Croydon College has unveiled plans for a new university education centre designed to cater for 5,000 extra students.

The 29-storey, £20million study centre at Croydon College will tower above the existing buildings and will initially cater for 2,000 higher education students.

London Metropolitan University has teamed up with Croydon College to provide an extra space for students studying for degrees.

Eventually, it is hoped Croydon will have its own university and will benefit from the extra students that would bring to the borough.

With a specific higher-education establishment in Croydon, it is hoped more students will be encouraged not only to travel here for their education but to live here as well.

Many students head out of the borough to university either because there is nowhere for them to do the course they wish or places are limited.

The new tower block at the college, which is still in the planning stages, is designed to fit in with other tall buildings in the town centre.

Councillor Tim Pollard, cabinet member for regeneration and economic development said: "A university presence in the town would help deliver the council's aspirations to realise the economic development potential of London's Third City' and create more high skill jobs.

"We look forward to working with London Metropolitan University and Croydon College to take these plans forward."

Croydon College principal Mariane Cavalli said this week: "This is a really exciting time for the college.

"We are the sole provider of higher education in Croydon and working with London Met we are developing plans which will transform the local economy and the lives of local people.

"This joint venture is part of the college's broader plans to expand education and skills provision for children and young people in Croydon and then to allow them to access local higher education."