Scottish universities are to receive an extra £10m in funding, Education Secretary Fiona Hyslop has announced.
Universities had complained about their funding
They could also be given more freedom over how they spend their money in the future, it has emerged.
A taskforce set up to examine universities' futures will consider a deal similar to one worked out between councils and the government.
Ms Hyslop had faced criticism from university leaders who said they were facing a £40m funding shortfall.
Their claims came after universities were allocated £263m in the spending review.
Announcing the additional funding, Ms Hyslop said: "Universities are at the heart of our drive to build a smarter, more prosperous Scotland.
"Even though we are facing an extremely tight financial settlement, I have worked hard to source extra resources for Scotland's universities.
"I know the pressure that universities are under. Resources are tight. I made a commitment to find more money if I could and today I am delivering on that."
'Bold and radical'
Last year ministers set up the joint future thinking taskforce to explore the future of higher education in Scotland.
A Scottish Government spokesman confirmed that this would look at the possibility of a deal similar to the one struck with councils.
He said: "Bold and radical thinking will be essential to get the most out of Scotland's university sector in the coming decades. We want to encourage Scotland's universities to flourish at what they do best.
"That's why we have established the joint future thinking taskforce on universities to look at the challenges ahead and how we can address these.
"A possible concordat is just one of the many ideas that we will be discussing over the coming months."