The University of Central Lancashire is hoping to take over Northumbria University's campus in Carlisle.
Uclan said the takeover would take place next August if the details were successfully worked through. There would be a commitment to maintain and increase provision in Carlisle, and arrangements would be made to enable students, including those enrolling in 2004, to complete Northumbria degrees.
Northumbria announced earlier this year that it was proposing to hand over the campus to another institution because student growth had been slower than expected and the operation was no longer financially viable.
The campus, established 11 years ago, houses some 400 students and 50 staff. Undergraduate and postgraduate courses include business studies, education, English and tourism.
Discussions about the future of higher education in Carlisle and Cumbria will continue over the coming months, led by a project board chaired by Sir Brian Fender. Sir Brian, former chief executive of the Higher Education Funding Council for England, conducted a review of higher education in Cumbria earlier this year and ruled out a new campus for the county's 500,000 inhabitants.
Instead, he recommended that courses be delivered by a consortium of institutions close to the area, including Uclan and Northumbria.