokesperson said the collaboration was not a response to underfunding but was a separate scheme that built on Queen Mary and City's strategic alliance announced in 2001.
About £3 million of the project's cash comes from the Higher Education Funding Council for England's collaboration and restructuring fund, £1.55 million from the NHS and the rest from the two universities.
Under the collaboration, students in medicine, dentistry, nursing, midwifery, optometry, radiography, and speech and language therapy will learn together. A foundation degree in biomedical and health sciences will be established as a pre-university programme for local people. A new public health unit will be set up to study healthcare issues affecting east London.
In engineering, pre-university bridging courses and foundation degrees will be extended to better prepare students for undergraduate study. A graduate engineering institute will be set up to develop training partnerships between industry and higher education.