An aerial view of the site on the outskirts of Inverness
Plans for a new Inverness College campus could be submitted as an outline planning application by early 2009.
Development agency Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) said two firms had been appointed to draw up a master plan for the proposed site.
A business school, research facilities, student residences and regional sports centre of excellence are planned for a 200-acre area at Beechwood, Inverness.
It would also provide a new base for higher educational institution UHI.
MAKE Architects and Turnberry Consulting have been appointed to work up the master plan and application for outline planning permission.