A proposed merger between Lincoln University and Telford Rural Polytechnic is still on track to take effect next year.
The two South Island-based institutions have confirmed their support for the merger.
A business case is now being provided to the Minister for Tertiary Education for his consideration.
Lincoln University Vice-Chancellor Professor Roger Field says the primary driver for the proposed merger is to protect and develop land-based education.
He says he's more positive about this merger going through than the failed AgResearch bid two years ago.
Professor Field says it's hoped the merger will be completed for the beginning of 2011.
He says once the Minister for Tertiary Education has considered the merger, public consultation will be sought.