Eric Forth, the higher education minister, has asked university heads to produce a consultation paper on funding.
The Committee of Vice Chancellors and Principals will announce its plans to publish the paper at its next main committee meeting on December 8, which Mr Forth is expected to attend.
Gareth Roberts, the CVCP chairman, said the idea of producing a paper to encourage politicians to develop firm policies on higher education funding before the next General Election emerged from a recent meeting with Mr Forth.
The Department for Education and Employment confirmed that Mr Forth had requested the CVCP to publish a paper before the department produced its own higher education discussion paper in the New Year.
The minister agreed that funding was the "number one issue" and was "enthusiastic" about the prospect of the CVCP exploring questions such as how to build more student contributions into the funding system.
But the paper would not just be for Government, Professor Roberts said. The Labour Party and the Liberal Democrats might also benefit from the debate it would generate.