Bay of Plenty councils are throwing their support behind a proposal for a new tertiary education campus in Tauranga.
The proposal is being led by Waikato University, Bay of Plenty Polytechnic and Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi in Whakatane.
Thousands of students could be moving into the city in the next decade if it goes ahead.
Western Bay of Plenty mayor Ross Paterson says half the people in their twenties leave the region and what's being proposed looks to hold them in the region for longer.
Mr Paterson says the new campus is a key priority for the region's future.