THE University of New England is refining the plan for its Tamworth campus, which would see it specialise in industries already prominent in the city, along with offering traditional degrees.
Vice-chancellor Brigid Heywood said UNE wanted to play to the city's strengths, such as agriculture, food processing and music, by offering specialist degrees.
"We're looking at possibly offering food technology and food processing programs," Professor Heywood said.
"Tamworth obviously has a strong reputation around music, so we could provide programs around music technology and digital engineering. We could create a music technology hub, connecting with commercial studios."
Professor Heywood also plans to heavily involve local industries.
"We want to link students in tertiary education with future employment by connecting them to work-related experiences," she said.
"Getting them industry-ready is important to us and we have a really great reputation for doing that. We want to tailor the requirements for Tamworth and find the model that best suits it."
UNE is planning an international study tour next year with representatives from Tamworth council and local industries, visiting universities in Denmark, Holland, Canada and the USA.
"All the universities mirror in various ways the proposed exemplars of practice for industry-university interactions," Professor Heywood said.
UNE will also consult with the council and other local organisations in early December.
Tamworth University Reference Group chairman Mitch Hanlon said he was interested to know how UNE planned to reach out to groups that had been "marginalised from tertiary education".
"I'm hoping they link in with TAFE and the community college to catch students from there," he said.
"It's also important to involve local HSC students who can't afford to study away from home."
Mr Hanlon said along with specialised courses, it was vital the campus still offered the traditional health, education and business degrees.
"For many, those degrees are the pathway to the middle class," he said.
"They are big employers in our region and we're always looking for more of them."
The first version of the new business plan is expected by February 2020.