SOUTHAMPTON is poised to become the first European university to set up a campus in another member state.
It is planning to turn its Barcelona study outlets into an "institution" open to Southampton University students. If successful it could lead to a string of campuses on the continent.
Southampton staff would run a full range of programmes and research. The university would have complete responsibility for quality assurance arrangements.
Howard Newby, university vice chancellor, said the plans were the result of growing frustration with the limitations of Europe's cash-strapped Socrates programme.
The EC budget for student and staff exchanges and activities has shrunk. "It is extremely frustrating that those of us who are committed to the European ideal find that we have to go through enormous effort for so little reward," he said.
Katharine Crouan, head of Winchester School of Art, part of Southampton University, said: "It would be very cost effective to then tag student mobility on to those activities, rather than having to fret over whether we can afford to send four or just three students to the continent under Socrates."