University College Scarborough has reluctantly entered merger talks with Hull University to keep its title and status.
Officials hope the merger will allow Scarborough to keep university college status after Dearing report recommendations that would force it to adopt an "unmarketable" higher education title.
Bruce Collins, academic dean and deputy principal, said the college believed the rule shift was inappropriate.
In future, only institutions with degree-awarding powers or those fully part of a university will be eligible to use the title university college. "We are not a further education college, we are a university college in the traditional, accurate sense. We are disappointed that our case is not being taken seriously by the government."
Nevertheless Professor Collins said merger with Hull would offer key advantages to the college and its students.
Hull has a strong regional presence and there is "good synergy" between academic subjects in the two institutions. If the merger talks in the next six months succeed, the college would become a campus or faculty of Hull.
Scarborough degrees are currently validated by York University, but the authorities there declined a merger. Ron Cooke, York vice-chancellor, said the university had neither the resources nor a suitable mission to engage in a merger.