Tainui plans to open an independent tertiary organisation, funded by the iwi.
The Waikato-Tainui College for Research & Development is in talks to offer students qualifications through state-run training providers.
Academic director Sarah-Jane Tiakiwai says it would not issue qualifications.
Certificates would be granted by New Zealand Qualification Approved providers, with which the college is speaking.
Ms Tiakiwai says the courses would include elements of leadership, entrepreneurial skills, cultural heritage and research for up to 80 students.