Scotland's teacher education colleges have given a guarded welcome to plans for the sector, including passing responsibility for student intake to the Scottish Higher Education Funding Council.
The Scottish Office is setting up a working group on quality assurance in teacher education and assessment of new courses alongside the traditional BEd and postgraduate certificate in education.
The moves follow the Sutherland report on teacher training, part of the Dearing inquiry into higher education. Academics hope the working group will clarify the Scottish Office decision to give HM Inspectors new powers to inspect courses in universities.
Richard Johnstone, convener of the Scottish Teacher Education Committee, said: "The government has not made the role of the inspectorate clear. My own preference would be for 'quality assurance' conducted by a heterogeneous group rather than something called inspection carried out by a single homogeneous group."
Douglas Weir, dean of education at Strathclyde's Jordanhill campus, said: "The government's intentions are sound, and it really is for us to make our case to the funding council."